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In early 1973, Sir Georg Solti Solti receives Grammy statuettes for the CSO’s recordings of Mahler’s Seventh and Eighth symphonies. (Terry’s Photography)

Georg Solti—who would serve as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s eighth music director from 1969 until 1991—received his first Grammy at the Recording Academy’s fifth awards ceremony in May 1963, for the RCA recording of Verdi’s Aida with Leontyne Price in the title role. Over the next two decades, he steadily increased his count, and at the 26th ceremony in February 1984, Solti received four awards, bringing his total to twenty-three and surpassing Henry Mancini’s record of twenty awards. Ultimately, Sir Georg would receive thirty-one awards—twenty-four with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus—and he reigned as the all-time Grammy champ for nearly forty years.

At the the 65th Grammy Awards on February 5, 2023, Beyoncé received four statuettes, bringing her total to thirty-two and crowning her as the new champ. Quincy Jones follows Solti with twenty-eight awards, Alison Krauss has twenty-seven, and Pierre Boulez—former CSO conductor emeritus and principal guest conductor—is number five, with twenty-six Grammy awards, including eight with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

In addition, Solti and producer John Culshaw received the Academy’s first Trustees’ Award in 1967 for their “efforts, ingenuity, and artistic contributions” in connection with the first complete recording of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Vienna Philharmonic. Sir Georg also received the Academy’s 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Following is a complete list of Sir Georg Solti’s thirty-one Grammy awards and seventy-four nominations.*

5th Annual Grammy Awards (1962)

Best Opera Recording (nom 1, win 1)
VERDI Aida
Georg Solti, conductor
Leontyne Price, Rita Gorr, Jon Vickers, Robert Merrill, Giorgio Tozzi
Rome Opera House Orchestra
Rome Opera House Chorus
Giuseppe Conca, director
RCA

STRAUSS Salome
Best Opera Recording (nom 2)
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Gerhard Stolze, Grace Hoffman, Eberhard Wächter, Waldemar Kmentt
Vienna Philharmonic
London

6th Annual Grammy Awards (1963)
Best Opera Recording (nom 3)
WAGNER Siegfried
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Hans Hotter, Gerhard Stolze, Gustav Neidlinger, Joan Sutherland
Vienna Philharmonic
London

7th Annual Grammy Awards (1964)
Album of the Year–Classical (nom 4)
Best Opera Recording (nom 5)
VERDI Falstaff
Georg Solti, conductor
Geraint Evans, Giulieta Simionato, Ilva Ligabue, Robert Merrill, Mirella Freni, Alfredo Kraus, Rosalind Elias
RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra
RCA Italiana Opera Chorus
Nino Antonellini, director
RCA

8th Annual Grammy Awards (1965)
Best Opera Recording (nom 6)
WAGNER Götterdämmerung
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig, Claire Watson, Gustav Neidlinger
Vienna Philharmonic
Men of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Wilhelm Pitz, director
London

9th Annual Grammy Awards (1966)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 7)
Best Opera Recording (nom 8, win 2)
WAGNER Die Walküre
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Régine Crespin, Christa Ludwig, James King, Hans Hotter, Gottlob Frick
Vienna Philharmonic
London

10th Annual Grammy Awards (1967)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 9)
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Georg Solti, conductor
Heather Harper, Helen Watts
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra Chorus
John Alldis, director
London

11th Annual Grammy Awards (1968)
Best Opera Recording (nom 10)
STRAUSS Elektra
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Marie Collier, Regina Resnik, Gerhard Stolze, Tom Krause
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
London

13th Annual Grammy Awards (1970)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 11)
MAHLER Symphony No. 6 in A Minor
Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 12)
STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier
Georg Solti, conductor
Régine Crespin, Yvonne Minton, Helen Donath, Luciano Pavarotti, Manfred Jungwirth
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
London

14th Annual Grammy Awards
Best Opera Recording (nom 13)
MOZART The Magic Flute, K. 620
Georg Solti, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, Christina Deutekom, Stuart Burrows, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey, Martti Talvela
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
London

15th Annual Grammy Awards (1972)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 14, win 3)
Best Choral Performance–Classical (other than opera) (nom 15, win 4)
MAHLER Symphony No. 8 in E-flat Major
Georg Solti, conductor
Heather Harper, Lucia Popp, Arleen Augér, Yvonne Minton, Helen Watts, René Kollo, John Shirley-Quirk, Martti Talvela
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Singverein Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Helmut Froschauer, director
London

Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 16, win 5)
MAHLER Symphony No. 7 in E Minor
Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 17)
Best Opera Recording (nom 18)
WAGNER Tannhäuser
Georg Solti, conductor
René Kollo, Christa Ludwig, Hans Sotin, Helga Dernesch
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Wilhelm Pitz, director
London

16th Annual Grammy Awards (1973)
Album of the Year–Classical (nom 19)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (Emperor)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano
London

Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 20)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton, Stuart Burrows, Martti Talvela
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 21)
WAGNER Parsifal
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
René Kollo, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hans Hotter, Gottlob Frick, Zoltán Kélémen, Christa Ludwig
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Anton Neyder, director
London

