Part of an ongoing series of CSO-related features, an all-new interview with Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti will be featured on the Feb. 17 broadcast of “The Arts Section” on WDCB-FM. Veteran journalist and Newcity Chicago music critic Dennis Polkow conducts the interview.

Muti, currently leading the CSO on their Asia Tour 2019, with stops in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, and in Tokyo and Osaka, returns Feb. 21-23 to Symphony Center for a special program that will continue the orchestra’s 2018-19 theme of peace. Featured will be American composer William Schuman’s Symphony No. 9 (Le fosse Ardeatine) and Mozart’s Requiem with Italian soprano Benedetta Torre, Italian contralto Sara Mingardo, Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu, Finnish bass Mika Kares and the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-20 season, announced Jan. 29, will be Muti’s 10th as music director, a milestone reflected upon in the WDCB-FM broadcast, along with repertoire highlights of the new season (see separate 2019-20 season announcement here).

The maestro also talks with Polkow about the tragic World War II-era Italian massacre that inspired Schuman’s Ninth Symphony; he compares the more “earthy” approach to death portrayed in the Verdi Requiem (performed by Muti and the CSO in November and in Tokyo on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2) to the more “heavenly” perspective of the Mozart Requiem, the last and among the most sublime music that the composer wrote.

An abridged version of the broadcast will air at 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 on 90.9 FM Glen Ellyn/90.7 FM West Loop or streaming at The complete broadcast is available on SoundCloud; see the link below.

The broadcast was engineered by Eric Arunas and produced by former WFMT-FM general manager Steve Robinson for New Media Productions; it was Robinson, as Muti notes, who first brought Schuman’s Le fosse Ardeatine to his attention.

TOP: Dennis Polkow and Riccardo Muti, backstage at Symphony Center. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2018