Riccardo Muti tests positive for COVID; CSO concert canceled

The conductor tested positive on Monday for the virus, during a routine daily COVID screening per CSO safety protocols.

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Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will kick off the 2020-2021 season with a free concert on Sept. 17 in Millennium Park.

Riccardo Muti tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, resulting in the cancellation of one concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Muti will also miss the final series of concerts in his spring residency with the CSO this weekend.

Todd Rosenberg Photography

Maestro Riccardo Muti has tested positive for COVID-19, it was revealed Monday night.

A statement from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra said the conductor tested positive for the virus earlier in the day during a routine daily COVID screening per CSO safety protocols.

As a result, Tuesday night’s concert, the third and final performance with works by Mahler and Bruckner, and the world premiere performances of Missy Mazzoli’s “Orpheus Undone” is canceled. Patrons are being contacted regarding refund options.

In addition, Muti will be unable to conduct upcoming concerts scheduled for April 7, 8, 9 and 12 at Symphony Center. However, the full orchestra and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes are expected to perform on these dates, with program changes to be announced in the days ahead.

On Saturday night, Muti attended the annual Symphony Ball and conducted the evening’s concert with the CSO. Guests at the event were required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test. All are being notified directly regarding the matter, a spokesperson for the CSO said when reached by phone late Monday.

The 80-year-old conductor, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, is quarantining and experiencing mild symptoms. He is “in good spirits, and may be able to resume some of his other activities, following current CDC guidelines,” Monday’s statement said.

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