Riccardo Muti's calling in, from Italy

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Looks like the Maestro has a more serious case of whatever is ailing him than was first suspected: he's returned to Italy to recover.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced this afternoon that music director Riccardo Muti will miss not only the CSO performances scheduled for this week and early next week, as they had earlier announced, but all concerts through January 19.

Initial reports had said Muti was suffering from the flu when he arrived in Chicago from Rome on Monday; the CSO now says that Muti, suffering with flu-like symptoms, consulted a doctor here and immediately returned to Italy.

Milwaukee Symphony director (and Royal Flemish Philharmonic chief conductor) Edo de Waart will continue to fill in, except for the January 14 open rehearsal of the Festival Orchestra, which will be handled by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The Festival Orchestra includes local high school students.

The CSO says ticketholders with questions can call 312-294-3000.

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