17th Annual Grammy Awards (1974)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 22, win 6)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 23, win 7)
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London


Best Opera Recording (nom 24, win 8)
PUCCINI La bohème
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Montserrat Caballé, Judith Blegen, Plácido DomingoSherrill Milnes, Vicente Sardinero, Ruggero Raimondi
London Philharmonic Orchestra
John Alldis Choir
John Alldis, director
Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir
Russell Burgess, director
RCA

Best Opera Recording (nom 25)
MOZART Così fan tutte, K. 588
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Ryland Davies, Tom Krause, Gabriel Bacquier, Pilar Lorengar, Teresa Berganza, Jane Berbié
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Opera House Chorus
Douglas Robinson, director
London

18th Annual Grammy Awards (1975)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom, 26, win 9)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 27)
Beethoven’s Symphonies
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4 in B flat Major, Op. 60
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
BEETHOVEN Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
BEETHOVEN Overture to Coriolan, Op. 62
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton, Stuart Burrows, Martti Talvela
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

19th Annual Grammy Awards (1976)

Best Classical Orchestral Performance (nom 28, win 10)
STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 29)
Best Opera Recording (nom 30)
BIZET Carmen
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Tatiana Troyanos, Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, José van Dam
London Philharmonic Orchestra
John Alldis Choir
John Alldis, director
Boys’ Chorus from Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree
Alan Taylor and Jean Povey, directors
London

Best Classical Orchestral Performance (nom 31)
ELGAR Symphony No. 2 in E-flat Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London

20th Annual Grammy Awards (1977)

Best Choral Performance (other than opera) (nom 32, win 11)
VERDI Messa da Requiem
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Leontyne Price, Janet Baker, Veriano Luchetti, José van Dam
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
RCA

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 33)
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun and La mer
RAVEL Boléro
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Classical Orchestral Performance (nom 34)
RAVEL Boléro
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 35)
WAGNER The Flying Dutchman
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Norman Bailey, Martti Talvela, Janis Martin, René Kollo
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

21st Annual Grammy Awards (1978)

Best Choral Performance, Classical (other than opera) (nom 36, win 12)
BEETHOVEN Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Lucia Popp, Yvonne Minton, Mallory Walker, Gwynne Howell
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Choral Performance, Classical (other than opera) (nom 37)
WALTON Belshazzar’s Feast
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Benjamin Luxon, baritone
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Philharmonic Choir
John Alldis, director
London

22nd Annual Grammy Awards (1979)

Best Classical Album (nom 38, win 13)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 39, win 14)
Brahms’s Symphonies
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98
BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Choral Performance, Classical (other than opera) (nom 40, win 15)
BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, Bernd Weikl
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 41)
HOLST The Planets
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Women of the London Philharmonic Choir
John Alldis, director
London

23rd Annual Grammy Awards (1980)

Best Classical Album (nom 42)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording
 (nom 43, win 16)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6 in A Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 44)
BARTÓK Bluebeard’s Castle
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kolos Kováts, Sylvia Sass, István Sztankay
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London

24th Annual Grammy Awards (1981)

Best Classical Album (nom 45, win 17)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 46, win 18)
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Isobel Buchanan, Mira Zakai
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

25th Annual Grammy Awards (1982)

Best Classical Album (nom 47)
Best Choral Performance (other than opera
) (nom 48, win 19)
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Frederica von Stade, Kenneth Riegel, José van Dam, Malcolm King
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director
London

26th Annual Grammy Awards (1983)

Best Classical Album (nom 49, win 20)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 50, win 21)
MAHLER Symphony No. 9 in D Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 51, win 22)
MOZART The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, Lucia Popp, Frederica von Stade, Samuel Ramey, Thomas Allen, Kurt Moll
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Opera Chorus
London
This recording tied with the soundtrack for Verdi’s La traviata with James Levine conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Teresa Stratas, Plácido Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil.

Best Choral Performance (other than opera) (nom 52, win 23)
HAYDN The Creation
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Norma Burrowes, Sylvia Greenberg, Rüdiger Wohlers, James Morris, Siegmund Nimsgern
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

27th Annual Grammy Awards (1984)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 53)
MAHLER Symphony No. 4 in G Minor
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

28th Annual Grammy Awards (1985)

Best Opera Recording (nom 54, win 24)
SCHOENBERG Moses und Aron
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Franz Mazura, Philip Langridge
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

29th Annual Grammy Awards (1986)

Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 55, win 25)
LISZT A Faust Symphony
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Siegfried Jerusalem, tenor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Classical Album (nom 56)
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 (Scottish)
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 (Italian)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 57)
VERDI Un ballo in maschera
Margaret Price, Kathleen Battle, Christa Ludwig, Luciano Pavarotti, Renato Bruson
National Philharmonic Orchestra
London Opera Chorus
Terry Edwards, director
Royal College of Music Junior Department Chorus
Vaughan Meakins, director
London

30th Annual Grammy Awards (1987)

