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Riccardo Muti was born in 1941 in Naples. He studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella and philosophy at the University of Naples. In 1961 he moved to Milan to pursue composition with Bruno Bettinelli and conducting with Antonino Votto. Muti came to the music world’s attention when he won the Guido Cantelli Competition in 1967. His international career developed rapidly. From 1969 to 1980 he was Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale in Florence and from 1972 to 1982 Music Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra London; in 1980 he succeeded Eugene Ormandy at the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he led until 1992. In the 2010-11 season he began his position as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Muti has conducted the world’s most important orchestras—from Berlin to New York. He enjoys an especially close partnership with the Vienna Philharmonic, which has awarded him the Golden Ring, its highest distinction. Above all the name Riccardo Muti is associated with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where he served as Music Director from 1986 to March 2005. At La Scala he not only conducted major works by Verdi, Mozart, and Wagner but also championed rarely performed operas by Gluck, Spontini, Cherubini, and Salieri. Since 1971 Muti has appeared every summer at the Salzburg Festival; from 2007 to 2011 he also directed the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Muti has received the top awards of many European countries and the United States for his services to music, including Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award in spring 2011. He was named Musician of the Year in 2010 by Musical America.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1972 with the Swiss Festival Orchestra in works by Mozart, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky.