Muti to Lead Chicago Symphony
Italian personality had been pursued by NY orchestra, others
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2008 2:23 PM CDT
Riccardo Muti received widespread support from the CSO musicians, as well as a unanimous vote from the board of directors.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – After four years of searching for a new music director, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has finally found its man: Italian maestro Riccardo Muti. He will take over for the 2010-11 season on a five-year contract. In September, Muti rejected the idea of an American music directorship because of hefty administrative duties, but a month of guest conducting changed his tune.

"I would like to make this last engagement as music director in my life something that can enrich people," Muti told the New York Times. In 2005, an internal spat caused his ouster from the Teatro All Scala, where he was the music director for 19 years. He's since been principal guest conductor at the New York Philharmonic, a role he says will likely shrink.