Riccardo Muti
CSOMusic Director
Born in Naples, Italy, Riccardo Muti first came
to the attention of critics and public in 1967,
when he won the Guido Cantelli Competition
for conductors in Milan. Muti has served as music
director of several international institutions: Maggio
Musicale Fiorentino, Philharmonia Orchestra
of London, Philadelphia Orchestra and Teatro
alla Scala. In 1971, Muti was invited by Herbert
von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival,
which became his first appearance with the Vienna
Philharmonic in what is now a more than 40-year
history of collaboration celebrated with many
honors. In 2004, Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini
Youth Orchestra, which consists of young musicians
selected from all over Italy.
Over the course of his extraordinary career,
Muti has conducted the world’s most important
orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the
Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic
and the Bayerischer Rundfunk. He made his debut
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the
Ravinia Festival in July 1973 and began his tenure
as the CSO’s tenth music director in September
2010. Subsequently, he won his first two Grammy
awards for his recording of Verdi’s Messa da
Requiem with the CSO and Chorus.
Innumerable honors have been bestowed on Muti
including the Order of Friendship from the Russian
Federation and the Wolfe Prize from the State of
Israel. Among the honors he has received in recent
years are Sweden’s Birgit Nilsson Prize, Spain’s
Prince of Asturias Prize, and Italy’s Vittorio de
Sica Prize. He is a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the
Italian Republic, French Officer of the Legion of
Honor, honorary Knight Commander of the British
Empire, and Knight of the Grand Cross First Class
of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, the highest
papal honor.
Carlos Miguel Prieto
Festival Guest Conductor
An exciting and insightful communicator renowned
for his charismatic presence on the podium and
his versatile command of various composers and
styles, conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto is considered
one of the most dynamic young conductors on the
classical stage today. Currently music director of
the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and
the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in his native
Mexico, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
in the United States, Maestro Prieto is also in high
demand and has conducted orchestras throughout
Europe, Russia, Israel and Latin America. Since
2002, Mr. Prieto has led the Youth Orchestra of
the Americas in annual international concert tours
throughout the Americas, and in fall of 2011 was
appointed to the post of Music Director for YOA.
Cliff Colnot
Civic Orchestra Principal Conductor
A conductor, educator and musician of uncommon
range, Cliff Colnot has served as Principal
Conductor of the Civic Orchestra since 1994.
One of few musicians to have studied orchestral
repertory with Daniel Barenboim, Colnot has
served as assistant conductor for Barenboim’s West-
Eastern Divan Workshops for young musicians
from Israel, Egypt, Syria and other Middle Eastern
countries. Colnot has also worked extensively with
Pierre Boulez and has served as assistant conductor
to Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy. He
regularly conducts the International Contemporary
Ensemble (ICE), and he collaborates regularly
with the internationally acclaimed contemporary
music ensemble eighth blackbird. Colnot has been
principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra’s contemporary
series since
its inception. Colnot also conducts Contempo at
the University of Chicago, the DePaul University
Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble and
orchestras at Indiana University. He has appeared as
a guest conductor with the San Antonio Symphony
Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Utah Symphony
and Ancora Chamber Orchestra.
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