On a personal note . . .

I never met Sir Georg. But as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with him on three occasions: Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 13 (Babi Yar) in February 1995, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in September 1995, and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms in March 1997. Even as music director laureate, Solti still commanded the podium and demanded the very best from everyone. It may have taken him an extra moment to get to the podium, but once he arrived, there was work to be done. And everyone—Orchestra, Chorus, soloists—sat up, took notice, and delivered. We all simply played and sang better than our best when he was onstage.

And here in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Rosenthal Archives, I have the privilege of documenting, preserving, and providing access to so many aspects of Sir Georg’s legacy to not only his longtime admirers—and they are a fierce bunch—but also to new generations of musicians and music lovers.

Indeed, a pleasure and a privilege. And again, thank you, Sir Georg.