Chicago Symphony Orchestra Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez will replace Music Director Riccardo Muti as conductor for the THIRTEEN Great Performances broadcast on Wednesday, October 27 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).
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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has announced that Muti has been forced to withdraw from his remaining performances in Chicago in October due to illness.
The change in conductor will also necessitate a change in the evening’s musical program, now titled Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Pierre Boulez Conducts Mahler’s 7th. The concert will be taped October 14 and 15.
“I cannot express the depth of my regret that I am unable to complete this first fall residency as music director,” Muti said. “I have had the privilege of making marvelous music together with this great Orchestra, and I am confident that we will continue to do so when I return again.
“I want to thank the Chicago public that has given me such a warm welcome, one that I have felt in my heart. This has touched me very deeply. I most respectfully ask that the CSO’s dedicated audiences continue to show their great support of the Orchestra as you have shown such wonderful support of me.”
One of Chicago’s most popular conductors, Pierre Boulez is a composer, conductor, tireless advocate for new music and one of the most important musical and intellectual figures of our time. Boulez first conducted the CSO four decades ago, in 1969, and has performed and recorded extensively with the Orchestra over the past 20 years.
He served as the CSO’s principal guest conductor—only the third person to hold that title—from 1995 until 2006, when he was named Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus. An eloquent and passionate advocate of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Boulez has an international reputation as a foremost interpreter of music by Berg, Webern and Schoenberg as well as Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and Mahler.
He has won 26 Grammy Awards since 1967, eight with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; his most recent recording with the CSO is the all-Stravinsky album with Pulcinella, the Symphony in Four Movements and Four Études, released in January 2010.
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.
A musical force in Chicago and around the world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been consistently hailed as one of the finest international orchestras since its founding in 1891. In collaboration with renowned conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over 150 concerts each year at its home, Symphony Center, and in summer residency at the Ravinia Festival.
The CSO’s appearance on Great Performances is made possible by the generous support of The Grainger Foundation, Lake Forest, IL. Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Starr Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. Major additional funding is provided by The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust. The concert will be directed for television by Brian Large. For Great Performances, John Walker, Cara Cosentino, and Julie Schapiro Thorman are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.