Muti Faints During Rehearsal, Slatkin Fills In

In a different time and place, I would have though the press release from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announcing that music director Riccardo Muti became ill and fainting during Thursday’s rehearsal and Leonard Slatkin was going to fill in was a gag. But sure enough, Muti was ill and taken to a local hospital although all reports seem to indicate that he will be fine. And yes, Slatkin took over the concert…

In fact, Slatkin was already on the way to Chicago as a panelist for the International CSO Sir Georg Solti International Conductors Competition and Apprenticeship when he got the call. The CSO made a few program changes and the concert went on as scheduled.

The 2/3/2011 edition of the Chicago Tribune has an excellent article by John von Rhein and Mark Caro that is loaded full of additional details; likewise, the Chicago Sun Times has an article by Andrew Patner that additional details.

All in all, it doesn’t seem to be anything overly concerning; yes, Muti canceled a number of concerts earlier in the year due to health problems. Yes, we can likely expect a good bit gossiping about the timing of this incident shortly after his return but as of now, it looks like that’s all there is to it.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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0 thoughts on “Muti Faints During Rehearsal, Slatkin Fills In”

  1. re: Slatkin drawing full salary:

    Doesn’t it stand to reason, that if he was forfeiting his salary, that fact would be reported for obvious PR points. So by the absence of that, assume the opposite until proven otherwise. So you can assume he is collecting his salary from 1) Detroit and 2) Chicago

    Anyone care to disagree with that logic?

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