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Riccardo Muti (b1941)

Riccardo Muti received his first music lessons, in violin and piano, from his father who was a doctor and a proficient tenor. He studied philosophy at Naples University and, at the Naples Conservatory, composition with Jacopo Napoli and Nino Rota and piano with Vincenzo Vitale. He then undertook further study at the Milan Conservatory: composition with Bruno Bettinelli and conducting with Antonino Votto (a former assistant of Toscanini and a major presence at La Scala, Milan). Having participated in Franco Ferrara’s conducting seminars in Venice in 1965, Muti was the first Italian to win the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition, held in Milan, in 1967. This success resulted in numerous invitations to appear as a guest conductor, and in 1968 he accompanied the Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, in addition making his conducting début with Italian Radio. The following year he was appointed as chief conductor of the Maggio Musicale, Florence, a post which he held until 1980. He made his début at La Scala, Milan, conducting an orchestral concert, in 1970, and at the Salzburg Festival in 1971, conducting a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.




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