Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Doctors: Muti Has Heart Condition

Cardiologists say that a "common heart rhythm disturbance" was responsible for Riccardo Muti's collapse during a recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra rehearsal.

Doctors: Muti Has Heart Condition

Cardiologists say that a "common heart rhythm disturbance" was responsible for Riccardo Muti's collapse during a recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra rehearsal.

"Fortunately, the remainder of the Maestro’s medical evaluation has revealed that he has superb heart function," said doctors from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in a statement. "In order to prevent possible future episodes of slow heart rate, we have implanted a standard pacemaker. Pacemakers are small devices (about the size of a silver dollar) that continuously monitor the heart rhythm and can deliver a small charge to create a heart beat if the patient’s own heart rate drops too low. Patients with pacemakers live full and active lives with excellent prognosis."

For his part, the maestro is calling the episode destiny:

"A music director’s relationship with his orchestra is like a marriage. Together, we are a family and we bond in times of joy and in times of challenge. I think it was destiny that I came to Chicago and I think what has happened is also destiny, because now I understand and feel more comfortable than ever about returning to my work."

Muti remains at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and it appears that there's no medical reason that would prevent Muti and the orchestra from developing the musical partnership that was to have begun this season with at least 10 weeks of conducting.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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