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Muti Returns to Palermo

Riccardo Muti will be back in Palermo for three concerts and will be granted freedom of the city


Fifty years have passed since Riccardo Muti last conducted Italy's Teatro Massimo Orchestra. It was at the beginning of his brilliant career when he stepped onto the podium of the theatre's orchestra for two concerts, the second one featuring Maurizio Pollini as soloist. The illustrious conductor will be back on Friday 4 December and Saturday 5 December 2020 at 8:30pm to present a masterpiece of symphonic and choral music: the Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi with the Orchestra and Choir of the Fondazione Teatro Massimo, the latter directed by Ciro Visco. The soloist singers will be soprano Joyce El-Khoury, mezzo soprano Martina Belli, tenor Saimir Pirgu and bass Riccardo Zanellato.

Riccardo Muti conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Verdi's Requiem in November 2017
Riccardo Muti conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Verdi's Requiem in November 2017

Riccardo Muti had already returned to the Teatro Massimo in 2003 with the Wiener Philharmoniker and in 2010 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Already in 2017 several section leaders from the Teatro Massimo Orchestra had been invited to play under his baton in Teheran and in Ravenna within Le Vie dell'Amicizia Festival, a series of concerts organised and conducted by Muti in a number of cities hit by major conflicts since 1997.

Another concert will precede the double appointment with Verdi's Requiem. Muti will conduct the Orchestra Giovanile Cherubini on Monday 30 November at 8:30pm. The members of the orchestra that he founded and presently conducts are young Italian musicians. The programme features Symphony No 3 in D (D 200) by Franz Schubert and Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95: From the New World by Antonín Dvořák. The evening in Palermo will mark the conclusion of the tour of Muti and the Orchestra Giovanile Cherubini, as the Orchestra will also be performing at the LAC in Lugano, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari.

During his stay in Palermo, seventy-nine-year-old Riccardo Muti will be granted honorary citizenship by the mayor Leoluca Orlando, for his lifelong dedication to spreading the values of peace and communion among peoples through the universal language of music.

As stated by Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo, 'Muti's dedication to spreading Italian culture in Italy and the world, together with the values of peace and communion among peoples through music, is worthy of admiration for his human and artistic experience. For this reason, we are proud to grant him honorary citizenship of the City of Palermo whose history is rooted in the encounters of peoples, cultures, literatures, different types of music and poetry which blend, influence each other, and become richer. We are even more honoured as his presence in Palermo is the opportunity to involve our beloved Teatro Massimo, its orchestra and its choir in a series of remarkable cultural events, which is another reason for us to be grateful and proud.'

'It is a special honour and a privilege for us all to welcome a famous conductor such as Riccardo Muti on the podium of our orchestra and choir', adds Superintendent Francesco Giambrone. 'Illustrious artists help theatres grow and Maestro Muti's presence at the Teatro Massimo will be a unique opportunity to improve and a joyful moment for the theatre and the city. It is also an acknowledgement of the considerable investment we have made over the years to make the theatre's artistic groups develop.'

Tickets will be made available from mid-November online at and at the Teatro Massimo box office, Monday through Saturday from 9am to 3pm, and on the day of the concert, beginning two hours before the start of the show.

Posted 25 October 2020 by Paolo Cairoli






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