Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony Mark 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's Death

By Philip Trapp on Mar 19, 2016 08:33 PM EDT

Italian conductor Riccardo Muti will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this April in commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. 

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will also be celebrating its own 125th anniversary. As noted in a press release, reported by Classical World, the conductor will direct the orchestra through acclaimed symphonies inspired by the writer's famous folios:

"Music Director Riccardo Muti returns to Chicago in April for three weeks of concerts and activities April 7-26 during the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's 125th anniversary season. Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) explore music by Berlioz, Tchaikovsky and Verdi inspired by the works of William Shakespeare in three programs featuring internationally acclaimed soloists as part of the CSO's celebration of Shakespeare in music during a year that marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death."

Musical works in all genres have been inspired by or paid tribute to William Shakespeare, from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to Elvis Costello's "Miss Macbeth." 

Muti has been lauded for his fluid musical integration into Chicago since his appointment as conductor of the CSO in 2010. In 2013, he composed a classical version of the Chicago Blackhawks' goal song, "Chelsea Dagger." As he told the Chicago Tribune, Muti understands the gravity of representing Chicago's music and arts prominence on a world stage:

"It's important to bring a new public to our concerts here and to improve the quality of life for people in Chicago through music, but it is absolutely vital we bring our music to the rest of the world, as well. If we don't, the Chicago Symphony will only be -- I hate to use the word provincial -- let's say the orchestra will be only local. We live in a great city, but Chicago's potential is much bigger than what it is achieving in the world."

If you're in Chicago this April, don't miss these special performances by Muti and the CSO.

What do you think of the celebrations surrounding the anniversary of Shakespeare's death? Let us know your favorite Shakespeare-inspired musical work in the comments field below, we'd love to hear from you.


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TagsRiccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare, William Shakespeare

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