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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 and Chick Corea each has twenty-seven, and Pierre Boulez—former CSO conductor emeritus and principal guest conductor—is in fifth place, 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.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family joins the music world in mourning the loss of German mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, who died yesterday at her home in Klosterneuburg, Austria. She was ninety-three.

Riccardo Muti, writing from Ravenna, Italy, expressed, ′′The passing of Christa Ludwig, an immense artist, is a huge loss to the music world. She honored me with her friendship and gave me unforgettable artistic collaborations, both at the Musikverein in Vienna and La Scala in Milan. I will never forget her.”

Christa Ludwig in 1967 as Fricka in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Metropolitan Opera photo)

Ludwig appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions, at Orchestra Hall, the Ravinia Festival, and Carnegie Hall, as follows:

February 20, 21, and 25, 1958, Orchestra Hall
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Richard Lewis, tenor

October 26 and 27, 1967, Orchestra Hall
MAHLER Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Alfred Wallenstein, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano

July 7, 1970, Ravinia Festival
MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
István Kertész, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano

April 24, 25, and 26, 1980, Orchestra Hall
May 2 and 3, 1980, Carnegie Hall
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Isobel Buchanan, soprano
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

Christa Ludwig in 2014 (Ernst Kainerstorfer photo)

April 25, 26, and 27, 1985, Orchestra Hall
April 29, 1985, Carnegie Hall
VERDI Falstaff
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Sir John Falstaff Guillermo Sarabia, baritone
Ford Wolfgang Brendel, baritone
Fenton Yordi Ramiro, tenor
Dr. Caius Heinz Zednik, tenor
Bardolph Francis Egerton, tenor
Pistol Aage Haugland, bass
Mistress Alice Ford Katia Ricciarelli, soprano
Nannetta Kathleen Battle, soprano
Mistress Quickly Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Mistress Meg Page Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 5, 1991, Ravinia Festival
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
James Levine, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Gary Lakes, tenor

Numerous tributes have appeared online, including The New York Times, BBC News, and OperaWire, among several others.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family joins the music world in mourning the death of Israeli mezzo-soprano Mira Zakai, who died on May 20, 2019. She was seventy-six.

Mira Zakai in 2013 (Daniel Tchetchik photo)

Zakai appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on several notable occasions, both in the concert hall and in the recording studio. A complete list is below.

MOZART Mass in C Major, K. 317 (Coronation)
March 13, 14, and 15, 1980, Orchestra Hall
Rafael Kubelík, conductor
Lucia Popp, soprano
Mira Zakai, mezzo-soprano
Alexander Oliver, tenor
Malcolm King, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Originally recorded by WFMT for radio broadcast, this was released on the CSO’s From the Archives, vol. 13 (Chicago Symphony Chorus: A Fortieth Anniversary Celebration).

MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
May 5, 6, 7, and 8, 1980, Medinah Temple, (recording sessions only)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Isobel Buchanan, soprano
Mira Zakai, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
The symphony was performed in Orchestra Hall on April 24, 25, and 26 in Orchestra Hall and on May 2 and 3, 1980, in Carnegie Hall with Buchanan and Christa Ludwig as soloists. James Mallinson produced the recording, and James Lock and John Dunkerley were the balance engineers for London Records. The recording won the 1981 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Orchestral Recording from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

MAHLER Symphony No. 8 in E-flat Major
October 2, 3, 4, and 6, 1980, Orchestra Hall
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Faye Robinson, soprano (October 2, 3, and 4)
Jill Gomez, soprano (October 6)
Teresa Cahill, soprano
Jo Ann Pickens, soprano
Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano
Mira Zakai, mezzo-soprano
Kenneth Riegel, tenor (October 2, 3, and 4)
Dennis Bailey, tenor (October 6)
Brent Ellis, baritone
Theo Adam, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

