The 2018 Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert took place on January 1, 2018, under the baton of Riccardo Muti in the Musikverein in Vienna. This year's concert marked the fifth time - after 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004 - that Riccardo Muti, whose close ties with the Vienna Philharmonic extend over several decades, conducted this prestigious event.
The 2018 New Year's Concert was broadcast in over 90 countries and followed by as many as 50 million television viewers around the world.
I have a personal criterion for judging sopranos in modern recordings of any role that Maria Callas excelled in: If you can beat Callas, you are gold. And despite her achievements in bel canto roles (most of which I find uninteresting, either dramatically or as music), I still think that Callas’s greatest gift to the world of opera, particularly opera in Italy, was to point out to the entire country and the world how much more there was in roles like Elvira in I Vespri Siciliani, Cheribini’s Medea, Iphigénie in this opera, and yes, even Lady Macbeth than had been previously thought.
During Riccardo Muti s 19-year tenure as La Scala s music director, his relationship with the Filarmonica della Scala extended beyond the opera pit. The seven-CD set Riccardo Muti conducts Italian Masters celebrates their shared Italian heritage with a mixture of much-loved Verdi overtures, modern classics from Nino Rota ( uniformly stunning AllMusic Guide) and enticing works from the turn of the century by the likes of Casella, Martucci and Busoni (on an album successful in every respect , according to Gramophone). Busoni s Turandot Suite (like the orchestral works also released here by operatic composers Ponchielli, Catalani and Puccini) is perfectly suited to an orchestra and conductor at home in both dramatic and symphonic repertoires. How is it possible for so attractive, witty and artful a work to lay neglected for so long? enthused Gramophone.
Riccardo Muti chose to celebrate his 75th birthday with a programme at the 2016 Salzburg Festival featuring two masterworks from the Austro-German tradition that had both been premiered by the Wiener Philharmoniker under the direction of their respective composers: Bruckner’s Symphony No.2 and R. Strauss’ Orchestral Suite Der Bürger als Edelmann. Alongside celebrated pianist Gerhard Oppitz is violinist Rainer Küchl, on the eve of his retirement from the Wiener Philharmoniker following a remarkable 45 years of service.