As everyone who has watched The Three Days of the Condor knows, you recognize the best killers in the business by their Zen-like calm: the great genius that is Max Von Sidow plays a hit man with such cool grace that you almost end up liking the guy – OK, he massacres an office full of CIA analysts and misses the lucky hunkiness that was the early-1970s Robert Redford by the proverbial hair, but you really like Von Sidow’s professional, cool demeanor. He pulls off a massacre without breaking a sweat -- or even raising an eyebrow.
And then you think, he’d make a hell of a conductor.
See, because when – just a few hours ago – Maestro Riccardo Muti spoke to the journalists present at the Tel Aviv press conference for his Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra concert he took care of explaining – really, a class act – that Thursday night’s performance will be in honor of Arturo Toscanini, the first conductor -- in 1936 -- of the then-newborn Orchestra. Muti took pride in the fact that he considers himself "a disciple of Toscanini", and then, after he was done with the questions about the concert, just then, somebody asked him about la Scala's dress code fiasco.
And just like Von Sidow, Muti took out his victims (ie, la Scala and GM Lissner) quietly, almost smiling. In a whisper.
«We often worry about pointless things instead of taking care of the important ones. We need young people to feel comfortable in the oldest music institutions, not to worry about ties and socks"
And then, ninja-style, the coup de grace.
«Do they also worry about the underwear?».
«Spesso ci si preoccupa di cose inutili, piuttosto che delle cose serie. Abbiamo bisogno di fare sentire i giovani a proprio agio nei luoghi più antichi della musica, non di preoccuparci di cravatte e calzini».
«Si interessano anche alla biancheria intima?»
GAME! SET! MATCH! OMGLOL
His Italian-language direct quote follows: