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Riccardo Muti Celebrates with the Vienna Philharmonic

28 JUL 2011

published in: Opera, Concert, General

Riccardo Muti, Photo: Silvia Lelli
With a ceremony, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Salzburg Festival honored Riccardo Muti together on July 28, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Clemens Hellsberg, president of the Vienna Philharmonic, presented the maestro with a commemorative certificate of his honorary membership in the Vienna Philharmonic. The Salzburg Festival added a surprise present of its own.

“Riccardo Muti’s international career is unthinkable without Salzburg. On the other hand, for more than forty years, the Salzburg Festival without Riccardo Muti is equally unthinkable for the President, Artistic Director and audiences. I would like to call it a happy long-term love relationship between a charismatic artist and a Festival which has its own aura,” said Helga Rabl-Stadler at the ceremony. And Clemens Hellsberg added: “Forty years ago, at the Salzburg Festival 1971, Riccardo Muti first conducted the Vienna Philharmonic, and this first-time collaboration on Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale developed into another ‘era’ of the Philharmonic’s history.”

One decade later, Riccardo Muti enjoyed a huge success with Così fan tutte and thereby released that most beautiful of Mozart operas from its state as Karl Böhm’s “private possession”. Riccardo Muti appeared in 38 of 41 Festival summers with the Vienna Philharmonic, in 10 opera productions and the impressive number of 74 concerts with 39 different programs.

In 2011, Riccardo Muti is the busiest conductor at the Salzburg Festival. This summer, he conducts the Verdi opera Macbeth, which has its premiere on August 3 and is the first opera cooperation between Riccardo Muti and Peter Stein. On August 14 and 15, Muti conducts the Vienna Philharmonic with Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. These two concerts are traditionally dedicated to Herbert von Karajan. And furthermore, on August 26 and 27, Muti will conduct his Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the first time at the Salzburg Festival since he became its Music Director.