Riccardo Muti has extended his current contract with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to August 2020. Muti signed his first contract with the orchestra in September 2010, replacing Bernard Haitink. Prior to that he had been music director at La Scala, Milan, from 1986-2005.
A recent recording of Verdi's Otello by Muti with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was reviewed in December 2013, with David Patrick Stearns noting, 'Here is one of the great Verdi conductors of our time, who is now doing some of the best work of his life, recording the composer’s greatest opera. Muti-led Otello performances have appeared on DVD. But this live, audio-only concert performance – beautifully packaged with a three-language libretto – has the Chicago Symphony 100 per cent devoted to him (its famous brass section particularly) and a world-class line-up of singers to which the conductor gives a surprisingly free rein.'
However, an earlier recording of Verdi's Requiem was less well received by Richard Osborne when he reviewed it in December 2010: 'As for Muti, many of his tempi are slower than one might have anticipated. Fielding a large chorus and a heavyweight orchestra with German-sounding brass may be a factor. Over the years he hasn’t had much luck with the Requiem on record. On the evidence of this recording, his luck hasn’t changed.'