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Passion and rigor at the service of music: Riccardo Muti's career and artistic path are among the most extraordinary of all time

In 2015 the Maestro created the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy, realizing his desire to devote himself even more to the training of young musicians.

In Naples, the city where he was born, Riccardo Muti he studied piano with Vincenzo Vitale, graduating with honors from the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella. He continued his studies at the “Giuseppe Verdi” Conservatory in Milan, under the guidance of Bruno Bettinelli and Antonino Votto, where he obtained a diploma in Composition and Conducting.

In 1967 the prestigious jury of the “Cantelli” competition in Milan unanimously assigned him the first place, bringing him to the attention of critics and the public. The following year he was appointed musical director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, a position he would hold until 1980. Already in 1971, however, Muti was invited by Herbert von Karajan on the podium of the Salzburg Festival, inaugurating a happy custom that led him to 2020, to celebrate fifty years of association with the Austrian event. The seventies see him at the head of the London Philharmonia Orchestra (1972-1982), where he succeeds Otto Klemperer; then, between 1980 and 1992, he inherited the post of music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra from Eugene Ormandy.

From 1986 to 2005 he was musical director of the Teatro alla Scala: this is how international projects take shape, such as the proposal of the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy and the Wagnerian tetralogy. Alongside the titles of the great repertoire, other less popular authors find space and visibility: precious pages of the Neapolitan eighteenth century and works by Gluck, Cherubini, Spontini, up to Poulenc, with Les dialogues des Carmélites which earned him the "Abbiati" Critics Award . The long period spent as musical director of the Scaligeri ensembles culminates on 7 December 2004 in the triumphal reopening of the restored Scala where he directs Antonio Salieri's Europe recognized.

His contribution to the Verdi repertoire is exceptional; he directed Ernani, Nabucco, I Vespri Siciliani, La Traviata, Attila, Don Carlos, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Macbeth, La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, Otello, Aida, Un ballo in Maschera, I Due Foscari, I Masnadieri. His musical direction was the longest in the history of the Teatro alla Scala.

During his extraordinary career Riccardo Muti conducts many of the most prestigious orchestras in the world: from the Berliner Philharmoniker to the Bayerischer Rundfunk, from the New York Philharmonic to the Orchester National de France, to the London Philharmonia and, of course, the Wiener Philharmoniker, to which an assiduous and particularly significant relationship binds him and with whom he has performed at the Salzburg Festival since 1971. Invited on the podium on the occasion of the concert celebrating the 150th anniversary of the great Viennese orchestra, Muti received the Golden Ring, an honor granted by Wiener as a sign of special admiration and affection. After 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2018, in 2021 he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the sixth time in the prestigious New Year's Concert in Vienna. For this recording, he received a Double Platinum Disc in August 2018 for his concerts with the same orchestra at the Salzburg Festival.

In April 2003, a “Journée Riccardo Muti” was exceptionally promoted in France through the national broadcaster France Musique which for 14 uninterrupted hours broadcast music directed by him with all the orchestras that have had him and have him on the podium, while the On 14 December of the same year he conducted the long-awaited reopening concert of the “La Fenice” theater in Venice. The “Riccardo Muti Day” was re-proposed by Radio France on 17 May 2018, in conjunction with the concert conducted by the Maestro at the Auditorium de la Maison de la Radio.

In 2004 he founded the “Luigi Cherubini” Youth Orchestra made up of young musicians selected by an international commission, among over 600 instrumentalists from all Italian regions.

The vast recording production, already relevant in the Seventies and today embellished by the many awards received from specialized critics, ranges from the classical symphonic and operatic repertoire to the twentieth century. The record label responsible for Riccardo Muti's recordings is RMMUSIC (

His civil commitment as an artist is demonstrated by the concerts proposed as part of the "Le vie dell'Amicizia" project of the Ravenna Festival in some "symbolic" places of history, both ancient and contemporary: Sarajevo (1997), Beirut (1998), Jerusalem (1999), Moscow (2000), Yerevan and Istanbul (2001), New York (2002), Cairo (2003), Damascus (2004), El Djem (2005), Meknes (2006), Rome (2007), Mazara del Vallo (2008), Sarajevo (2009), Trieste (2010), Nairobi (2011), Ravenna (2012), Mirandola (2013), Redipuglia (2014), Otranto (2015), Tokyo (2016), Tehran (2017 ), Kiev (2018), Athens (2019), Paestum (2020), Yerevan (2021), the Marian sanctuaries of Lourdes and Loreto (2022), Jerash and Pompeii (2023), with the Choir and the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra , with the Orchestra and Choir of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, with the “Musicians of Europe United”, a group made up of the first parts of the most important European orchestras, and recently with the Cherubini Orchestra.

