Sir Georg Solti (Conductor)
Born: 21st October 1912, Budapest, Hungary
Died: 5th September 1997, Antibes, France
Solti's interpretations held more than surface excitement. In conducting Beethoven, for example, he long held that the symphonies should be played with all their repeats to maintain their structural integrity, and he carefully rethought his approach to tempo, rhythm, and balance in those works toward the end of his life.
In 1972 he became a British subject and received his official knighthood; under the circumstances, he also sanctioned the pronunciation of his first name as "George," although he retained the German spelling.
Solti was regarded as, above all, a superb Wagnerian. His performances and countless recordings of other nineteenth century German and Austrian music were also well-regarded, as were his Verdi and his frequent forays into such twentieth century repertory as Bartók, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky. Solti served as a strong advocate for such new works as Hans Werner Henze's Heliogabalus Imperator, David Del Tredici's Final Alice, and Michael Tippett's Symphony No. 4, all of which he premiered in Chicago.