Best Classical Album (nom 58)
Best Orchestral Recording (nom 59, win 26)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Jessye Norman, Reinhild Runkel, Robert Schunk, Hans Sotin
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 60)
MOZART The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Edita Gruberová, Kathleen Battle, Gösta Winbergh, Heinz Zednik, Martti Talvela
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Concert Choir
Martha Heigl, director
London

31st Annual Grammy Awards (1988)

Best Classical Album (nom 61)
Best Opera Recording
 (nom 62, win 27)
WAGNER Lohengrin
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Jessye Norman, Eva Randová, Plácido Domingo, Siegmund Nimsgern, Hans Sotin, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Concert Choir
London

Best Chamber Music Performance (nom 63, win 28)
BARTÓK Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
Sir Georg Solti and Murray Perahia, pianos
Evelyn Glennie and David Corkhill, percussion
CBS

Best Orchestral Recording (nom 64)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Choral Performance (other than opera) (nom 65)
BACH Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Olaf Bär, Tom Krause
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

33rd Annual Grammy Awards
Best Orchestral Performance (nom 66)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

34th Annual Grammy Awards (1991)

Best Performance of a Choral Work (nom 67, win 29)
BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Felicity Lott, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hans Peter Blochwitz, William Shimell, Gwynne Howell
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

35th Annual Grammy Awards (1992)

Best Classical Album (nom 68)
Best Opera Recording (nom 69, win 30)
STRAUSS Die Frau ohne Schatten
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Hildegard Behrens, Júlia Várady, Sumi Jo, Reinhild Runkel, Plácido Domingo, José van Dam
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Helmuth Froschauer, director

40th Annual Grammy Awards (1997)

Best Classical Album (nom 70)
Best Opera Recording (nom 71, win 31)
WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Karita Mattila, Iris Vermillion, Ben Heppner, Herbert Lippert, José van Dam, Alan Opie, René Pape
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 72)
MOZART Don Giovanni, K. 527
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Bryn Terfel, Renée Fleming, Ann Murray, Michele Pertusi, Herbert Lippert, Monica Groop, Robert Scaltriti, Mario Luperi
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Voices
Terry Edwards, director
London

41st Annual Grammy Awards (1998)
Best Classical Album (nom 73)
Best Choral Performance (nom 74)
BARTÓK Cantata profana
WEINER Serenade for Small Orchestra, Op. 3
KODÁLY Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Tamás Daróczi, Alexandru Agache
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Choir of the Hungarian Radio and Television
Kálmán Strausz, director
Children’s Choir of Hungarian Radio and Television
Gabriella Thész, director
Schola Cantorum Budapestiensis
Tamás Bubnó, director

*A database of former Grammy Award winners can be found using the search function here; category titles have changed over the years. For opera recordings, only principal soloists are listed.

This article also appears here.

In early 1973, Sir Georg Solti Solti receives Grammy statuettes for the CSO’s recordings of Mahler’s Seventh and Eighth symphonies. (Terry’s Photography)

Georg Solti—who would serve as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s eighth music director from 1969 until 1991—received his first Grammy at the Recording Academy’s fifth awards ceremony in May 1963, for the RCA recording of Verdi’s Aida with Leontyne Price in the title role. Over the next two decades, he steadily increased his count, and at the 26th ceremony in February 1984, Solti received four awards, bringing his total to twenty-three and surpassing Henry Mancini’s record of twenty awards. Ultimately, Sir Georg would receive thirty-one awards—twenty-four with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus—and has continued to reign as the all-time Grammy champ for nearly forty years.

In addition, Solti and producer John Culshaw received the Academy’s first Trustees’ Award in 1967 for their “efforts, ingenuity, and artistic contributions” in connection with the first complete recording of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Vienna Philharmonic. Sir Georg also received the Academy’s 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Beyoncé and Quincy Jones currently tie for the number two slot with twenty-eight awards each, Alison Krauss has twenty-seven, and Pierre Boulez—former CSO conductor emeritus and principal guest conductor—is number four, with twenty-six Grammy awards, including eight with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

But keep an eye on Queen Bey . . . she goes into this Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony with nine nominations—including Album, Song, and Record of the year. If she receives three wins, she will tie with Sir Georg; if she takes home four or more, she will become the all-time champ. The 2023 Grammy Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, February 5.

In the meantime, following is a complete list of Sir Georg Solti’s thirty-one Grammy awards and seventy-four nominations.*

5th Annual Grammy Awards (1962)

Best Opera Recording (nom 1, win 1)
VERDI Aida
Georg Solti, conductor
Leontyne Price, Rita Gorr, Jon Vickers, Robert Merrill, Giorgio Tozzi
Rome Opera House Orchestra
Rome Opera House Chorus
Giuseppe Conca, director
RCA

STRAUSS Salome
Best Opera Recording (nom 2)
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Gerhard Stolze, Grace Hoffman, Eberhard Wächter, Waldemar Kmentt
Vienna Philharmonic
London

6th Annual Grammy Awards (1963)
Best Opera Recording (nom 3)
WAGNER Siegfried
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Hans Hotter, Gerhard Stolze, Gustav Neidlinger, Joan Sutherland
Vienna Philharmonic
London

