Riccardo Muti: ‘This championship is for all of Chicago’

Riccardo Muti: ‘This championship is for all of Chicago’


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2015

muti blackhawks
photo: Emily Master

Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, and guess who’s lovin’ it. A great competitor.


  • Olassus says:

    The baseball interest I could almost buy, even his throwing the ceremonial first pitch in 2012. But RM as ice hockey fan? No. Looks like a publicity effort, and slightly ridiculous.

    • Peter Borich says:


      Please direct your attention to RM’s rendition of Chelsea Dagger with the Chicago Symphony during the 2013 Stanley Cup run.
      It’s on YouTube and a direct refutation of your assertion that the photo of RM with a 2015 Stanley Cup Champions T-shirt is a publicity stuntr and slightly ridiculous

      • Olassus says:


        • BR says:

          Your kind of snobbery is part of why classical music faces such challenges reaching out to new audiences.

          • Olassus says:

            It is beneath Riccardo Muti’s dignity to conduct Chelsea Dagger, and not a good use of the CSO’s time either. It is pandering in fact.

            Besides, the Scottish group does a better job. I heard the piece sung by them on YouTube today before watching the clip from Orchestra Hall, with Muti’s gesturing intensity quite ludicrous for the musical material at hand.

            I’m all for bringing new people to classical music and opera. These activities don’t do that, and do not even convincingly portray a man letting his hair down. Which is not to say they do any harm.

        • BR says:

          You are a snob, and an insufferable one at that. If the maestro agreed with you, neither the photo nor the video would exist. Thankfully, he doesn’t.

  • V.Lind says:

    Zukerman is a devotee of the Ottawa Senators.

  • Eric says:

    Maybe it is a publicity stunt. But you know what, he’s celebrating an achievement with the city. Is that so terrible? And yes, he and the orchestra have shown that commitment before when the Hawks last won the Stanley Cup in 2013, performing an orchestration o their goal celebration song, with Muti in a red “home” jersey.

  • David Boxwell says:

    Now Quenneville should return the favor and flak for the CSO in one of its gift shop’s wardrobe-related items.

  • Steven says:

    Sir Georg Solti once conducted orchestra and chorus in the Chicago Bears’ song to a very enthusiastic audience. I think this sort of occasional event creates a bond between the orchestra and the city. Chicago is proud of its symphony orchestra. Can this be said of many others?

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, this sort of occasional event probably does create some sort of bond, and certainly keeps the CSO’s name out there. My concern is that the orchestra is not a purveyor of orchestral versions of pop songs, and presenting it in a false way leads nowhere.

      Solti and Abbado used to play soccer with their orchestras, but Muti is a different character. In his prison visits, whatever their usefulness, he at least seemed sincere. The sport-related activities are another matter.

      • BR says:

        You have no idea what you’re saying. Orchestras from the CSO to the Cleveland Orchestra to the London Symphony to the Boston Symphony to the Royal Philharmonic have performed, recorded and promoted popular songs for decades, including for sports-related events such as the Olympics, the World Cup and the World Series. You need only run a YouTube search to find the evidence. In fact, the Chicago Symphony and Chorus recorded “Bear Down, Chicago Bears” with Sir Georg Solti for the London Records label thirty years ago. Classical music suffers when people like you seek to “defend” it; orchestras, musicians and conductors can find the time to have fun in these contexts without compromising artistic standards.

        • Olassus says:

          I know, BR. It doesn’t lead to subscribers. And in Muti’s case it looks slightly ridiculous given his serious and proper approach in general, like a Pope doing a tango.