Hungarian orchestral and operatic conductor Georg Solti is one of the most prolific names in orchestral and operatic conducting, and October 21st sees the centenary celebration of his birth. As a child he attended the famed Franz Liszt Academy, studying piano and composition with notable local composers and musicians; Bela Bartok, Erno Dohnanyi and Zoltan Kodaly (1). Due to 'denazification' proceedings (in part a process of assessing the level of complicity of prominent German figures/companies in Nazi war crimes at the conclusion of World War 2) involving more experienced German conductors (such as Herbert Von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwangler), a young and relatively inexperienced Solti was given the prestigious position of musical director of the Bavarian State Opera, thus beginning a long and illustrious career (2).
The scope of his career is vast, incorporating an extensive repertoire in collaboration with most of the world’s major operatic companies and orchestras. His most acclaimed recording is his version of Richard Wagner's complete Der Ring Des Nibelungen cycle (conducting the Vienna Philharmonic), which was voted by Gramophone magazine (1999) and the BBC’s music magazine (2012) the greatest classical music recording ever (3)(4). He had a strong connection with New Zealand, conducting Kiri Te Kanawa in her acclaimed performance of Countess Almaviva in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro (Decca, 1981), which was the beginning of a lifelong professional association and personal friendship.
Conducting is an integral part of the University of Auckland School of Music curriculum under the tutelage of Associate-Professor Karen Grylls and Professor Uwe Grodd. The Music and Dance Library in support of this curriculum contains an extensive collection of Solti's recordings, DVDs of rehearsals and performances, and a copy of his celebrated memoirs.
- Solti, Sir Georg (Grove Music Online Biography). Retrieved from http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/26170
- Solti, Sir Georg (Oxford Dictionary National Biography). Retrieved from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/68813>
- Gramophone Classics (December, 1999). Retrieved from http://www.gramophone.net/Issue/Page/December%201999/40/806832/
- Georg Solti Anniversary. Retrieved from
Music and Dance Library