CSO Director Muti Hospitalized, Concert Still On

Riccardo Muti fainted during rehearsal Thursday morning

Thursday, Feb 3, 2011  |  Updated 3:45 PM CDT
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CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti

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Thursday evening's performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be performed despite the hospitalization of its musical director.

Riccardo Muti fainted during rehearsal Thursday morning with the CSO and was taken to a nearby, undisclosed hospital, a CSO spokesperson confirmed.

"He is currently under a physician’s care, and at this time, we do not have further information about his condition," said Raechel Alexander, the CSO’s vice president for communications.

Muti, 69, had fallen ill last fall in Chicago just two weeks into what was to have been a monthlong residency, his first as CSO music director.

Thursday's CSO program has been modified as a result of Muti’s hospitalization. The Cherubini orchestral overture will be rescheduled for a later date, the Schumann Piano Concerto will be replaced by a Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, with soloist Mitsuko Uchida conducting from the keyboard, and Leonard Slatkin, music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra who was on his way to Chicago as a panelist for a new CSO conducting competition, will lead the announced Shostakovich Fifth Symphony.

Uchida and Slatkin also will conduct the CSO matinee Friday. No word yet on the Saturday and Tuesday performances.

Last fall, after flying home to Italy and being diagnosed with the effects of severe stress and exhaustion, Muti took a month of "complete rest" and then resumed selective concert dates, including Rossini’s "Moses and Pharaoh" at the Rome Opera and winter orchestral concerts in his native Naples.

In a phone interview from his Chicago hotel with the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday afternoon, Muti sounded strong and himself and said that his health problems were "in the past."

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