Riccardo Muti begins 3 weeks with Chicago Symphony

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By CARYN ROUSSEAU, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Riccardo Muti will launch the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's planned celebration of the bicentennial of composer Giuseppe Verdi's birth by leading a special October performance of his "Requiem" that will be streamed live online, the Italian conductor announced Wednesday.

The orchestra plans to mark the Verdi anniversary with several performances of his work during its 2013-2014 season. The "Requiem" performance led by Muti will be Oct. 10.

"I will continue to work on how to perform Verdi," Muti, who is in his third year as the orchestra's music director, told at a news conference at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. "That doesn't mean that I have the truth in my pocket but certainly I know something about this composer."

Muti is in Chicago this month and will be part of three weeks of performances that include works from Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi. The orchestra said Muti also will travel with the orchestra in January 2014 to the Canary Island, Germany and Luxembourg, marking his fifth international tour with the group.

He also plans to continue his community outreach this year, including conducting a free community concert at Morton East High School in the Chicago suburb of Cicero on Sept. 18.

Muti, 71, who also is honorary director of the Rome Opera, missed concerts in Chicago earlier this year when he became ill with flu-like symptoms.

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Online: http://www.cso.org

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