7th Annual Grammy Awards (1964)
Album of the Year–Classical (nom 4)
Best Opera Recording (nom 5)
VERDI Falstaff
Georg Solti, conductor
Geraint Evans, Giulieta Simionato, Ilva Ligabue, Robert Merrill, Mirella Freni, Alfredo Kraus, Rosalind Elias
RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra
RCA Italiana Opera Chorus
Nino Antonellini, director
RCA

8th Annual Grammy Awards (1965)
Best Opera Recording (nom 6)
WAGNER Götterdämmerung
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig, Claire Watson, Gustav Neidlinger
Vienna Philharmonic
Men of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Wilhelm Pitz, director
London

9th Annual Grammy Awards (1966)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 7)
Best Opera Recording (nom 8, win 2)
WAGNER Die Walküre
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Régine Crespin, Christa Ludwig, James King, Hans Hotter, Gottlob Frick
Vienna Philharmonic
London

10th Annual Grammy Awards (1967)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 9)
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Georg Solti, conductor
Heather Harper, Helen Watts
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra Chorus
John Alldis, director
London

11th Annual Grammy Awards (1968)
Best Opera Recording (nom 10)
STRAUSS Elektra
Georg Solti, conductor
Birgit Nilsson, Marie Collier, Regina Resnik, Gerhard Stolze, Tom Krause
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
London

13th Annual Grammy Awards (1970)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 11)
MAHLER Symphony No. 6 in A Minor
Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 12)
STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier
Georg Solti, conductor
Régine Crespin, Yvonne Minton, Helen Donath, Luciano Pavarotti, Manfred Jungwirth
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
London

14th Annual Grammy Awards
Best Opera Recording (nom 13)
MOZART The Magic Flute, K. 620
Georg Solti, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, Christina Deutekom, Stuart Burrows, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey, Martti Talvela
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
London

15th Annual Grammy Awards (1972)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 14, win 3)
Best Choral Performance–Classical (other than opera) (nom 15, win 4)
MAHLER Symphony No. 8 in E-flat Major
Georg Solti, conductor
Heather Harper, Lucia Popp, Arleen Augér, Yvonne Minton, Helen Watts, René Kollo, John Shirley-Quirk, Martti Talvela
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Singverein Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Helmut Froschauer, director
London

Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 16, win 5)
MAHLER Symphony No. 7 in E Minor
Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 17)
Best Opera Recording (nom 18)
WAGNER Tannhäuser
Georg Solti, conductor
René Kollo, Christa Ludwig, Hans Sotin, Helga Dernesch
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Wilhelm Pitz, director
London

16th Annual Grammy Awards (1973)
Album of the Year–Classical (nom 19)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (Emperor)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano
London

Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 20)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton, Stuart Burrows, Martti Talvela
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 21)
WAGNER Parsifal
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
René Kollo, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hans Hotter, Gottlob Frick, Zoltán Kélémen, Christa Ludwig
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Norbert Balatsch, director
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Anton Neyder, director
London

17th Annual Grammy Awards (1974)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 22, win 6)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 23, win 7)
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London


Best Opera Recording (nom 24, win 8)
PUCCINI La bohème
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Montserrat Caballé, Judith Blegen, Plácido DomingoSherrill Milnes, Vicente Sardinero, Ruggero Raimondi
London Philharmonic Orchestra
John Alldis Choir
John Alldis, director
Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir
Russell Burgess, director
RCA

Best Opera Recording (nom 25)
MOZART Così fan tutte, K. 588
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Ryland Davies, Tom Krause, Gabriel Bacquier, Pilar Lorengar, Teresa Berganza, Jane Berbié
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Opera House Chorus
Douglas Robinson, director
London

18th Annual Grammy Awards (1975)

Album of the Year–Classical (nom, 26, win 9)
Best Classical Performance–Orchestra (nom 27)
Beethoven’s Symphonies
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4 in B flat Major, Op. 60
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
BEETHOVEN Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
BEETHOVEN Overture to Coriolan, Op. 62
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton, Stuart Burrows, Martti Talvela
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

19th Annual Grammy Awards (1976)

Best Classical Orchestral Performance (nom 28, win 10)
STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 29)
Best Opera Recording (nom 30)
BIZET Carmen
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Tatiana Troyanos, Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, José van Dam
London Philharmonic Orchestra
John Alldis Choir
John Alldis, director
Boys’ Chorus from Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree
Alan Taylor and Jean Povey, directors
London

Best Classical Orchestral Performance (nom 31)
ELGAR Symphony No. 2 in E-flat Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London

20th Annual Grammy Awards (1977)

Best Choral Performance (other than opera) (nom 32, win 11)
VERDI Messa da Requiem
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Leontyne Price, Janet Baker, Veriano Luchetti, José van Dam
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
RCA

Album of the Year–Classical (nom 33)
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun and La mer
RAVEL Boléro
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Classical Orchestral Performance (nom 34)
RAVEL Boléro
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 35)
WAGNER The Flying Dutchman
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Norman Bailey, Martti Talvela, Janis Martin, René Kollo
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

21st Annual Grammy Awards (1978)

