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La Scala music chief says no to N.Y. Philharmonic helm

SHARE La Scala music chief says no to N.Y. Philharmonic helm

NEW YORK — Riccardo Muti has decided against succeeding Kurt Masur as music director of the New York Philharmonic.

Muti, 58, is music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy, and a regular guest conductor of the Vienna and Berlin philharmonics, relationships he intended to maintain even if he took the New York podium.

"After thoughtful discussions with the New York Philharmonic, I realized that due to my commitments at La Scala and elsewhere, I don't have the time necessary to do what I would like to do artistically with the New York Philharmonic," Muti said.

The Philharmonic must now reopen its search for a successor to the 73-year-old Masur, whose contract expires in 2002. The job is among the most important positions in the world of classical music.