Famed Italian conductor Riccardo Muti is recovering after undergoing surgery to treat a hernia.

The music maestro recently dropped out of a concert series with his Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Cso) due to a bout of influenza, and it has now emerged he underwent an operation in his hometown of Milan, Italy on Monday (21Jan13).

The 71 year old has pulled out of the orchestra's upcoming tour of Asia, which is due to begin on Friday (25Jan13).

Cso spokeswoman Maggie Berndt tells the Chicago Tribune, "Maestro Muti's surgery went smoothly and he is already resting comfortably."

Muti previously suffered a scare in 2011 when he fainted and tumbled from his podium during a rehearsal with the Cso.

Doctors subsequently diagnosed him with a heart condition and fitted him with a pacemaker.