My Favorite Room: Chicago Symphony Orchestra Director Riccardo Muti

Born in Naples, Italy, Muti is a renaissance man of the first order, but where does he just ... chill? We asked the suave orchestra director to share a few thoughts on his private sanctuary, one in an occasional series on the favorite rooms of celebrities.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Director Riccardo Muti

Photo by: Chicago Symphony Orchestra World-renowned maestro Riccardo Muti became music director of Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2010.

The maestro seems to be everywhere. He's written a book on Giuseppe Verdi and received the 2012 Vittorio De Sica prize for his influence in music. If you follow classical music, you probably know that Muti replaced Otto Klemperer at the London Philharmonia in the '70s and has long ties to the Salzburg Festival. In 2003 French national radio devoted an astonishing 14 hours(!) of airtime to a retrospective program of Muti's magnificent career. 

The gracious music director squeezed us into his exceptionally busy schedule to share with FrontDoor what he says is the room he prizes above all others (and to provide a peek at some of his most precious possessions).

"Because of my profession, I am rarely at home. But when I am there, my favorite room is my studio where I have my library, musical scores, and items I have collected or have been given over the course of my long career," says Muti. "My studio is also where I have my piano, a Schimmel baby grand that I purchased in 1969 after being appointed Principal Conductor of the Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy. To this day, I prepare all my performances on this piano."

"Along one wall of my studio are hung many very old burattini (puppets) from my father-in-law. They are, without question, my most compliant audience and never complain about the performance or program!"

If you haven't already, or you're not a member, take a look at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra summer schedule. And if you ever get a chance to watch Muti conduct, take it. 

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