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Muti To Undergo Surgery After Fainting

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) -- Chicago Symphony Orchestra conductor Riccardo Muti is set to undergo surgery Monday, after fainting during a rehearsal last week and suffering multiple facial and jaw fractures.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Regine Schelsinger reports, Muti, 69, has been at Northwestern Memorial Hospital since he fainted this past Thursday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Regine Schlesinger reports


As he undergoes surgery, doctors are trying to figure out why he fainted in the first place.

The orchestra went ahead with its Thursday concert without Muti after he fainted. The performances on Friday and Saturday were led by conductor/pianist Mitsuko Uchida and conductor Leonard Slatkin, and they will also lead a performance on Tuesday.

The CSO's performances on Thursday and Friday will be led by Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo, who makes his CSO debut in these concerts.

Last fall, Muti withdrew from the CSO's gala "Symphony Ball" because of "extreme gastric distress." He spent three months in his native Milan, Italy, to be treated by doctors who speak his native language.

The $2 million-a-year conductor returned to work in late January to begin rehearsals for a February residency, which kicks off Thursday night. Muti also has scheduled residencies in the spring as part of his five-year contract, the CSO said.

Muti first conducted the CSO in his 30s, and his return to the city had been highly anticipated. He made his debut as the CSO's music director last September, 16 months after he was picked as the successor to Daniel Barenboim, who retired in 2006.

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