Riccardo Muti receives a distinguished prize in Capri

The ancient statue of Tiberius in Monte Solaro with a view of traditional Faraglioni rocks, Anacapri, Island of Capri, Gulf of Naples

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On Tuesday, August 30, on the island of Capri, Riccardo Muti received the 27th Faraglioni Prize for his lifelong contributions to arts and culture. The event took place at the theater of the Grand Hotel Quisisana. Presented by the Mayor of Capri, Marino Lembo, the Faraglioni Prize is a silver sculpture set upon a blue marble base by the master goldsmiths of Pierino Gioielli depicting the famous three coastal rock formations on the island’s southern coast. Muti pointed out in an interview with Il Mattino’s Donatella Longobardi that there was once an ancient Roman lighthouse atop one of them, “a beacon of civilization, a light for culture—a light that I have been chasing for some time.”

The Faraglioni Prize presented to the esteemed conductor reads: “To Riccardo Muti, a legend in the classical music world, who has made his extraordinary contribution, of high cultural value, throughout the world, thanks to his exceptional artistic career, which sees him as the undisputed leader in the most prestigious theaters, with the most important orchestras. Through his Italian Opera Academy, he continues to pass on his long and invaluable experience to new generations by supporting and training the new conductors and opera singers of the future.”

Riccardo Muti holding the Faraglioni Prize for his life-long contributions to arts and culture

Giuliano Barra, courtesy of premiofaraglioni.com and riccardomutimusic.com

This cultural and artistic event is one of the island’s most anticipated annual events. The Faraglioni Prize, conceived and organized in 1994 by the Damino brothers of Capri Arte, boasts names of great importance to Italian art and culture, including actor and director Alberto Sordi, ballerina Carla Fracci, film producer Dino De Laurentiis and actress Claudia Cardinale. The host of the gala evening was Eleonora Daniele, an admired journalist and presenter on Rai.

Capri is a place of personal significance to Riccardo Muti, the Zell Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. “It’s like diving back to my roots,” shared Muti in his interview for Il Mattino. “I asked for my children and grandchildren to join me. I want to show them where it all started. . . . Naples, where I was born and educated, is right in front of it. But right in Capri, in this hotel, my parents came just after their wedding in the thirties. It is a moving memory.”

Shortly before the award ceremony in Capri, Maestro Muti was pleased to hear that one of his mentees, the 29-year-old Alvin Ho, was the first-prize winner of the Princess Astrid International Music Competition in Norway. This is a biennial event that alternates between violin and conducting hosted by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Opera. Described by the late Bernard Haitink as, “a thoughtful musician, extremely well prepared and meticulous in his approach,” Ho serves as assistant conductor of Florida’s Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018, he participated as a student at Riccardo Muti’s Italian Opera Academy and has since regularly observed Muti’s rehearsals with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.