Best Choral Performance, Classical (other than opera) (nom 36, win 12)
BEETHOVEN Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Lucia Popp, Yvonne Minton, Mallory Walker, Gwynne Howell
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Choral Performance, Classical (other than opera) (nom 37)
WALTON Belshazzar’s Feast
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Benjamin Luxon, baritone
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Philharmonic Choir
John Alldis, director
London

22nd Annual Grammy Awards (1979)

Best Classical Album (nom 38, win 13)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 39, win 14)
Brahms’s Symphonies
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98
BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Choral Performance, Classical (other than opera) (nom 40, win 15)
BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, Bernd Weikl
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 41)
HOLST The Planets
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Women of the London Philharmonic Choir
John Alldis, director
London

23rd Annual Grammy Awards (1980)

Best Classical Album (nom 42)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording
 (nom 43, win 16)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6 in A Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 44)
BARTÓK Bluebeard’s Castle
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kolos Kováts, Sylvia Sass, István Sztankay
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London

24th Annual Grammy Awards (1981)

Best Classical Album (nom 45, win 17)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 46, win 18)
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Isobel Buchanan, Mira Zakai
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

25th Annual Grammy Awards (1982)

Best Classical Album (nom 47)
Best Choral Performance (other than opera
) (nom 48, win 19)
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Frederica von Stade, Kenneth Riegel, José van Dam, Malcolm King
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director
London

26th Annual Grammy Awards (1983)

Best Classical Album (nom 49, win 20)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 50, win 21)
MAHLER Symphony No. 9 in D Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 51, win 22)
MOZART The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, Lucia Popp, Frederica von Stade, Samuel Ramey, Thomas Allen, Kurt Moll
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Opera Chorus
London
This recording tied with the soundtrack for Verdi’s La traviata with James Levine conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Teresa Stratas, Plácido Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil.

Best Choral Performance (other than opera) (nom 52, win 23)
HAYDN The Creation
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Norma Burrowes, Sylvia Greenberg, Rüdiger Wohlers, James Morris, Siegmund Nimsgern
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

27th Annual Grammy Awards (1984)
Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 53)
MAHLER Symphony No. 4 in G Minor
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

28th Annual Grammy Awards (1985)

Best Opera Recording (nom 54, win 24)
SCHOENBERG Moses und Aron
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Franz Mazura, Philip Langridge
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

29th Annual Grammy Awards (1986)

Best Classical Orchestral Recording (nom 55, win 25)
LISZT A Faust Symphony
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Siegfried Jerusalem, tenor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Classical Album (nom 56)
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 (Scottish)
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 (Italian)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 57)
VERDI Un ballo in maschera
Margaret Price, Kathleen Battle, Christa Ludwig, Luciano Pavarotti, Renato Bruson
National Philharmonic Orchestra
London Opera Chorus
Terry Edwards, director
Royal College of Music Junior Department Chorus
Vaughan Meakins, director
London

30th Annual Grammy Awards (1987)

Best Classical Album (nom 58)
Best Orchestral Recording (nom 59, win 26)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Jessye Norman, Reinhild Runkel, Robert Schunk, Hans Sotin
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 60)
MOZART The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Edita Gruberová, Kathleen Battle, Gösta Winbergh, Heinz Zednik, Martti Talvela
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Concert Choir
Martha Heigl, director
London

31st Annual Grammy Awards (1988)

Best Classical Album (nom 61)
Best Opera Recording
 (nom 62, win 27)
WAGNER Lohengrin
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Jessye Norman, Eva Randová, Plácido Domingo, Siegmund Nimsgern, Hans Sotin, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Concert Choir
London

Best Chamber Music Performance (nom 63, win 28)
BARTÓK Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
Sir Georg Solti and Murray Perahia, pianos
Evelyn Glennie and David Corkhill, percussion
CBS

Best Orchestral Recording (nom 64)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

Best Choral Performance (other than opera) (nom 65)
BACH Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Olaf Bär, Tom Krause
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

33rd Annual Grammy Awards
Best Orchestral Performance (nom 66)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London

34th Annual Grammy Awards (1991)

Best Performance of a Choral Work (nom 67, win 29)
BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Felicity Lott, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hans Peter Blochwitz, William Shimell, Gwynne Howell
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
London

35th Annual Grammy Awards (1992)

Best Classical Album (nom 68)
Best Opera Recording (nom 69, win 30)
STRAUSS Die Frau ohne Schatten
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Hildegard Behrens, Júlia Várady, Sumi Jo, Reinhild Runkel, Plácido Domingo, José van Dam
Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Helmuth Froschauer, director

40th Annual Grammy Awards (1997)

Best Classical Album (nom 70)
Best Opera Recording (nom 71, win 31)
WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Karita Mattila, Iris Vermillion, Ben Heppner, Herbert Lippert, José van Dam, Alan Opie, René Pape
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
London

Best Opera Recording (nom 72)
MOZART Don Giovanni, K. 527
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Bryn Terfel, Renée Fleming, Ann Murray, Michele Pertusi, Herbert Lippert, Monica Groop, Robert Scaltriti, Mario Luperi
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Voices
Terry Edwards, director
London

41st Annual Grammy Awards (1998)
Best Classical Album (nom 73)
Best Choral Performance (nom 74)
BARTÓK Cantata profana
WEINER Serenade for Small Orchestra, Op. 3
KODÁLY Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Tamás Daróczi, Alexandru Agache
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Choir of the Hungarian Radio and Television
Kálmán Strausz, director
Children’s Choir of Hungarian Radio and Television
Gabriella Thész, director
Schola Cantorum Budapestiensis
Tamás Bubnó, director

*A database of former Grammy Award winners can be found using the search function here; category titles have changed over the years. For opera recordings, only principal soloists are listed.

