There doesn’t appear to be any shortage of prestigious prizes Riccardo Muti’s native Italy is prepared to bestow on him.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director has won two more awards to add to his groaning shelf: the Pico della Mirandola special prize and the Premio Giustiniano for Arts and Culture of the city of Ravenna.
Muti received the Pico della Mirandola honor on July 4 in Mirandola, Italy, where he led his Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and a chorus – a total of more than 375 musicians – in an all-Verdi benefit concert for the victims of last year’s devastating earthquakes in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
The award also was given in recognition of the 71-year-old maestro’s spearheading the ongoing “Paths of Friendship” initiative of the Ravenna Festival.
Given every two years, the award is named after the Italian Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.
The Premio Giustiniano, Ravenna’s top prize for arts and culture, is to be awarded to Muti following a concert performance he is scheduled to lead there on Saturday of Verdi’s opera “Nabucco.” The performance is part of this year’s Ravenna Festival.
The award also recognizes the conductor’s efforts to promote world peace and brotherhood through his “Paths of Friendship” concerts in such war-torn cities as Sarajevo, Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus.