Maestro Muti to return to La Scala after nearly 12 years

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Posted: May 11, 2016 7:41 AM
Maestro Muti to return to La Scala after nearly 12 years

MILAN (AP) — Riccardo Muti is returning to La Scala next year for the first time since 2005, when he abruptly ended his 19-year tenure as musical director amid backstage turmoil.

Muti will conduct two concerts in January with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he has been musical director since 2010. The La Scala dates are part of the CSO's 11-concert European tour.

The opera house's general manager, Alexander Pereira, called Muti's return "a moment long-awaited by the city and by all music lovers."

It will be Muti's fourth European tour with the CSO since becoming musical director, and the CSO's first appearance at La Scala since 1981.

La Scala is also opening an exhibit on Muti's tenure in June to celebrate the conductor's 75th birthday this year. Muti "has entered into the history of the theater with an extraordinary musical contribution," Pereira said.

Muti cited continued hostility by La Scala employees when he stepped down in April 2005, capping a feud over the dismissal of general manager Carlo Fontana. He returned one month later, for one night, to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in a benefit concert.

Muti canceled a series of concerts earlier this year after undergoing hip surgery in Italy.