(Photo: By Dennis Polkow for New City Music)
This past weekend, Muti partied like it was 1999 in anticipation of his Saturday night, season-concluding concert with the CSO, dusting-off his first successful year as music director of the orchestra. Affable as ever, Muti addressed his audience with lively jabs and his warm Neapolitan humor.
The evening prior, he was at Redmoon Theater, getting down with one of the CSO's young composer in residence, Mason Bates, who was DJ'ing to his penned "The B-Sides", a tribute to club music for MusicNOW's "Mercury Soul" event:
Muti surprised everyone by wandering in unannounced in the middle of Bates’ Friday night club event at , later also joined by Yo-Yo Ma. “Forgive me for being overdressed,” whispered Muti, “but I had a dinner with the donors tonight. My children would not believe where I am and what I am doing!” Muti stayed a couple of hours and took in the proceedings quite intently. Although he did not gyrate to the electronica beats, he was fascinated that everyone was moving “up and down in a single motion.” At one point, Muti asked if I thought “anything would come of this.” I responded with an assessment of other such crossover events and what effect that they have had from my experience on audiences from all sides. “No, no,” said Muti, clearly with something else on his mind. “I meant will any romance come from all of this moving up and down?”
We love that America, via Chicago, helped Muti get his groove back.