May 5, 2008 / 6:00 PM / 11 years ago

Italy's Muti named new Chicago Symphony director

Italian orchestra director Riccardo Muti (C) acknowledges applause during the opening ceremony of Rome's first international film festival at the Opera's Theatre in Rome October 12, 2006. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Symphony Orchestra named Italian conductor Riccardo Muti on Monday as the 10th music director in its 117-year history.

Muti is “one of the most extraordinary and respected conductors of all time,” symphony President Deborah Card said in announcing he had accepted a five-year contract beginning in September 2010.

He will conduct a minimum of 10 weeks of subscription concerts each season and lead domestic and international tours, the announcement said.

The Chicago Symphony is one of the premier U.S. music institutions, and has won numerous Grammy awards over the years.

Muti, 66, succeeds Daniel Barenboim who left the orchestra two years ago.

Reporting by Michael Conlon; editing by Andrew Stern

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