Riccardo Muti has agreed to chair an Italian national committee dedicated to celebrating the legacy of composer Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816).

Next year marks the bicentennial of the Italian composer’s death, and the Foundation Taranto has recruited the CSO’s music director to lead the committee organizing the celebrations, which will include concerts, a museum exhibit, conference and multimedia tour. Paisiello, whom the Grove Dictionary of Music describes as “one of the most successful and influential opera composers of his time,” wrote more than 90 operas, along with works for piano, strings and orchestra. He also composed dozens of religious choral works.

“Paisiello is our heritage, together of course with Naples, where the composer died,” said Enzo Gigante, president of the Foundation Taranto, named for the Italian coastal city near Roccaforzata, the town where Paisiello was born. “I’d love to play Paisiello in Taranto,” said Muti, who has long championed the composer’s works. He has recorded the opera Nina, o sia La pazza per amore and conducted Il matrimonio inaspettato at the Salzburg Festival.

“The project of the Year Paisiellano has started auspiciously,” said Gigante in a report published last week in the Taranto Buonasera.