Today, July 28th, 2016, is the 75th birthday of Maestro Riccardo Muti, my favorite conductor and in my opinion, the greatest conductor in the world today (undoubtedly of Verdi’s music). There have been many tributes posted online already, ranging from a birthday video from the Chicago Symphony to photo collages from the Bavarian Radio Symphony and La Scala. In fact, last month, La Scala curated and opened a new exhibit dedicated to Maestro Muti for his 75th birthday this year, which I would definitely love to visit if I ever got the chance. On the car ride this morning to the train station, WFMT, Chicago’s classical music radio station, decided to honor Maestro Muti by playing music conducted by him for the whole morning. My family loved listening to his recording of the overture of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino with La Scala at 7:00 in the morning – a great way to wake up!
Maestro Muti is spending his birthday in Ravenna, where he is currently teaching Verdi’s La Traviata at Teatro Alighieri for his third Italian Opera Academy. Afterwards, he’ll be headed to Salzburg for the Festival! I’ve spent the past couple of weeks planning out all the details of the trip – what sights to see, where to eat – but I’m definitely counting down the days until I finally get to leave Chicago and step foot in Europe for the first time. I’ll be hitting up all the big music spots – the Musikverein, the Vienna State Opera, the Felsenreitschule, Mozart’s house, etc. – so there will be a lot of more blog posts in the upcoming weeks…stay tuned! For now though, I’ll be listening to Maestro Muti’s recordings in honor of his birthday (then again, I’m pretty much listening to his recordings every day…). I recently got a rare recording of Bellini’s Norma conducted by Maestro Muti at the Vienna State Opera, with Caballé singing the leading role that has definitely been overlooked in terms of Norma recordings – you can’t get a better cast then Caballe, Cossotto, and Cossutta. Anyways…happy 75th birthday, Maestro Muti and can’t wait to see you conduct at the Salzburg Festival!
(The Falstaff cast sings below!!)