Riccardo Muti, born in Naples, studied piano at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatoire in Naples, and composition and conducting at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire in Milan.
After winning the Guido Cantelli competition for conductors in Milan in 1967, he was appointed principal conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival in Florence, a position he maintained until 1980. In 1971, Herbert von Karajan invited Riccardo Muti to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, beginning a four-decade-long collaboration.
Riccardo Muti was principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1972-1982) and Musical Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1980-1992). He has conducted the most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the French National Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He forged particularly strong artistic ties with the latter: he conducted the famous New Year's Concert in Vienna on four occasions, along with the inaugural concert for celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth in Salzburg.
Beginning in 1986 and for almost 20 years, Riccardo Muti was the musical director of the La Scala opera house. He left his mark on many legendary productions, including the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy, the Wagner tetralogy and virtually the entire repertoire of Verdi operas, of which he is one of the greatest connoisseurs today.
Riccardo Muti has received awards and distinctions around the world for his lifetime achievement and his recordings. He is an artist with a cause. Among his many projects, he and his musicians have entered war zones to promote dialogue between different cultures through music: the Le vie dell'Amicizia (The Paths of Friendship) tour took them, for example, to Sarajevo, Beirut, Jerusalem, Yerevan and Istanbul.
Since 2010, he has been Musical Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Official website: http://riccardomuti.com/
Six landmark dates in the life of Riccardo Muti:
• 1968: appointed principal conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival
• 1972: appointed principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
• 1980: appointed musical director of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
• 1986: appointed musical director of the La Scala opera house
• 2004: founded the Giovanile Luigi Cherubini Orchestra
• 2006: conducted the inaugural concert of Mozart Year 2006 in Salzburg
Six key recordings by Riccardo Muti:
• Saverio Mercadante: I due Figaro
Vienna Philharmonia Choir
Giovanile Luigi Cherubini Orchestra
• Verdi: Requiem
Zeffiri, Borodina, Frittoli
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Chorus
• Brahms: Complete Symphonies
Philips Classics 2004
• Mozart: The Da Ponte Operas, boxed set
Soloists, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus
EMI Classics 2002
• Paisiello: Nina o sia la pazza per amore
Anna Caterina Antonacci, Juan Diego Florez
Soloists, Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
• Verdi: Aida, recorded in Vienna in 1973
Placido Domingo, Gwyneth Jones
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Bella Voce 1997