On Aug. 3, Italian President Sergio Mattarella attended a special concert conducted by Riccardo Muti in honor of the 70th season of the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana festival in the city of Rimini, in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. This performance took place at the Amintore Galli Theater, which was painstakingly restored and reopened on Oct. 28, 2018, more than 75 years after the World War II bombings that devastated a large part of the 1857 structure designed by the architect Luigi Poletti.

“It is a great thrill to be here tonight in this wonderfully restored and reopened theater to listen to a master like Riccardo Muti,” Mattarrella said.

To mark this special occasion, Muti led vocal soloists and the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra in selections from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, the featured work in this year’s fifth Italian Opera Academy, which recently concluded in Ravenna. Muti is the founder and director of both the Cherubini Orchestra and the Academy, a testament to his commitment to the training of young musicians and the preservation of the Italy’s artistic patrimony. These subjects are covered in depth in his latest memoir, L’infinito tra le note: Il mio viaggio nella musica (Infinity Between the Notes: My Journey Into Music), published this past May.

Along with the sold-out performance in the theater, thousands enjoyed a live relay of the performance projected onto a large screen in the Piazza Malatesta.

Muti, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Zell Music Director, returns to Chicago in September to begin his 10th season as music director on with a Community Concert at Lane Tech on Sept. 24, followed by the opening Sept. 26 of the subscription season in Orchestra Hall.


TOP: Riccardo Muti and President Mattarella greet each other after the performance a the Amintore Galli Theater, joined by Muti’s wife, Cristina Mazzavillani (left), and First Lady of Italy Laura Mattarella, the president’s eldest daughter.  MIDDLE: Muti conducting selections from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on the stage of the historic Galli Theater.  BOTTOM: With seats sold out inside, thousands enjoy the performance from Piazza Malatesta in Rimini via a large screen on the exterior of the restored Galli Theater. | Photos by ©Zani-Casadio