A Hungarian conductor, known for his work with the Chicago, London and Paris Symphony Orchestras. During his more than fifty years in the classical music industry, he recorded more than 40 operas and made more than 250 recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Georg Solti was influenced and taught by some of the most well-known composers and conductors in the industry including Bela Bartok, Leo Weiner, Zoltan Kodaly and Erno von Dohnanyi. Richard Strauss was one of his favorite composers, therefore on the composers 85th birthday Georg Solti performed Der Rosenkavalier.
Born in Budapest, Georg Solti studied composition and piano at the Budapest Conservatory. He made his professional debut in 1930 with the Budapest Opera. He conducted the ensemble until 1939 when he moved to Switzerland. Georg Solti was also impressed by the works of Arturo Toscanini. He was even more astounded when Arturo Toscanini chose him to be his assistant at the Salzberg Festival in 1937. This was always one of Georg Solti's major rewards during his years as a conductor and pianist. In 1942 he reached another milestone in his career when he won first prize for piano at the Concours International at Geneva, Switzerland. For 10 years he held the position of Artistic and Music Director of the Frankfurt Opera. From 1961 to 1971 he was the Music Director of the Royal Opera House in London. Following his successful appointment in London, he was knighted and became Sir Georg Solti in 1972.
Traveling worldwide, Georg Solti did not neglect bringing his talents to the United States. He made his US debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 1953. He was first associated with the Chicago Symphony in 1954 at the annual Ravinia Festival. In 1969 Georg Solti was appointed music director for the Chicago Symphony, a position he held for more than 20 years.
During his music career, Georg Solti has recorded all of Wagner's works including Ring. He has conducted more than 40 operas around the world, among them Arabella, Moses und Aron and Die Frau ohne Schatten. Georg Solti began recording in 1947 under the Decca label, but collections and other recordings can also be found under the Unitel label.
The 90s were a slow time for Georg Solti as traveling worldwide performing concerts and recitals became tiresome. He was the artistic director of the Salzberg Easter Festival from 1990-92. In 1992 he performed Otello at the Covent Garden in London. Georg Solti has made quite a name for himself as a conductor and pianist. With more than six decades of performances and recordings to his credit, Georg Solti will always be one of the greatest conductors of his time. He died Sept 5, 1997 in Antibes, France. ~ Kim Summers
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