SCHOENBERG Moses und Aron
April 19 and 21, 1984, Orchestra Hall
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Franz Mazura, speaker
Philip Langridge, tenor
Barbara Bonney, soprano
Daniel Harper, tenor
Kurt Link, baritone
Aage Haugland, bass
Mira Zakai, mezzo-soprano
Herbert Wittges, baritone
Thomas Dymit, tenor
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Members of the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director
The opera was recorded in Orchestra Hall on April 23, 24, 30, and May 1, 1984. James Mallinson produced the recording, and James Lock and John Pellowe were the engineers for London Records. The recording won the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Wishing a very happy seventieth birthday to the remarkable soprano Kathleen Battle! She has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on a number of occasions, in Orchestra Hall, at the Ravinia Festival, and in Carnegie Hall, as follows:

June 27, 1974, Ravinia Festival
MAHLER Symphony No. 8 in E-flat Major
James Levine, conductor
Edda Moser, soprano
Clarice Carson, soprano
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Beverly Wolff, contralto
Gwendolyn Killebrew, contralto
Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Lawrence Shadur, baritone
Justino Díaz, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

June 26, 1975, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Mass in C Minor, K. 427
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle
Maria Ewing, soprano
Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Ara Berberian, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 17, 1976, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Bella mia fiamma . . . Resta, o cara, K. 528
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano

July 2, 1977, Ravinia Festival
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Beverly Wolff, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 23, 1977, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio, K. 418
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano

July 24, 1977, Ravinia Festival
HADYN The Creation
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Benita Valente, soprano
Seth McCoy, tenor
Donald Gramm, bass-baritione
Arnold Voketaitis, bass-baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

June 24 1978, Ravinia Festival
MENDELSSOHN Selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Claudine Carlson, mezzo-soprano
Women of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

June 30, 1978, Ravinia Festial
BERLIOZ Les Troyens, part 1
James Levine, conductor
A Trojan Soldier, Pantheus John Cheek, bass
Cassandra Nadine Denize, soprano
Chorebus Lenus Carlson, baritone
Aeneas Guy Chauvet, tenor
Helenus David Kuebler, tenor
Ascanius Kathleen Battle, soprano
Hecuba Patricia O’Neill, soprano
Priam, The Ghost of Hector Ara Berberian, bass
A Greek Captain Philip Kraus, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 1, 1978, Ravinia Festival
BERLIOZ Les Troyens, part 2
James Levine, conductor
Dido Shirley Verrett, soprano
Anna, Ghost of Cassandra Claudine Carlson, mezzo-soprano
Iopas David Kuebler, tenor
Ascanius Kathleen Battle, soprano
Pantheus, Mercury, Ghost of Priam John Cheek, bass
Narbal, Ghost of Hector Ara Berberian, bass
Aeneas Guy Chauvet, tenor
Hylas Philip Creech, tenor
First Sentry, Ghost of Chorebus James Kalkbrenner, bass
Second Sentry Philip Kraus, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 9, 1978, Ravinia Festival
MENDELSSOHN Elijah, Op. 70
James Levine, conductor
Sherrill Milnes, baritone
Jessye Norman, soprano
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Beverly Wolff, mezzo-soprano
Isola Jones, mezzo-soprano
Philip Creech, tenor
Kirk Stuart, tenor
John Cheek, bass-baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 16, 1978, Ravinia Festival
BACH Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Beverly Wolff, mezzo-soprano
Philip Creech, tenor
David Kuebler, tenor
John Cheek, bass-baritone
Arthur Thompson, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Theatre Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

July 3, 1980, Ravinia Festival
SCHUBERT Mass No. 6 in E-flat Major, D. 950
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Florence Quivar, mezzo-soprano
Vinson Cole, tenor
Philip Creech, tenor
John Cheek, bass-baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 13, 1980, Ravinia Festival
BACH Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Florence Quivar, mezzo-soprano
Vinson Cole, tenor
Philip Creech, tenor
John Cheek, bass-baritone
Arthur Thompson, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

June 30, 1983, Ravinia Festival
BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Håkan Hagegård, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Brahms’s Requiem was recorded in Orchestra Hall on July 5 and 6, 1983, for RCAThomas Z. Shepard was the producer, Paul Goodman the recording engineer, and John Newton and Thomas MacCluskey were engineers. The recording won the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance from the  National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

