Riccardo Muti virtuoso conductor celebrates Verdi’s 200 anniversary

Rome, Abdul Rahman Bitar-The colossus composer in Italy, Giuseppe Verdi, was born 200 years ago on 10 October 1813 and one of his fans, the master conductor Riccardo Muti is celebrating this occasion in 2013 in Rome (Italy), Salzburg (Austria) and Chicago (USA).

Riccardo Muti virtuoso conductor celebrates Verdi’s 200 anniversary
You make music not to amuse yourself but to delight your audience
In the 20th century most conductors have modeled their techniques after Arturo Toscanini, who represents the Italian school and whose style comprised preparation, precision and objective interpretation. Muti who has been inspired by Toscanini all his life, is expected to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Verdi’s birthday with the same drive and spirit.
Muti was born in Naples (Napoli) in 1941. After extensive musical studies in Napoli and Milano with distinguished professors and mentors at the conservatories of both cities, he was unanimously awarded first place by the jury of the competition of conductors in Milano in 1967, and a year later became the principal conductor of the prestigious Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence. Since 1971 he has been a frequent conductor at the Salzburg Fesitival and regularly conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1987 he became the conductor and musical director of the top opera house in Italy, Teatro alla Scala di Milano and for two decades produced some of the best performances and recordings of Verdi’s operas. He was also a regular guest of the top orchestras in the world, Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic. From 1980-92 Muti was also musical director of the Philadelphia Orchestra (USA) and at present the musical director of Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010 besides being the honorary musical director of Rome Opera House for life. This year Muti has already conducted four operas in Rome by Verdi: Simon Boccanegra, I due Foscari, Nabucco, and Otello and he will inaugurate the next season that starts at the Italian capital in November 2013 by conducting “Ernani“ that will be directed by the famous Argentine choreographer and set designer, Hugo de Ana.
Muti admits that he has dedicated his life to Verdi and that Toscanini was his idol. In fact a number of DVDs and Cds produced by Muti at La Scala, Milano over the past years are among the best recordings ever made of this composer. For example:
Don Carlos (with Pavarotti) where he presses with fast tempi,
Ernani (with Domingo) is so gripping with a starry cast,
Otello (with Domingo) conducting with his usual brio,

Riccardo Muti virtuoso conductor celebrates Verdi’s 200 anniversary

La Traviata (with Scotto, Kraus and Bruson) he is even faster than Toscanini but also with no lack of tenderness,
Verdi ‘s music has dominated the Italian and world scene for two centuries. His music was a symbol of resistance to Austrian domination. His opera Nabucco (about the Babylonian king Nabukhaznasar) almost became the national anthem of Italy after its unification in 1870. Verdi lived in the hope to unite the several states that formed Italy and lived 88 years to see it. The public went crazy over Verdi’s operas. He is known for the popular “Aida” composed for the new Cairo Opera House after the opening of the Suez Canal. In 1874 he composed the Messa da Requiem in honor of the poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, famous for his book “ Betrothed” (in Italian: I promessi Sposi ), which is considered the second most important work to follow Aida.
The Requiem concert in Chicago on 10 October at 19:30 local time (or 12:30 am London time) will feature talented singers such as: Titiana Serjan, Daniela Barcellona, Mario Zefferi, and Ildar Abdrazakov with choir master Duain Wolfe. It can be seen for free on demand on Streaming or Facebook. It will be a rare opportunity to see Muti conducting with supreme command as a perfectionist who delights the audience. Muti described himself in a recent interview “ I am a musician, not because my parents wanted one of their children to be a little genius, but thanks to the gentleman in the photo on the wall: Arturo Toscanini.”

Tuesday, October 8th 2013
Abdul Rahman Bitar

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