Riccardo Muti recently inked a deal to remain music director of the Chicago Symphony until 2020. Apparently, the occasion brought out Muti’s quotatiousness (to swipe a term coined by Shaq). Here are a few gems from his Monday presser.
Talking about classical marketing schemes:
Today all you see are violinist’s legs and a conductor with hair like a forest. The future seems to be legs and hair.
On Beethoven’s 9th Symphony:
I didn’t conduct this music until I was 46, in Philadelphia. The third movement is maybe written by God. I felt too humble to conduct this metaphysical and spiritual music. I was so nervous, I was shaking. The concertmaster said to me, ‘Coraggio!’
On his home country:
Italy is a country based on culture. If you take away the culture, what do you have? Berlusconi.
On the youthful exuberance required to conduct the mighty CSO:
I will not be 80 yet. My great grandfather remarried at 76.
Read the whole thing over at Chicago Classical Review.