This article also appears here.

John Aler (Jack Mitchell photo)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family joins the music world in mourning the loss of American tenor John Aler, who died on December 10, 2022. He was seventy-three.

A four-time Grammy Award winner, Aler was a frequent guest with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both in Orchestra Hall and the Ravinia Festival. A complete list of his appearances and recordings with the Orchestra and Chorus is below.

February 13, 14, and 16, 1986, Orchestra Hall
BRITTEN War Requiem, Op. 66
Margaret Marshall, soprano
John Aler, tenor
Benjamin Luxon, tenor
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, conductor
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

August 14, 1986, Ravinia Festival
LISZT A Faust Symphony
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
James Conlon, conductor

December 12 and 17, 1991, Orchestra Hall
BARTOK Cantata profana
John Aler, tenor
John Tomlinson, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Pierre Boulez, conductor
Recorded in Orchestra Hall on December 16, 1991, for Deutsche Grammophon. Paired with Bartók’s The Wooden Prince, the release won four Grammy awards—Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Choral Performance, and Best Engineered Recording–Classical—from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

January 16, 17, 18, and February 14, 1992, Orchestra Hall
MOZART Requiem in D Minor, K. 626
Renée Fleming, soprano (January 16, 17, and 18)
Margaret Jane Wray, soprano (February 14)
Waltraud Meier, mezzo-soprano
John Aler, tenor
Peter Rose, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

April 29, 30, May 1, and 4, 1993, Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123
Tina Kiberg, soprano
Waltraud Meier, mezzo-soprano
John Aler, tenor
Robert Holl, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Recorded live in Orchestra Hall for Erato.

October 22, 1997, Orchestra Hall
MOZART Requiem in D Minor, K. 626
Emily Magee, soprano
Anna Larsson, contralto
John Aler, tenor
René Pape, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
The second half of a concert given in memory of Sir Georg Solti, who died on September 5, 1997

August 14, 1999, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Dies Bildnis is bezaubernd schön from The Magic Flute, K. 620
LEHÁR Lippen schweigen from The Merry Widow
Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano
John Aler, tenor
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
A portion of a concert—called A Galaxy of Stars—presented to benefit Ravinia’s outreach programs

July 23, 2010, Ravinia Festival
BERNSTEIN/Mauceri Vocal Suite from Candide
Cunegonde Anna Christy, soprano
Old Lady Kim Criswell, vocalist
Candide Nicholas Phan, tenor
Maximilian Jonathan Beyer, baritone
Governor/Vanderdendur John Aler, tenor
Paquette Kathryn Leemhuis, mezzo-soprano
Lakeside Singers
Robert Bowker, director
John Axelrod, conductor

August 6 and 8, 2010, Ravinia Festival
MOZART The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
Figaro John Relyea, bass-baritone
Countess Almaviva Ailyn Pérez, soprano
Bartolo Richard Bernstein, bass
Susanna Lisette Oropesa, soprano
Marcellina Jane Bunnell, mezzo-soprano
Cherubino Lauren McNeese, mezzo-soprano
Count Almaviva Nathan Gunn, baritone
Basilio John Aler, tenor
Antonio Paul Corona, bass
Don Curzio Rodell Rosel, tenor
Barbarina Lei Xu, soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
James Conlon, conductor

Daniel Barenboim leads the Orchestra and Chorus in Mozart’s Requiem in memory of Sir Georg Solti on October 22, 1997 (Jim Steere photo)

This article also appears here.

Alan Stout in 1971

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family notes with sorrow the passing of Alan Stout, composer and longtime composition and theory professor at Northwestern University. Stout died yesterday, February 1, 2018, at the age of 85.

Stout’s music was first performed by the Orchestra on two concerts given at Northwestern University’s Cahn Auditorium on May 29 and 31, 1967, when Esther Glazer was soloist in Movements for Violin and Orchestra with Henry Lewis conducting. Soon thereafter, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented four world premieres by Stout, under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Sir Georg Solti, and Margaret Hillis, at the Ravinia Festival and in Orchestra Hall.

On August 4, 1968, Ozawa led the world premiere of Stout’s Symphony no. 2 at Ravinia. The work was commissioned by the Ravinia Festival Association through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, and the performance was made possible by a Composer Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

World premiere of Stout’s Second Symphony at the Ravinia Festival on August 4, 1968

The symphony was “vivid [and] multi-dimensional . . . a collection of musical rituals,” according to Thomas Willis in the Chicago Tribune. “The work is a marvelous tapestry of textures, combining a superior craftsmanship, a remarkable ear, and encyclopedic knowledge of the inventions of his colleagues, [including] Messiaen, Penderecki, Elliott Carter, and Pierre Boulez . . .”

