Before their tour concert at the Teatro di San Carlo, Riccardo Muti and three Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians headed to the isle of Nisida, just north of Naples, for a special performance.

Joined by flute-piccolo Jennifer Gunn, bass trombone Charles Vernon and Gene Pokorny, principal tuba, Maestro Muti presented an informal recital for young men and women at a juvenile justice center on Nisida. During his CSO tenure, Muti has made it his mission to bring music to juvenile justice facilities. The recital marked the first time that Muti’s ongoing initiative has been extended beyond Chicago. The program was presented by the Negaunee Music Institute, assisted by the administrative staff of the Teatro di San Carlo.

Featured in the performance were Carlo Santino’s Oculus non vidit, arranged for flute, trombone and tuba; J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, arranged for piccolo and tuba; the jazz standard “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (popularized by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Frank Sinatra), arranged for trombone and tuba; Sonata for Piccolo by 19th-century composer Giuseppe Rabboni; film music selections, arranged for tuba, including “Ashokan Farewell ” from Ken Burns “Civil War” series, and excerpts from John Williams’ scores for “Star Wars,” “Close Encounters of Third Kind” and “Jaws,” and the traditional Neapolitan song “O Sole Mio,” arranged for flute, trombone and tuba.

Upon their arrival, the musicians received a hearty greeting from two four-legged canine residents named Nisida and Nuvola. The juvenile facility also offers a culinary training program, and after the recital, Maestro Muti, Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, CSOA leadership and the musicians joined some of the young men and women for pizza, prepared by the trainees.

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TOP: Riccardo Muti addresses the audience during a special recital on Nisida. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2020