Florence is the home of the world’s greatest masterworks — the Duomo, Michelangelo’s David, the Uffizi, and for one night only, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Led by Riccardo Muti, the CSO performed Jan. 20 at the Teatro Maggio Musicale de Fiorentino as part of the orchestra’s Europe Tour 2020. This building, which opened in 2011, succeeded the historic Teatro Comunale, where a 27-year-old Muti memorably launched his international career in 1968. From 1969 t0 1981, he served as principal conductor and music director of the Maggio Musicale de Fiorentino. Not surprisingly, the CSO’s concert was tutto esaurito — sold out. The appearance also marked the first time since 1974 that the CSO had performed in Florence.

On the following day, CSO musicians took in the many sights of Florence, including the Ponte Vecchio and the Piazza del Duomo. Others, such as Principal Trombone Jay Friedman, the dean of the CSO, with a tenure that began in 1962, conducted master classes.

From Florence, the CSO and Maestro Muti travel to La Scala in Milan, then head to Lugano, Switzerland, for the final tour concert on Jan. 23.

For more coverage, go to the tour page on cso.org, Sounds and Stories’ CSO on Tour category, the CSO’s Facebook page and other social media outlets, including Twitter and Instagram.

TOP: Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Hindemith’s Mathis der Mahler Symphony at the Teatro Maggio Musicale de Fiorentino. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2020

 

 

Concert and a free day in Florence

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Muti and the CSO perform during the final movement of the Mathis der Mahler Symphony.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Bass clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom lends a helping hand as he and Principal Trumpet Esteban Batallán board the train for the CSO’s trip to Florence.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Concertmaster Robert Chen reflects on the long day ahead as he stretches out on the train.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
CSO cello Richard Hirschl and wife Laura head to the buses for the 20-minute ride to the orchestra’s hotel in Florence.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
After arriving in Florence, Principal Clarinet Stephen Williamson flashes a James Dean-like smile as he sets out in search of something to eat.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Taking advantage of some free time, cello David Sanders goes sightseeing in Florence.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Principal Timpani David Herbert shapes a set of his mallets before the concert at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
An avid shutterbug, Assistant Concertmaster David Taylor grabs some photos before the concert starts.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Bells up! CSO horn David Griffin attaches an all-important part to his instrument.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
A poster promoting the CSO’s program declares that the concert is “Tutto Esaurito” — sold out.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Patrons head into the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which opened in 2011.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
Riccardo Muti leads the CSO in Hindemith’s Mathis der Mahler Symphony.

Photos by Todd Rosenberg.
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