Chicago Symphony’s Muti considers impact of economic crisis on the arts

Posted on: November 15, 2012

An Associated Press report published in Wednesday’s (11/14) Chicago Daily Herald states, “Riccardo Muti, the master conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is sounding an ominous note, and it isn’t rising from the orchestra pit. The former longtime maestro at Milan’s La Scala opera house is worried that the stubborn financial crisis in much of the world risks impoverishing not just public coffers but also the arts, whose budgets, often lean even in good economic times, are among the biggest casualties in many countries. … Muti even fears the loss of a people’s very identity. … ‘A people without culture is a people that loses its identity. We haven’t reached that point yet, but the danger is there.’ There are some rays of light for the maestro, who spoke enthusiastically about his current role as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (‘mutual love’) and about the future of music, which he predicted will bring people together around the world. … Muti declined to weigh in on American orchestras’ labor disputes. … Still, he urged Americans to consider music and the other arts ‘a patrimony that must be preserved and brought as much as possible to the various levels of society. It’s not elitism.’ ”

Posted November 15, 2012