Italian Maestro Riccardo Muti, top center, prepares to direct a concert at the Ravenna Festival, in Ravenna, Northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2020.
Riccardo Muti has sent a resounding message that live classical music has returned the Italian stage after the coronavirus lockdown with a full summer festival program in his adopted Ravenna.
Even during two world wars, Muti noted, theaters stayed open to provide cultural relief except during the worst of the bombings.
In the United States, he won accolades leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1980s and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010.
The Ravenna Festival program, which runs through July, is another signal of the gradual reawakening of European classical music after strict closures to slow the spread of coronavirus.