The composer’s Symphony no. 4 was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in celebration of its eightieth season and dedicated to Georg Solti, who led the world premiere performances on April 15, 16, and 17, 1971. The score calls for a small chorus, and members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus were prepared by assistant director Ronald Schweitzer.

The following year, Solti also led the world premiere of Stout’s George Lieder (Poems from Das neue Reich) on December 14, 15, and 16, 1972, with baritone Benjamin Luxon as soloist.

Composer and conductor review the score of the George Lieder in December 1972 (Terry’s photo)

Stout’s large-scale Passion for Soloists, Chorus, and Orchestra was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts and was dedicated to Margaret Hillis and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Hillis led the world premiere performances on April 15, 16, and 17, 1976. Soloists included Mary Sauer on organ, Elizabeth Buccheri on piano, along with soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, tenors Frank Little and John McCollum, baritones Leslie Guinn and LeRoy Lehr, and bass Monroe Olson.

The premiere of Stout’s Passion, on which the composer worked for over twenty years, was a “monumental undertaking [and] provided the most difficult music the Chorus has undertaken since Fritz Reiner brought Margaret Hillis here in 1957 to found the now internationally known ensemble,” wrote Willis in the Chicago Tribune. “Stout fashions his church Latin text into curtains and tapestries of sound. Like a sonic aurora borealis, they expand and contract as needed, supplying intimate but still objective commentary on an emotional-laden event, creating towering climaxing as the peak points of the action, or providing canopies of tightly woven, often contrapuntal sheets of sound against which other portions of the action can take place.”

Detail from the first section of Stout’s Passion, with markings by Margaret Hillis

 

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Abbado

Claudio Abbado first conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in January 1971, leading three weeks of subscription concerts. For the next twenty years, he was a frequent visitor—both before and after his tenure as second principal guest conductor from 1982 until 1985—also leading the Orchestra in concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Abbado’s numerous residencies included collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, recording sessions, and performances with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

On May 24, 25, and 27, 1984, Abbado led the Orchestra’s first performances of Berg’s landmark opera, Wozzeck. The principal cast included Benjamin Luxon in the title role, Hildegard Behrens as Marie, Alexander Malta as the Doctor, Jacque Trussel as the Drum Major, and Gerhard Unger as the Captain. Members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus were prepared by associate director James Winfield, members of the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus were prepared by Doreen Rao, and the concert staging was directed by Robert Goldschlager.

Abbado with the Orchestra onstage at Orchestra Hall on May 24, 1984 (Jeff Wassmann photo)

Abbado with the Orchestra onstage at Orchestra Hall on May 24, 1984 (Jeff Wassmann photo)

“Sung by an extraordinary cast and played with surpassing beauty and intensity by the Orchestra, this first CSO performance of the Berg masterpiece served as a resoundingly successful climax to the season,” wrote John von Rhein in the Chicago Tribune. “In a wondrous score that shifts between Straussian contrapuntal complexity and a translucence of texture worthy of Debussy, Abbado was masterful. His limning of detail was extraordinary, and he never stressed the agonized lyricism at the expense of passion or intensity. Given orchestral playing of power, shimmer, and clarity, Berg’s tight formal structures supported a vocal performance of shattering dramatic impact.”

Abbado and the cast onstage at Orchestra Hall on May 24, 1984 (Jeff Wassmann photo)

Abbado and the cast onstage at Orchestra Hall on May 24, 1984 (Jeff Wassmann photo)

“Claudio Abbado, who conducted without a score (an achievement appreciated by all who have studied this music) took advantage of the simple setting to permit the work to develop with symphonic continuity, one scene flowing directly into another, and the cumulative effect was tremendous,” raved Robert C. Marsh in the Chicago Sun-Times. “There are occasions when despite our rich diet of superlative music, you say to yourself, ‘This is a historic moment. People will be talking about this for years to come.’ And they will. Abbado and the CSO, in all their years of association, have never done anything finer or more important.”

This article also appears here.

Claudio Abbado

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family joins the music world in mourning the loss of Claudio Abbado, who served as our principal guest conductor from 1982 until 1985. Abbado died peacefully on Monday, January 20 in Bologna, Italy, following a long illness. He was 80.

A frequent and beloved guest conductor, Abbado made his debut with the Orchestra in January 1971, leading three weeks of subscription concerts at Orchestra Hall as well as a run-out concert to Milwaukee:

January 7, 8 & 9, 1971
January 11, 1971 (Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
BERG Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216
Josef Suk, violin
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

debut program

. . . and Abbado’s program book biography

debut program page

January 7, 8 & 9, 1971, program page . . .

