In an interview with Andrew Patner on WFMT-FM’s “Critical Thinking,” Riccardo Muti discusses his season-closing programs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; his mentor, Antonino Votto, and that maestro’s CSO guest conducting engagement in 1960, and the works of Verdi and Strauss that he still hopes to add to his repertoire. The CSO music director also recalls how Carlos Kleiber, his great friend and colleague, once tried to persuade him to take on an assignment of conducting Der Rosenkavalier for the first time and supplied Muti with a “Letterman”-style Top 10 list, which led off with “because Der Rosenkavalier is an Italian opera.” To hear the complete interview, go to Andrew Patner’s page at

PHOTO: Todd Rosenberg Photography