Among the innumerable awards achieved by Riccardo Muti during his career, the following are worthy of note: Knight of the Grand Cross of the Italian Republic and the Great Gold Medal of the City of Milan; the Verdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany; the Legion of Honor in France (formerly a Knight, in 2010 the President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded him the title of Officer) and the title of Knight of the British Empire conferred on him by Queen Elizabeth II. The Mozarteum of Salzburg awarded him the Silver Medal for his commitment on the Mozart side; the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde of Vienna, the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle and the Wiener Staatsoper elected him Honorary Member, while the state of Israel honored him with the “Wolf” prize for the arts. In 2018, on the occasion of the Friendship Concert, President Petro Poroshenko awarded him the Order of Merit of Ukraine. The same year he received the Praemium Imperiale for Music, a very prestigious Japanese honor conferred on him in Tokyo on 23 October.

Over 20 honorary degrees that Riccardo Muti has received from the most important universities in the world.

He conducted the Wiener Philharmoniker in the concert that inaugurated the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth at the Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg. The constant and uninterrupted collaboration between Riccardo Muti and the Wiener Philharmonikers in 2020 has reached 50 years. In Salzburg, for the Pentecost Festival, starting from 2007, together with the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, he tackled a five-year project aimed at rediscovering and enhancing the musical, operatic and sacred heritage of the Neapolitan eighteenth century.

From September 2010 to June 2023 he was Music Director of the prestigious Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at the end of this mandate the Orchestra appointed him Music Director Emeritus for Life.

In 2010 he was named "Musician of the Year" in America by the important magazine "Musical America". In February 2011, following the live performance and recording of Verdi's Messa da Requiem with the CSO, Maestro Riccardo Muti won the 53rd edition of the Grammy Awards with two prizes: Best Classical Album and Best Choral Album. In March 2011, Riccardo Muti was proclaimed the winner of the prestigious Birgit Nilsson 2011 award which was awarded to him on 13 October in Stockholm at the Royal Opera in the presence of the Swedish Royal Family, their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. In New York in April 2011 he received the Opera News Award. In May 2011, Riccardo Muti was awarded the “Prince of Asturia for the Arts 2011” award, the highest Spanish artistic recognition, presented by His Royal Highness Prince Felipe of Asturia in Oviedo the following autumn. In July 2011 he was appointed honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic and in August 2011 Honorary Director for life of the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. In May 2012 he was awarded the Grand Cross of Saint Gregory the Great by His Holiness Benedict XVI. In 2016 he received the Gold and Silver Star of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government. In August 2021 he received the highest honor that the Austrian State gives to those who do not hold institutional positions, High Honor in Gold for Merit for the Republic. In October 2021 he was appointed Foreign Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts.

In July 2015 Maestro Muti's desire to dedicate himself even more to the training of young musicians came true: the first edition of the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy for young conductors, master collaborators and singers took place at the Alighieri Theater in Ravenna and saw the participation of young musical talents and an audience of enthusiasts from all over the world. The aim of the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy is to transmit Riccardo Muti's experience and teachings to young musicians and to make them understand in all its complexity the path that leads to the creation of an opera. The first edition, dedicated to Falstaff, was followed by the Academies on La Traviata in 2016 (also in Seoul, as well as in Ravenna), Aida in 2017, Macbeth in 2018, Le nozze di Figaro in 2019, Rigoletto in March 2019 for the first Italian Opera Academy in Tokyo, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci in 2020, Macbeth again in Tokyo in April 2021 and Nabucco in December 2021 in Milan, for the first time in collaboration with Fondazione Prada, Verdi's Messa da Requiem in Ravenna in December 2022 , A masked ball in Tokyo in March 2023 and Norma by Vincenzo Bellini again in Fondazione Prada in November 2023.


(Photo above. © Todd Rosenberg Photography, below © Marco Borrelli - by courtesy of
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