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CLASSICAL  May 2008

CLASSICAL May 2008

Subject:

NY - "We Didn't Really Want Muti, Let Chicago Have Him!"

From:

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 19 May 2008 19:52:29 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (58 lines)

http://www.newcitychicago.com/chicago/7746.html

   *Orchestral Maneuvers *
   How the CSO landed Riccardo Muti, the music director New York wanted
   
   * Dennis Polkow* 
   
   It is 7am Chicago time Monday, May 5, and an extraordinary
   event is going on near Salzburg, Austria (local time 2pm)
   related to the future of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra:
   Italian conductor Riccardo Muti is signing a contract to
   become its tenth music director. Although it had long been
   speculated that Muti was a strong candidate for the post,
   CSO president and CEO Deborah R. Card was playing her cards
   with deafening silence given the enormous stakes involved.
   "I knew that until the ink was dry," says Card, "there was
   no deal." Card is hesitant to admit, even now, the precise
   moment that a deal had actually been struck.
   
   Given that Muti had reportedly turned down the music
   directorship of the New York Philharmonic at least twice
   in recent years and had been dodgy about agreeing to the
   specific terms of even the role of principal guest-conductor
   there, Card had good reason to be concerned. New York
   Philharmonic executive director and former Ravinia Festival
   CEO Zarin Mehta publicly expressed his "disappointment" at
   the news of Muti's acceptance of the Chicago Symphony music
   directorship, given that Muti's Chicago appointment implicitly
   nullifies his guest conductorship there, which had been a
   key component in the Philharmonic decision to engage the
   relatively unknown Alan Gilbert as its next music director.
   New York is understandably miffed, and you have to wonder
   if some kind of critical backlash might be in store when
   Muti begins making annual Carnegie Hall trips to New York
   with the CSO after his music directorship takes effect in
   2010.
   
   Perhaps this is why the first of two carefully chosen
   interviews that Muti gave the day of the announcement itself
   was to the New York Times---the Chicago Symphony's longtime
   New York-based publicist apparently attempting some sort
   of damage control within a spurned city and Muti insisting
   that he did not so much prefer one orchestra over another
   as that the timing of the Chicago deal was more opportune
   than any New York offer had been.  New York's classical-music
   critics quickly began weighing in with bitter editorials
   and commentaries, some even explicitly stating that New
   York didn't really want---nor need---Muti in any case.  ...

Janos Gereben
www.sfcv.org
[log in to unmask]

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