On August 15, 2021 Riccardo Muti received the highest honor that the Austrian State bestows on those who do not hold institutional positions. The Großes Goldenes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich (Great Gold Medal of Honor for services to the Austrian Republic) was handed by the Regional Governor Wilfried Haslauer (in the photo), in the name of the President of the Austrian Republic, Alexander Van der Bellen.


Official Communication of the Land of Salzburg:

Riccardo Muti: „Er dirigiert – und Salzburg lächelt“

Großes Goldenes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich für den Maestro

Salzburger Landeskorrespondenz, 15. August 2021

(LK)  Er zählt zu den größten Dirigenten der Gegenwart und ist seit mittlerweile fünf Jahrzehnten ein fixer Bestandteil der Salzburger Festspiele: Riccardo Muti. Heute wird der Italiener für seine Leistungen und nachträglich zum 80. Geburtstag von Landeshauptmann Wilfried Haslauer mit dem Großen Goldenen Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich ausgezeichnet.


Free translation of an extract:

“On the occasion of the ceremony, Governor Haslauer stated: ‘Through his long-lasting work, Riccardo Muti has made the history of Salzburg Festival and has guided himself into countless hearts in and outside Salzburg. Since 1971 the Maestro has stood up and in front of the festival stage no less than 270 times, only his mentor Herbert von Karajan conducted more concerts and operas here. Today, after 50 years of conducting in Salzburg, we proudly and gratefully speak of a sincere, mutual friendship between him and the city of Mozart. I am therefore all the more pleased that this affection has now also been recognized by the Republic with such a high distinction.’

Herbert von Karajan as a mentor

In the summer of 1971 Herbert von Karajan brought the “suggestion from the young generation of conductors” for Donizetti’s Don Pasquale to Salzburg for the first time, since then Muti has thrilled the audience year by year, for example in 1982 with Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte, in 2017 with Verdi’s Aida and also this year with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. As a conductor, Muti is in great demand also outside the Salzburg Festival. Among other orchestras, he has already conducted the Vienna Philharmonic six times through the program of the traditional New Year’s Concert, most recently in 2021.”


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