Solti, Georg

BORN 21 Oct 1912, Budapest - DIED 5 Sep 1997, Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes
BIRTH NAME Stern, György
CAUSE OF DEATH heart attack
GRAVE LOCATION Budapest: Farkasrét cemetery ((ashes buried next to Béla Bartók))

Georg Solti was born as György Stern in Budapest, where he studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Bela Bartók was his piano teacher. His family name was changed by his father from Stern to Solti to avoid anti-semitism.

Around 1935 he was making himself a name as a conductor and in 1938 he debuted at the Opera in Budapest. When the Germans invaded Hungary in 1939 he fled to Switzerland, where he worked as a pianist.

After the war he became the director of the State Opera in Munich and of the Opera in Frankfurt. His marriage to Hedi Oechsli in 1946) ended with a divorce. In 1961 he became the music director of Covent Garden in London (until 1971). His second wife was Valerie Pitts. He met her when she came to interview him as a television presenter. They had two daughters. In 1972 he became a British citizen.

Solti was musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1969 until 1991. He conducted 999 concerts with this orchestra. In 1992 he conducted at the Festspiele in Salzburg. After his death in 1997 he was buried close to Bartók. He was known as 'The Screaming Skull' by musicians.

Related persons
• was pupil of Bartók, Béla


The grave of Georg Solti at the Farkasrét cemetery in Budapest.
Picture by androom (21 Aug 2006)


ARD/ZDF Videotext

Solvay, Ernest

Published: 20 Jan 2007
Last update: 25 Jan 2022