Muti fractured jaw in fall; will undergo surgery, miss two weeks of concerts

Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 4:17 pm

By David Fleshler

Riccardo Muti

Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti will undergo surgery Monday for multiple facial and jaw fractures sustained when he collapsed and fell off the podium at a rehearsal Thursday.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the CSO announced that the operation will take place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where Muti is undergoing tests to find out what caused the fall, his second major health incident since being named music director. After a highly publicized debut last year, Muti’s opening weeks with the orchestra were cut short in October when he withdrew from all performances and returned to Italy, with the orchestra saying that he was recuperating from “extreme exhaustion.”

The CSO programs this weekend and next have been revised.

Concerts Saturday and Tuesday will be conducted by Leonard Slatkin, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s music director, who has aleady filled in for the ailing Muti Thursday and Friday. The program includes the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Mozart’s  Divertimento in B-flat Major, K. 125b and Mozart’s  Piano Concerto No. 11 K. 413 with the pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who will conduct that work from the keyboard.

The concerts Thursday, February 10, Friday, February 11 and Saturday, February 12 will be led by Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo, making his CSO debut. The program includes Sibelius’ Finlandia, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with soloist Vadim Repin. The premiere of <<rewind<< by composer-in-residence Anna Clyne, scheduled for next week, will be postponed.

Ticketholders may contact CSO patron services at 312-294-3000 or [email protected] with any questions.

“The musicians, staff, board, and family of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association are relieved that Maestro Muti is in good spirits and eager to return to the podium and his duties as music director,” said CSO president Deborah Rutter in a released statement.  “We all wish him a speedy recovery.”

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