“Riccardo Muti is used to being praised, being wooed,” writes Mark Caro in Sunday’s (5/9) Chicago Tribune. “So it’s no small deal that he previously had succumbed to the charms of one Deborah Rutter—because she persuaded him to do something that he had absolutely no intention of doing. … Rutter, 53, is an administrator, a leader, the person who bridges the CSO’s artistic and business sides in perpetually challenging times. … Since she took charge, the CSO has resumed radio broadcasts (WFMT-FM 98.7 airs them at 1 p.m. Sundays), launched a recording label (CSO Resound) and implemented such audience-friendly programs as Beyond the Score and Friday Night at the Movies. The CSO has increased collaborations with other organizations as well, including the Art Institute of Chicago. … Still, more than a few people thought Rutter was nuts if she hoped to land Muti as the CSO’s music director.” But when Rutter engaged Muti as guest conductor for the CSO, his first visit since 1975, he was impressed by the musicians as well as by Rutter’s love for the art and persistence. “So Muti accepted a two-week engagement to kick off the 2007-08 season, followed by a European tour with the orchestra.” Muti says it took him two minutes in rehearsal with the orchestra to know it was the right fit.
Posted May 11, 2010