January 14 & 15, 1971
MAHLER Symphony No. 3 in D Minor
Helen Watts, contralto
Women of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Theatre Chorus
Barbara Born, director

January 21, 22 & 23, 1971
BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 2
Maurizio Pollini, piano
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 1 in C Minor

He returned to Chicago frequently, both before and after his tenure as principal guest conductor—also leading domestic tour concerts including stops at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and New York’s Carnegie Hall—and his final appearances with the Orchestra were in March 1991. Abbado’s residencies included numerous collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and he also led the Civic Orchestra of Chicago on multiple occasions.

His repertoire with the Orchestra covered a broad spectrum including symphonies by Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky; concertos by Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Bruch, Chopin, Hindemith, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Schoenberg, Schumann, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky; as well as twentieth-century works by Boulez, Ligeti, Rihm, and Webern. Some of Abbado’s most memorable concerts included complete performances of Berg’s Wozzeck, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Schoenberg’s Ewartung, Stockhausen’s Gruppen for Three Orchestras, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Pulcinella, and Verdi’s Requiem.

Abbado acknowledges applause following a performance of Berg's Wozzeck on May 24, 1984 (J. Wassman photo)

Abbado acknowledges applause following a performance of Berg’s Wozzeck on May 24, 1984 (J. Wassman photo)

Abbado collaborated with a vast array of soloists including instrumentalists Salvatore Accardo, Carter Brey, Natalia Gutman, Yuzuko Horigome, Zoltán Kocsis, Cecile Licad, Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Shlomo Mintz, Viktoria Mullova, Ken Noda, Ivo Pogorelich, Maurizio Pollini, David Schrader, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Josef Suk, and Pinchas Zukerman; vocalists Francisco Araiza, Hildegard Behrens, Gabriela Beňačková, Rockwell Blake, Claudio Desderi, Maria Ewing, Donald Gramm, Aage Haugland, Marilyn Horne, Gwynne Howell, Philip Langridge, Benjamin Luxon, Carol Neblett, Margaret Price, Ruggero Raimondi, Samuel Ramey, Hanna Schwarz, Ellen Shade, John Shirley-Quirk, Lucia Valentini-Terrani, and Helen Watts; narrator Maximilian Schell; and CSO members Victor Aitay, Dale Clevenger, Willard Elliot, Adolph Herseth, Samuel Magad, Frank Miller, Mary Sauer, and Ray Still.

Following his last CSO guest conducting engagement in 1991, Abbado returned to Chicago on three occasions with the Berlin Philharmonic:

Berlin program

Abbado’s final appearance in Chicago, with the Berlin Philharmonic on October 10, 2001

October 22, 1993
MAHLER Symphony No. 9 in D Major

October 18, 1999
MAHLER Symphony No. 3 in D Minor
Anna Larsson, contralto
Women of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Emily Ellsworth, director

October 10, 2001
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Statements on Claudio Abbado’s passing from Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can be found on CSO Sounds and Stories.

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Composer and conductor review the score of the George Lieder in December 1972 (Terry’s photo)

With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Georg Solti led two world premieres by American composer and Northwestern University music professor Alan Stout.

The first was the world premiere of Stout’s Symphony no. 4, given on April 15, 1971. It had been commissioned by The Orchestral Association for the 80th season and was dedicated to Solti. The work also incorporates a small chorus, and for these performances members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus (prepared by associate director Ronald Schweitzer) were engaged.

According to Arrand Parsons‘s program note, “Although the chorus is used in an instrumental manner at several points in the score, in the Chorale of the fourth movement it is used to project the Latin text which is taken from Chapter 5 of The Lamentations of Jeremiah. . . . The score of Symphony no. 4 utilizes the musical language of this day without following any single line. Expressive and dramatic use of sound and of sonorous groupings is the principal motivating force in the music; a wide range of densities and textures is to be found organized in a way which may best be described as architectonic. Orchestral clusters of sound often serve as the foundation for the projection of thematic elements. The symphony is of a sectional nature, but with a continuity running from beginning to end, often punctuated by floods of sound, and with a sensitive orchestration which gives coherence to the whole.”

The second Stout premiere conducted by Solti was the George Lieder (Poems from Das neue Reich), given on December 14, 1972. English baritone Benjamin Luxon was the soloist.

According to Parsons, “The George Lieder, based on an ‘Epigraph’ and three poems from Stefan George‘s Das neue Reich (The New Kingdom), comes from 1962. In this work Stout has captured in the music the expressive mood of the poetry—the poems are all love poems of a mystical, transcendental nature. The first and second songs are set to the last poems written by George. They speak ‘about a sweet and burning light that drives even the steadfast soul hard to the abyss,’ wrote Ernst Morwitz in his commentary on the poet’s works. Musically, the first poem is set to quiet contemplation; the second song takes its cue for an intense and driving musical realization from the words: ‘Into deepest calm/In contemplative day/Suddenly intrudes a glimpse/Of unimagined terror/Disturbing the soul. . . .’ The final song, again in the words of Morwitz, ‘tells of the flawless and slender flame that shines victorious in consuming passion.’ This sustained piece builds to a climax on the words, ‘Ich küsse dich mit jedem duft [I kiss you with every scent],’ and then gradually dissolves into silence (niente).”

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Theodore Thomas

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