The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has bestowed upon Riccardo Muti the honorary title of Music Director Emeritus for Life, starting from the upcoming 2023-4 season. This new artistic position was announced during a ceremony at Orchestra Hall on June 23, following the first of three concerts featuring Beethoven's "Missa solemnis," which will serve as Muti's final subscription program as Music Director.
Having assumed the role in 2010-11, Muti will step down from his position this summer after serving as the Music Director for 13 seasons. In a statement, Muti expressed his gratitude, stating that he feels honored to remain connected to the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as their Music Director Emeritus for Life. He emphasized the joy and deep bonds of friendship that have been formed throughout his years in Chicago and expressed his anticipation for returning regularly to share exceptional music with audiences in the city and during tours.
Jeff Alexander, the President of the CSOA, also commented on the announcement, acknowledging the transformative performances that Muti has led with the Orchestra in Chicago, across the United States, and around the world. Alexander expressed delight at Muti's acceptance of the invitation to continue leading CSO concerts, ensuring artistic continuity and excellence for the musicians in this new chapter for the Orchestra.
Muti will assume his new role in September and will conduct two weeks of concerts in Chicago to inaugurate the CSO's 133rd season. Following this, he will lead two performances at Carnegie Hall in New York, which launches its season on October 4-5. Furthermore, Muti will guide the CSO on a three-week European tour, the Orchestra's first such event since 2020. Performances have already been scheduled in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, and Italy.