The great Hungarian conductor and pianist Sir Georg Solti* was born 105 years ago today. He is rembered as a fine operatic conductor and for his long tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Georg Solti spent 10 years as Music Director at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1961-71), as well as being the Artistic Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years (1969-91) and of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1979- 83).
Solti made pioneering use of stereo recording techniques both for symphonic music and in simulating the theatrical dimension of opera, notably in association with the great recording producer John Culshaw. Perhaps the pinnacle of his recording achievements can be found in Decca’s complete set of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, made between 1958 and 1965 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This cycle has been voted the greatest recording ever made, in polls for both the Gramophone (1999) and the BBC Music Magazine (2012): quite some achievement!
Watch out for our review of his complete Decca recordings box set next week!
* Georg Solti became a British subject in 1972 and thus eligible for a knighthood.