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Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Morton East High School in Cicero on September 18, 2013

Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Morton East High School in Cicero on September 18, 2013 (Todd Rosenberg photo)

On September 18, 2013, Riccardo Muti led the Orchestra in a free community concert at Morton East High School in Cicero. Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association president Deborah F. Rutter welcomed the capacity crowd (with Spanish translation provided by CSO horn Oto Carrillo). Following the performance, Muti thanked the 2,400 people in attendance, adding that music is “among the few things that can bring people together.”

With the Orchestra, Muti conducted Brahms’s Second
Symphony; selections from Verdi’s La forza del destino with soprano Barbara Frittoli, bass Luca Dall’Amico, and men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus; and selections from Verdi’s Nabucco: the overture and “Va, pensiero” featuring community choruses City Voices, Kol Zimrah, North Shore Choral society, and the Wicker Park Choral Singers, along with men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Chorus mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Gray at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville on September 27, 2010

Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Chorus mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Gray at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville on September 27, 2010 (Todd Rosenberg photo)

In addition to free performances at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Muti also led a community concert on September 22, 2011, at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, conducting the Orchestra in Verdi’s Overture to Giovanna d’Arco, Ibert’s Flute Concerto with principal flute Mathieu Dufour, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. With musicians from the Orchestra, Chorus, and guest artists, Muti also has brought music to the residents of the Illinois Youth Centers in Warrenville and Chicago and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center.

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After the Europe Tour 2020, Riccardo Muti joined the Orchestra again for a three-week CSO residency in February that included the Florida Tour 2020 and two programs at Symphony Center. In celebration of the Music Director’s time with the Orchestra during the past two months, please enjoy this video featuring Maestro Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in an excerpt from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, featuring mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Santuzza. 🎥@toddrphoto
Opening with the most famous four notes in all of classical music, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is featured on this CSO program led by Riccardo Muti, along with the composer’s Second Symphony and the world premiere of Ophelia’s Tears, Concertante Elegy, a new work by Nicolas Bacri featuring the CSO’s own bass clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom as soloist. #Beethoven250 📸@toddrphoto
“In four years, I had been in five orchestras,” said CSO Bass Clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom about the beginning of his orchestral career. As a clarinetist, he never set out to play the bass clarinet, but there just happened to be orchestral positions for the instrument when he began seeking a job. “That is how fast the auditions were happening. But by then, I had really started to realize that the bass gave me a voice I’d never had.” J. Lawrie Bloom takes center stage this week in Orchestra Hall for the world premiere of Nicolas Bacri’s Ophelia’s Tears, Concertante Elegy for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, led by Riccardo Muti. #MusicianMonday 📸@toddrphoto

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