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December 11, 2009

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Muti waves the baton for SSO concert

THE Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will collaborate with Italian conductor Riccardo Muti at the New Year Concert at Shanghai Grand Theater on December 31.

"Les Vepres Siciliennes" and "La forza del destino: Overture" from Verdi, and other works will be performed at the New Year Concert.

The Shanghai Symphony celebrated its 130th year anniversary in September. Spanning three centuries, the Shanghai Symphony has now embraced a new era.

"It has held over 10,000 concerts - giving premiere performances of several thousand musical works and has collaborated with many guest artists (conductors, soloists and vocalists) of world renown. Muti will be one of the most famous artists invited by the Shanghai Symphony in the 2009/10 season among 37 international guest artists of world renown," says Yu Long, the orchestra's music director.

It will be Muti's debut performance in China and he is looking forward to the upcoming tour.

"It will be my first time to collaborate with Chinese ensemble. I believe this will be an amazing experience for Chinese audiences with old culture heritages," Muti says. "I hope to bring the most sincere greetings and beautiful New Year wishes to Chinese people through the concert."

Born in Naples where he studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella under Vincenzo Vitale, graduating with distinction, Muti first came to the attention of critics and public in 1967, when he was unanimously awarded first place by the prestigious jury of the "Guido Cantelli" competition for conductors in Milan.

Over the course of his extraordinary career, Muti has conducted most of the important orchestras in the world: from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the New York Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de France, as well as, naturally, the Vienna Philharmonic, an orchestra to which he is closely linked, and with whom he has appeared at the Salzburg Festival since 1971.

With the Vienna Philharmonic, Muti celebrated the 250th birthday of Mozart on January 27, 2006, with a worldwide telecast of a concert from Salzburg.

The New York Times said of him: "Whether you buy into the Muti public persona or not, no reasonable person would deny his commanding professionalism as a conductor. This was, above all, honest music-making: every detail and every tempo shift considered and resolved, every straightforward passion enunciated.

"Mr Muti is not a philosopher nor is he an allusive thinker, but great sophistication gives his performances a kind of animal grace. He is a daylight musician. When Mr Muti conducts, the sun is always out."

In January 2006, he was appointed artistic director of Salzburg's Pentecost Festival.

During the 1970s, he was chief conductor of the London Philharmonia (1972-82) succeeding Otto Klemperer.

From 1980 to 1992, he inherited the position of music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra from Eugene Ormandy.

From 1986 to 2005, he was music director of the Teatro alla Scala and under his direction important projects were undertaken such as the Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy and the Wagner Ring Cycle.

Date: December 31, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 280-1,580 yuan

Tel: 6372-8702


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