In 2011, Riccardo Muti has already won two Grammys and been awarded the most prestigious prize in classical music. Now, Muti is using his obvious talent and influence to denounce cuts to Italy’s culture budget.
The Maestro used his recent time at the podium to give an impassioned defense of Italian culture. During the premiere of Verdi’s “Nabucco,” Muti, who still recovering from pacemaker surgery, staged a protest. He announced that he would not allow the performance to serve as a funeral song for Italian culture and music.
The Italian conductor refused to perform an encore unless the audience pledged to defend culture with him. He told the viewers that he was afraid he feared the beautiful culture would be lost. His speech brought the music lovers to their feet, singing to ‘Va pensiero’ along with the professional chorus.
Watch the video below to see Riccardo Muti’s fiery appeal during “Nabucco” last week: