Classical 101 Launches Celebration of Georg Solti 10 a.m. Sunday

The bust of Georg Solti outside Chicago's Lincoln Park Conservatory is one mark of the conductor's 50-year relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.(Photo: Wildcat Dunny (Flickr))
The bust of Georg Solti outside Chicago's Lincoln Park Conservatory is one mark of the conductor's 50-year relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.(Photo: Wildcat Dunny (Flickr))

He won more Grammy Awards than any other recording artist. For five decades he crisscrossed the globe giving performances before standing room-only crowds at some of the world’s most prestigious venues. And he championed the power of music to bringing peace to the world.

No, he’s not Paul Simon, not Bob Dylan. He’s legendary conductor Georg Solti.

Join me Sunday morning at 10 as I launch Classical 101‘s week-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of  Sir Georg Solti.

Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., we’ll hear some of Solti’s award-winning recordings as longtime conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and with the London Symphony Orchestra and the “dream Team” of orchestras, the World Orchestra for Peace. We’ll also hear Georg Solti the pianist in collaboration with some of the finest classical chamber musicians in the world. And that’s just the beginning of a week’s worth of Solti festivities!

My path crossed with Solti’s years ago in Chicago. He was in his 80s at the time, though his intensity on the  podium was more like that of a 40 year old – seasoned but still with a downy hint of youthfulness. As his recordings attest, Solti loved a big sound. And I remember that in rehearsing the Bruckner symphony we were working on, Maestro Solti kept asking everyone – everyone! – for more sound. With the strings in full force and the brass blaring, eventually it was “Flutes! More! More!” It’s no small task for a few little flutes to make themselves known beneath a pile of trombones, horns and tubas. But it was as close to carte blanche as any musicians might be likely to get from a conductor. And, I must say, it was a blast. In every sense.

So be sure to tune in Sunday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. for the beginning of Classical 101‘s Solti Celebration!

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