Before the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus began its program of Verdi’s Requiem last night, Music Director Riccardo Muti turned to the audience and asked for a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Nov. 7. “The Brahms Requiem was conceived as a consolation for the living,” he said. “The Verdi Requiem was conceived to ask for peace for the dead.”

Muti went on to say “as a citizen of the world, and as a father and a grandfather, I am very worried about the fact that the lack of cultural and spiritual values around the world is one of the causes of these tragedies.”

TOP: Riccardo Muti asks for a moment of silence ahead of the Verdi Requiem on Nov. 8. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2018