Chicago orchestra begins Italian tour

AFP Relax News
Riccardo Muti

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra directed by Italian maestro Riccardo Muti begins a tour of Italy in Rome on Monday with an concert of music by Richard Strauss, Dmitry Shostakovich and Nino Rota.

The award-winning orchestra is widely regarded as one of the best in the world and received critical acclaim on its tour of Russia earlier this month.

Muti has been the orchestra's music director since 2010 and was appointed honorary conductor for life at Rome's Teatro dell'Opera last year.

Rome opera director Catello De Martino said Monday's concert would be "the musical event of 2012" and "a memorable day" for the city. The Chicago Symphony will give concerts in Naples, Brescia and Ravenna later this week.

The orchestra's programme in Italy includes a tribute to late composer Nino Rota, who is best known as the author of the soundtrack to "The Godfather".

The orchestra will play an extract from Rota's soundtrack for "Il Gattopardo" ("The Leopard"), a film about aristocratic life in Sicily during a tumultuous time in Italian history at the end of the 19th century.