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Chicago Symphony’s New Leader Cancels Concerts After Illness

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s lovefest with its new music director, Riccardo Muti, came to a sudden halt on Sunday, when the maestro canceled two weeks of concerts to seek treatment in Milan for what the orchestra called “extreme gastric distress.”

Mr. Muti suffered some discomfort while leading the orchestra on Friday, felt stomach pain at a rehearsal on Saturday and withdrew just before a gala concert on Saturday evening.

“He just couldn’t do it,” said Mary Lou Falcone, a spokeswoman for Mr. Muti and the orchestra, who said the maestro suffered severe stomach pain. The orchestra was able to perform without him.

Mr. Muti had been with the Chicago Symphony for only two weeks, beginning his tenure as its new music director after a lengthy courtship and much hoopla accompanying his arrival. “I cannot express the depth of my regret,” he said in a statement issued by the orchestra.

To read more, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/arts/music/04muti.html?ref=music.

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