If you didn't catch last week's 2-hour press conference live from Chicago where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced Riccardo Muti's inaugural 2010-2011 season, you suck. Guest of honor Maestro Muti was in top form, and polished-off his latest stand-up routines to the press, delivered in his affable, Slavic-tinged accent.
Speaking about his vision for CSO's next season, Muti joked about the English affinity for the word "vision" and the lack of an Italian translation, saying: "'Vision' is a word that you Americans use so much. In Italy we use it like Saint Francis of Assisi -- he has a vision. Not even Sant'Antonio from Padua because he's a bit less than Saint Francis."
He also joked about the International press twisting his reputation for arrogance: "I am the best Italian wine, where the age becomes better."
Le Monde got a huge kick out of it too, enumerating the conductor's most memorable gaffes in an article affectionately called, "Un Clown Nomme Riccardo Muti", above. If you missed the live feed, Maestro Muti's running the press conference on his website.