July 3, 1983, Ravinia Festival
HANDEL L’Allegro ed il Penseroso from L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Philip Creech, tenor
John Cheek, bass-baritone
Mary Sauer, harpsichord
Chicago Symphony Chorus
James Winfield, associate director

April 25, 26, and 27, 1985, Orchestra Hall
April 29, 1985, Carnegie Hall
VERDI Falstaff
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Sir John Falstaff Guillermo Sarabia, baritone
Ford Wolfgang Brendel, baritone
Fenton Yordi Ramiro, tenor
Dr. Caius Heinz Zednik, tenor
Bardolph Francis Egerton, tenor
Pistol Aage Haugland, bass
Mistress Alice Ford Katia Ricciarelli, soprano
Nannetta Kathleen Battle, soprano
Mistress Quickly Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Mistress Meg Page Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

June 29, 1986, Ravinia Festival
BACH Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51
VILLA-LOBOS Bachiana Brasileira No. 5
MAHLER Symphony No. 4
James Levine, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Adolph Herseth, trumpet
Lynn Harrell, cello

July 3, 1987, Ravinia Festival
STRAUSS Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60
James Levine, conductor
A Music Master Hermann Prey, baritone
The Major-Domo Nico Castel, tenor
The Composer Susanne Mentzer, mezzo-soprano
The Tenor, Bacchus Gary Lakes, tenor
An Officer Edward Ozaki, tenor
A Dancing Master Andrea Velis, tenor
A Wig Maker David Huneryager, bass
A Lackey Richard Cohn, baritone
Zerbinetta Kathleen Battle, soprano
Prima Donna, Ariadne Margaret Price, soprano
Harlequin Christopher Trakas, baritone
Scaramuccio Allan Glassman, tenor
Truffaldino James Courtney, bass
Brighella Philip Creech, tenor
Naiad Gail Dobish, soprano
Dryad Hillary Johnsson, mezzo-soprano
Echo Dawn Upshaw, soprano

February 4, 5, and 6, 1988, Orchestra Hall
BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Alfred Muff, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, chorus director

July 8, 1988, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Don Giovanni, K. 527
James Levine, conductor
Leporello Renato Capecchi, baritone
Donna Anna Karen Huffstodt, soprano
Don Giovanni Thomas Hampson, baritone
Commendatore Jeffrey Wells, bass-baritone
Don Ottavio Vinson Cole, tenor
Donna Elvira Patricia Schuman, soprano
Zerlina Kathleen Battle, soprano
Masetto Julien Robbins, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

June 21, 1991, Ravinia Festival
DONIZETTI The Elixir of Love
James Levine, conductor
Giannetta Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Nemorino Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Adina Kathleen Battle, soprano
Belcore Mark Oswald, baritone
Dulcamara Paul Plishka, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 24, 1993, Ravinia Festival
PREVIN Honey and Rue
DONIZETTI C’en est donc fait . . . Par le rang et par l’opulence from The Daughter of the Regiment
John Nelson, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano

July 29, 1994, Ravinia Festival
GOUNOD Je veux vivre from Romeo and Juliet
BERLIOZ Je vais le voir from Beatrice and Benedict
VILLA-LOBOS Bachiana Brasileira No. 5
Hugh Wolff, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano

September 16, 1994

September 16, 1994, Orchestra Hall
MOZART Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165
STRAUSS Ständchen, Op. 17, No. 2
STRAUSS Morgen!, Op. 27, No. 4
STRAUSS Ich schwebe, Op. 48, No. 2
GERSHWIN Summertime from Porgy and Bess
BERNSTEIN Somewhere from West Side Story
PREVIN Take My Mother Home from Honey and Rue
ELLINGTON/Sadin Come Sunday
Daniel Barenboim, harpsichord, piano, and conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano

