Throughout his career, Riccardo Muti, one of the world’s most celebrated conductors and music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010, has received innumerable awards and honors. Here is a look back at those he received in 2013 alone:
§ In October, Promoroma, the special agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Rome, bestowed upon Muti honor of Ambassador of the Culture of Rome in the U.S. During a presentation recently at Symphony Center, Muti was given the award by Marco Annarumi, president of Promoroma, who noted that in addition to his CSO leadership role, the maestro is an honorary director for life of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in Italy.
§ In July, he received a Special Prize of the Pico della Mirandola Award honoring his performance with the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra for the victims of the 2012 Emilia-Romagna earthquakes, which devastated the northern Italian region, as well as his ongoing participation in “Le vie dell’Amicizia” (Paths of Friendship) initiative of Italy’s Ravenna Festival.
§ In July, he was honored with Premio Giustiniano for Arts and Culture from the City of Ravenna.
§ In mid-June, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul University. The degree was bestowed by Donald Casey, dean of the DePaul University School of Music, during the 2013 graduation ceremony, at which Muti delivered the commencement address. Casey praised Muti for his understanding of the power of music to create harmony and peace in the world. Muti received a standing ovation for his address, which he delivered without a script. Read the full text of the address here.
§ In the spring, Muti was named Best Foreign Conductor in 2012 by the Association of Argentinian Music Critics. The performances that Muti conducted of Saverio Mercadante’s “I Due Figaro” at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires won the award for the Best Opera Production in 2012 from the same association. After being neglected for more than 175 years, “I Due Figaro” was resurrected and recorded by Muti.
§ Also in the spring, Muti was the guest of honor at a gala event hosted by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce, where a Chicago City Council declaration of congratulations was read by Alderman Robert Fioretti of the 2nd Ward. Adriano Monti, consul general of Italy, gave a moving tribute, and with IACC President Mauro Galli, presented Muti with a Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing his distinguished work and unparalleled contributions to music, culture, art and beauty.
§ In March, the University of Naples in Italy presented Muti with an honorary doctorate in literature and comparative cultural studies. As a part of his keynote address, Muti led the Orchestra of San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in the first movement of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B Minor (Unfinished). Muti was born in Naples, and studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella under Vincenzo Vitale, graduating with distinction. He subsequently received a diploma in composition and conducting from the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, where he studied with Bruno Bettinelli and Antonino Votto.