Muti had been conducting in Europe with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which he took to Armenia. He led his Italian opera academy in Japan in May.
He told the Chicago musicians he hopes “music will heal the pains of the world.”
“In this moment, we have realized that culture is much more important than we always thought,” he said. “At this time in a world full of tragedies, of wars, of children that die, of people that have to leave their countries, only the possibility of culture, increasing culture, of beauty, harmony, brotherhood, all the beautiful things that the mankind seems to to forget, can help and cure the world.”
Muti will lead 10 weeks of concerts in Chicago in 2022-23 and four weeks on tour, which will include a trip to China, Japan and Taiwan.
The CSO said Muti's 2022-23 season will include performances of Beethoven's “Missa Solemnis (Solemn Mass)” in June 2023 — a work he conducted last month with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival — and the world premiere of a work commissioned by the CSO from Jessie Montgomery.