Riccardo Muti

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Riccardo Muti (born July 28, 1941, in Naples) is an Italian conductor best known for being the music director of Milan's La Scala opera house, a position he held from 1986 to 2005.

Muti was born in Naples. In 1967, he won the Cantelli Prize for young conductors. From 1968 to 1980 he was Principal Director and Musical Director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Since 1972, Muti has regularly conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and was appointed the orchestra's principal conductor after Otto Klemperer left the post.

From 1980 to 1992 Muti was musical director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he led on several international tours. In 1979, he was nominated its Principal Director, and in 1982 conductor laureate.

In 1987 Muti was appointed principal conductor of the Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, with which in 1988 he received the Viotti d'Oro and with which he went on tour in Italy and in Europe.

He is a regular guest of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. In 1996 Muti conducted the latter at the closing of the Viennese Festival Week, in a tour in the Far East (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong) and in Germany as well as at the Vienna New Year's Concert in 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004.

Since 1971 he has been a regular participant of the Salzburg Festival, conducting operas and concerts, where he is particularly known for his Mozart opera performances.

Apart from La Scala, Muti has conducted operatic productions in Philadelphia, Munich, Vienna and London, and at the Ravenna Festival.

At La Scala, Muti was noted for exploring lesser-known works of the neo-classical repertoire such as Lodoiska by Luigi Cherubini and La Vestale by Gaspare Spontini.

On March 16, 2005, the orchestra and staff of La Scala voted overwhelmingly against Muti in a motion of no-confidence. This arose from a dispute with La Scala's general manager Carlo Fontana which resulted in Mr. Fontana's dismissal the preceding month. Muti was forced to cancel a concert prior to the vote, and some other productions were disrupted at the theater because of continuing rifts with Fontana's supporters. On April 2 he resigned from La Scala, citing "hostility" from staff members.

External link

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