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RICCARDO MUTI

Riccardo Muti received his first music lessons, in violin and piano, from his father who was a doctor and a proficient tenor. He studied philosophy at Naples University and, at the Naples Conservatory, composition with Jacopo Napoli and Nino Rota and piano with Vincenzo Vitale. He then undertook further study at the Milan Conservatory: composition with Bruno Bettinelli and conducting with Antonino Votto (a former assistant of Toscanini and a major presence at La Scala, Milan). Having participated in Franco Ferrara’s conducting seminars in Venice in 1965, Muti was the first Italian to win the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition, held in Milan, in 1967. This success resulted in numerous invitations to appear as a guest conductor, and in 1968 he accompanied the Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, in addition making his conducting début with Italian Radio. The following year he was appointed as chief conductor of the Maggio Musicale, Florence, a post which he held until 1980. He made his début at La Scala, Milan, conducting an orchestral concert, in 1970, and at the Salzburg Festival in 1971, conducting a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.

In Muti’s career, 1972 proved to be a seminal year: in addition to making his débuts with the Berlin Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestras he conducted for the first time the New Philharmonia Orchestra, subsequently being invited to become this orchestra’s chief conductor in succession to Otto Klemperer. He took up this position in 1973, being named as the orchestra’s music director in 1979 and its conductor laureate in 1982. Muti first conducted at the Vienna State Opera in 1973 and during the following year made his début with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; here he led a production of Verdi’s Aida, of which a studio recording was simultaneously made by EMI. Between 1980 and 1992 he was chief conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra in succession to Eugene Ormandy, having been the orchestra’s principal guest conductor from 1975. With the Philadelphia he recorded an extensive repertoire for EMI which included all of the symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms and Scriabin, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies Nos 4, 5, and 6, as well as numerous miscellaneous works.

Muti took up the position of chief conductor of La Scala, Milan—arguably the most important musical position in Italy—in 1986 and conducted a notably catholic repertoire with this distinguished company prior to his departure in 2005. In addition to the staple operas of the repertoire by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner, he led memorable revivals of lesser-known works by, amongst others, Cherubini, Gluck, Rossini and Spontini. Many of these productions were televised by RAI, the principal Italian broadcasting organisation, and have subsequently appeared on DVD. Muti also developed the concert-giving and recording activity of La Scala’s orchestra, the La Scala Filarmonica (La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra), establishing it as the finest orchestra in Italy with an original repertoire and a finely-honed playing style. Alongside his work in Milan Muti also developed an especially close relationship with the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting the concerts to mark (in 1992) the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of this orchestra’s founding, (in 1996) the Austrian millennium, and (in 1998) the five hundredth anniversary of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle. He has also conducted the orchestra’s New Year’s Day concerts four times to date. With the Vienna Philharmonic he has recorded the three operas by Mozart to libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, and the complete symphonies of Schubert and Schumann.

Other orchestras with which Muti appears regularly include the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National of Radio France. In addition to his operatic work in Milan and Vienna he has conducted opera in Philadelphia, New York, Munich, London and at the Ravenna Festival, where his direction of Bellini’s Norma has been especially successful. Muti has received numerous honours, including the Grand Cross of the Italian Republic and the Grand Silver Cross of the Austrian Republic, and was made a member of the Légion d’honneur by the French Republic. In 1993 he conducted the concert to mark the reopening of the La Fenice opera house in Venice.

