Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti was honored by the Juvenile Justice Initiative on Sept. 16 at the Union League Club of Chicago for his dedication to sharing music with children in the juvenile justice system.
The event celebrates JJI’s 15th year anniversary and the organization’s many accomplishments, including raising the age of juvenile court from 17 to 18, reducing the number of children automatically tried in adult court, and reducing the state juvenile prison population by half since 2007 — all while reducing juvenile offending through expanded community based alternatives.
At the September 16th event, Riccardo Muti will be honored for his social and civic belief in the transformative power of music to promote hope and unity and to bring attention to social, cultural and humanitarian issues.
One of the preeminent conductors of our day, Riccardo Muti is known around the world. He has received innumerable awards and high honors for his contributions to music including two Grammy Awards in 2011 for a live recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Since coming to Chicago in 2010, Riccardo Muti has made visiting incarcerated youth his signature issue. Under his leadership, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has ongoing programs visiting juvenile prisons in the area and the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
JJI’s event, called Another Chance/An Equal Chance, is an annual event recognizing leaders in the movement to transform the juvenile justice system in Illinois. Last year’s honorees were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Jenner & Block partner Jeffrey Colman.
According to JJI President, Elizabeth Clarke, “This year we chose Riccardo Muti for our Annual Leadership Award based on his attention to children in confinement. As a high profile cultural icon, he has raised public awareness about our system for children in conflict with the law. His work reminds us that all of our children deserve an opportunity for a full and productive life as citizens of our state. We are pleased to recognize his time, effort and commitment to our most vulnerable youth.”