August 5, 1995, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Deh vieni non tardar from The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
MOZART Misera! dove son . . . Ah! non son io che parlo, K. 369
MOZART Un moto di gioia mi sento, K. 579
STRAVINSKY No word from Tom from The Rake’s Progress
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano

July 11, 1998, Ravinia Festival

July 11, 1998, Ravinia Festival
VERDI Sul fil d’un soffio estesio from Falstaff
ROSSINI Una voce poco fa from The Barber of Seville
ROSSINI Dunque io son from The Barber of Seville
MOZART Crudel! perchè finora from The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
GOUNOD Je veux vivre from Romeo and Juliet
KORNGOLD Glück, das mir verblieb from Die tote Stadt
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, baritone

July 12, 2003, Ravinia Festival
MOZART Deh vieni non tardar from The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
GOUNOD Amour ranime mon courage from Romeo and Juliet
GABRIEL/Sadin His Eye is on the Sparrow
TRADITIONAL/Smith Witness
TRADITIONAL/Bonds He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
Bobby McFerrin, conductor
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Children’s Choir
Josephine Lee, director

Between 1993 and 1996, James Levine led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in recording sessions at Medinah Temple for Fantasia 2000, the long-awaited sequel to Disney’s classic 1940 Fantasia. One of the works recorded was excerpts from Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marches featuring Battle and the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Under the auspices of Allied Arts, CSO Presents, and Symphony Center Presents, Battle also gave recitals in Orchestra Hall on the following dates:

  • April 20, 1986
  • December 13, 1991
  • April 24, 1996
  • April 18, 1999
  • April 11, 2001

Happy, happy birthday!

Wishing a very happy ninetieth birthday to the wonderful mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig!

Christa Ludwig in 1967 as Fricka in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Metropolitan Opera photo)

Ludwig has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions, at Orchestra Hall, the Ravinia Festival, and Carnegie Hall, as follows (concerts at Orchestra Hall, unless otherwise noted):

February 20, 21, and 25, 1958
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Richard Lewis, tenor

October 26 and 27, 1967
MAHLER Songs from Des knaben Wunderhorn
Alfred Wallenstein, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano

July 7, 1970 (Ravinia Festival)
MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
István Kertész, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano

April 24, 25, and 26, 1980
May 2 and 3, 1980 (Carnegie Hall)
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Isobel Buchanan, soprano
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

Christa Ludwig in 2014 (Ernst Kainerstorfer photo)

April 25, 26, and 27, 1985
April 29, 1985 (Carnegie Hall)
VERDI Falstaff
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Guillermo Sarabia, baritone
Wolfgang Brendel, baritone
Yordi Ramiro, tenor
Heinz Zednik, tenor
Francis Egerton, tenor
Aage Haugland, bass
Katia Ricciarelli, soprano
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

July 5, 1991 (Ravinia Festival)
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
James Levine, conductor
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Gary Lakes, tenor

Happy, happy birthday!

Just before the opening of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s seventieth season, our sixth music director Fritz Reiner suffered a heart attack on October 7, 1960. He had been scheduled to conduct the first four weeks of concerts, but his recuperation forced the cancellation of his remaining appearances for the calendar year.

Maria Callas with Antonino Votto

Antonino Votto was one of Maria Callas‘s integral collaborators, leading many of her important productions at La Scala in the 1950s. He also was conductor of several of her landmark recordings on EMI including Puccini’s La bohème, Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, Bellini’s La sonnambula, and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda.

Replacement conductors included CSO associate conductor Walter Hendl, Robert Shaw (leading Beethoven’s Missa solemnis), Erich Leinsdorf (to conduct a special Saturday evening concert on October 15 featuring the U.S. debut of Sviatoslav Richter as soloist in Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto), and Antonino Votto (who would soon become Riccardo Muti‘s conducting teacher).

Votto was in Chicago to make his debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago and (according to their Performance + Cast Archive) he led the season opening performances of Verdi’s Don Carlo on October 14, 21, and 24. The cast included Giulietta Simionato, Margherita Roberti, Richard Tucker, Tito Gobbi, and Boris Christoff. Votto also conducted performances of Verdi’s Aida on October 17, 19, 22, and 28, with a cast that included Leontyne Price, Simionato, Carlo Bergonzi, and Robert Merrill.

