György Solti Centenary Year

03 Nov

The Hungarian State Opera will commemorate the centenary of birth of the legendary Hungarian conductor, by a public panel discussion, film screening and by performing the Marriage of Figaro on October 26, 2012.  This has been the only opera that Solti has conducted – and only at one occasion – at the Hungarian State Opera.

György Solti, one of the outstanding conductors and leading personalities of the music scene of the 20th century was born in Budapest on October 21 1912. He studied piano and music composition at the Music Academy from 1927 until 1931, tutored by such artists as Béla Bartók, Ernő Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály. Already before WWII, because of his Jewish origin, he had to flee Hungary and took refuge in Switzerland, spending the rest of his life away from his home country. 

“I have been lucky to grow up in Hungary,” he has written in his Memoirs “in a country that lives in music, breaths music, and passionately believes in the power of music, as the celebration of life.”

A memorial plaque honors him on the house in Budapest, where he was born. He died in south France in 1997 and according to his will he was laid to rest in the Farkasrét cemetery in Budapest, beside the grave of Béla Bartók. The inscription on his tombstone reads “Hazatért [Returned Home]”.