In Muti the great Italian tradition exemplified by Toscanini is continued. He has an extraordinary charisma as a conductor, presenting an immaculate figure on the podium, where his svelte appearance is matched by a musical intelligence of the highest calibre. His baton technique is extremely clear, and is complemented by a preference for intensely dramatic interpretations, which pays particular dividends in the opera house. His musical judgement is of the finest and he secures playing of great technical accuracy as well as of rich sonority. Muti has shown a probing sense of inquiry in terms of the repertoire that he conducts, which includes a considerable amount of twentieth-century music, and has consistently refused to compromise his artistic decisions and ideals for commercial or political reasons. His discography is large, and includes many unofficial as well as legitimate commercial recordings. It is equally strong in both the symphonic and operatic fields.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
DONIZETTI, G.: Don Pasquale (La Scala, 1994) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107207
Opera DVD
DONIZETTI, G.: Don Pasquale (La Scala, 1994) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPDPSC
Opera DVD
DONIZETTI, G.: Don Pasquale (Ravenna Festival 2006) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101303
Opera DVD
DVD SAMPLER 2006 - OPERA (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPSMPL3
Samplers
EUROPA-KONZERT 2009 - SCHUBERT, F.: Symphony No. 9, "Great" (Berlin Philharmonic, Muti) (NTSC) EuroArts
2057728
Classical Concert
HAYDN, J.: Schopfung (Die) (The Creation) (Vienna Philharmonic, Muti) (Salzburg Festival, 1990) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101479
Classical Concert
ITALIAN OPERAS (4 DVD Box set) (NTSC) EuroArts
2057928
Opera DVD
LA SCALA COLLECTION BOX SET (THE) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3000BD
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Cosi fan tutte (Salzburg Festival, 1983) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPCFTSF
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Cosi fan tutte (Salzburg Festival, 1983) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107219
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Cosi fan tutte (Wiener Staatsoper, 1996) (NTSC) EuroArts
2072368
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Don Giovanni (Vienna State Opera, 1999) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107101
Opera DVD
MOZART: Cosi fan tutte (La Scala, 1989) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3006D
Opera DVD
MOZART: Don Giovanni (La Scala, 1987) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3001D
Opera DVD
OPERA EXCLUSIVE - MOZART AT THE SALZBURG FESTIVAL (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-GOLDBOX5
Opera DVD
OPERA EXCLUSIVE - Puccini's Femmes Fatales (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-GOLDBOX7
Opera DVD
OPERA EXCLUSIVE - TEATRO ALLA SCALA (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-GOLDBOX3
Opera DVD
PERGOLESI: Frate 'nnamorato (Lo) (La Scala, 1989) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3005D
Opera DVD
POULENC, F.: Dialogues des Carmelites (La Scala, 2004) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPDDC
Opera DVD
POULENC, F.: Dialogues des Carmelites (La Scala, 2004) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107315
Opera DVD
PUCCINI, G.: Manon Lescaut (La Scala, 1998) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPMLES
Opera DVD
REOPENING GALA FROM TEATRO LA FENICE (Muti) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107273
Classical Concert
REOPENING GALA FROM TEATRO LA FENICE (PAL) TDKDVD
DV-CORLF
Classical Concert, Classical Documentary, Classical Concert
RICCARDO MUTI AT LA SCALA (6 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107543
Opera DVD
ROSSINI, G.: Barbieri de Siviglia (Il) / Il Turco in Italia / Moise et Pharaon (4 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-BOXROSSINI
Opera DVD
ROSSINI, G.: Moise et Pharaon (La Scala, 2003) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107149
Opera DVD
ROSSINI, G.: Moise et Pharaon (La Scala, 2003) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPMEP
Opera DVD
ROSSINI: Donna del Lago (La) (La Scala, 1992) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3009D
Opera DVD
ROSSINI: Guglielmo Tell (La Scala, 1988) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3002D
Opera DVD
SCHUMANN, R.: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Vienna Philharmonic, Muti) Newton Classics
NC8802081
Orchestral
TDK SAMPLER 2007 - The Best of Classical Music on TDK - Opera, Concert, Ballet (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPBEST4
Classical Concert
TDK SAMPLER 2008 - The Best of Classical Music on TDK - Opera, Concert, Ballet (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPBEST5
Classical Concert
VERDI, G.: Opera Selection, "Shakespeare" - Otello / Macbeth / Falstaff (3 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107534
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Otello (La Scala, 2001) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107090
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Otello (Salzburg Festival, 2008) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
725104
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Otello (Salzburg Festival, 2008) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
701504
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Otello (Salzburg Festival, 2008) (NTSC) C Major
725008
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Otello (Salzburg Festival, 2008) (NTSC) C Major
701408
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Tutto Verdi - The Complete Operas (27 Disc Box Set) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
721904
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Tutto Verdi - The Complete Operas (30 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) C Major
721808
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Tutto Verdi - The Operas, Vol. 3 (1855-1893) (11 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) C Major
726208
Opera DVD
VERDI, G.: Tutto Verdi - The Operas, Vol. 3 (1855-1893) (8 Blu-ray Disc Set) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
726304
Opera DVD
VERDI: Attila (La Scala, 1991) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3010D
Opera DVD
VERDI: Falstaff EuroArts
2051279
Opera DVD
VERDI: Falstaff (Teatro Verdi di Busseto, 2001) (PAL) TDKDVD
DV-OPFAL
Opera DVD
VERDI: Otello TDKDVD
DV-OPOTEL
Opera DVD
VERDI: Otello TDKDVD
DVUS-OPOTEL
Opera DVD
VERDI: Vespri Siciliani (I) (La Scala, 1989) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OALS3008D
Opera DVD
VIENNA STATE OPERA LIVE - MOZART, W.A.: Don Giovanni / VERDI, G.: Simon Boccanegra / MASSENET, J.: Werther (3-DVD Box Set) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107531
Opera DVD





 
 
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