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Commemorative Riccardo Muti stamp issued in Japan

Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti is being honored with a commemorative stamp to be issued March 16 in Japan.

The stamp, issued by the Japanese postal service, features the world-renowned conductor at the podium, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy by signed treaty in 1866. The commemorative sheet of stamps also features the iconic Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and librettist/poet Arrigo Boito.

Muti is scheduled to be in Japan on March 17 to conduct the festival’s opening concert with the Japan-Italy Friendship 150th Anniversary Orchestra — by coincidence, his 150th concert performance in Japan, where he has performed in concert since the mid-1970s. The program features Verdi’s “Macbeth” act 3 Ballabili; “La forza del destino” Overture; “Nabucco” Overture; and “Nabucco” act 1 ‘Gli arredi festivi giù cadano infranti’, among other selections.

In January, Muti again led the CSO on a sold-out tour through Asia, which included performances in Tokyo.

“It is my honor to celebrate this anniversary by opening the Tokyo Spring Festival with concerts by an orchestra and chorus of young Japanese and young Italian musicians,” Muti said in an official statement.

The maestro was previously featured on a postage stamp in 2004, issued by Austria in recognition of his guest performances with the Vienna Philharmonic and Salzburg Festivals.

The Japan commemorative stamps will only be available at the Spring Festival.

Muti is scheduled to return to Chicago and begin his spring residency at Symphony Center on April 7.

Posted March 11, 2016.