"I am delighted that the young singers of the Accademia can enjoy the place my husband loved. Italy and Castiglione were very important to him. His dream was to hold masterclasses there to hand on to the future generations what it was that he had learned from the masters who had influenced his life and work. We hope with the Accademia we are fulfilling his dream."
Valerie Solti

Sir Georg Solti was one of the great conductors of the 20th century.

Born in Budapest in 1912 he studied music at the Liszt Academy and worked as a coach and conductor at the Budapest Opera. When war broke out he was visiting Toscanini in Switzerland and stayed there isolated from family and permission to work until the war ended. Without hope of work either in Hungary or Switzerland he travelled to war scarred Germany. Together with other young people from all nationalities they set out to look forwards not backwards and create a new Europe. Solti was offered the post of Musical Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. This was a vital time in his career a new begining after eight years of being unable to work. He never gave up hope and his advice to young colleagues later in his career was "Never give up!" During his time in Munich he met the composer Richard Strauss, and conducted a performance of Rosenkavalier in celebration of his 85th birthday.

In 1951 he moved to Frankfurt to become Musical Director of the Opera where he created a company of young singers during his ten year tenure. During the 50's his international career began. In 1961 he was appointed Music Director of the Royal Opera in London and in 1969 took over the leadership of the Chicago Symphony a collaboration which lasted until the end of his life. He was also Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris and the Paris Opera, Principle Conductor and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Salzburg Festival. For the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations he founded the World Orchestra for Peace which continues giving concerts today.

In 1947 Solti was offered a contract by Decca Records a relationship which lasted for 50 years during which he recorded 300 LPs and more than 40 operas including his epic recording of Wagners "Ring"

Throughout his life Solti never forgot those who helped him and was always willing to assist young musicians at the start of their careers. He promoted several generations of young singers and musicians including Anja Silja, Wolfgang Windgassen, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade, Leo Nucci, Bryn Terfel, Rene Pape,Angela Gheorgiu and Renee Fleming.

His memorial is in the little seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia where he bought his first home in a pine forest by the sea, and where together with his family he spent each summer resting studying and enjoying the seaside.

Each year in the summer students, teachers and friends of the Accademia gather in Castiglione to relive Solti's passion for music and pass on that passion and dedication to future generations.

The Georg Solti Accademia concludes each year by offering the residents and visitors to Castiglione della Pescaia a free concert in Piazza Solti.

Bel Canto
Rolex Institute