Antonino Votto and Guiomar Novaes's program book biographies

Antonino Votto and Guiomar Novaes’s program book biographies

According to an October 16, 1960, CSO press release: “Antonino Votto will conduct the subscription concerts in the third week of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s current season. The concerts of Tuesday afternoon, October 25, and the subscription pair of Thursday-Friday, October 27-28, originally scheduled for music director Fritz Reiner, will be directed by the Italian conductor who is currently in Chicago for his first season with the Lyric Opera. A leading conductor of both opera and symphony concerts at La Scala in Milan, Maestro Votto’s appearance with the Orchestra has been made possible through the courteous cooperation of Miss Carol Fox, General Manager of the Lyric Opera.”

October 25, 1960 - revised program

October 25, 1960 – revised program

October 25, 1960 - original program advertisement

October 25, 1960 – original program advertisement

Both programs were modified (see images right and below) to accommodate conductor and soloist. According to Claudia Cassidy in the Chicago Tribune regarding the first concert on October 25: “From the start of Haydn’s London Symphony thru the Mozart with Guiomar Novaes and Debussy’s Faun to the perfectly planned and executed climax of a stunning Pictures at an Exhibition this was a major concert on the sounder shores of style” (complete review is here). Also according to Cassidy, word traveled fast and the following two concerts on Thursday and Friday quickly sold out: “. . . Votto is a man to respect a score, an orchestra and a soloist. When you add that to knowing your business and you can work with other musicians on a high level remarkable things can happen. Such as orchestral equilibrium, a sense of proportion in displaying a soloist, a mounting excitement on the stage and in the audience. In other words, quite a concert” (complete review is here).

October 27 & 28, 1960 - revised program

October 27 & 28, 1960 – revised program

October 27 & 28, 1960 - original program advertisement

October 27 & 28, 1960 – original program advertisement

According to a newspaper account, Reiner—from his hospital bed at Presbyterian/Saint Luke’s—was able to hear a portion of the Friday afternoon matinee via “telephone from a remote pickup thru a microphone in the concert hall to a loudspeaker in the manager’s office.” Reiner’s statement: “Please convey my warm compliments on the splendid performance of Mme. Novaes and Maestro Votto. I enjoyed very much the finesse and style of the orchestra, which has been inoculated in the years of our association.”

Votto was re-engaged at Lyric the following season for Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor on October 14, 16, and 18, 1961 (with Joan Sutherland, Bergonzi, and Tucker); Giordano’s Andrea Chenier on October 20, and 25, 28 (with Shakeh Vartenissian and Jon Vickers); and the company premiere of Boito’s Mefistofele on October 21, 23, and 27 (with Ilva Ligabue, Christa Ludwig, Christoff, and Bergonzi).

Votto returned to Italy and in November 1962, twenty-one-year-old Riccardo Muti met him during his first year as a student at the Milan Conservatory. Muti remembers: “And then there was Votto, whom I recall so vividly. He was solemn and incredibly strict, and had worked with [Arturo] Toscanini during his years at La Scala. . . . Within a few days, however, I realized that Votto had taken a liking to me, to the point of giving me—as if to prefer me over less talented students, or ones he didn’t like as much—some pieces to conduct for the performances the following year. Not only did I take a class with him, but I also attended some of his rehearsals at La Scala. . . . I was particularly struck when he did Falstaff: he didn’t have the score! Now, it’s one thing to conduct from memory, but to try that with Falstaff is one of those things that just leaves you flabbergasted and makes you think that maybe, with such experts around, you’d best find another job. I asked him something along those lines, and he replied: ‘If you had worked with Him, you would do the same.’ ‘Him,’ of course, meant Toscanini, with whom such work was an intense, special months-long undertaking; after that, going on memory became spontaneous, the natural result of having complete mastery of the score. . . .

“Votto’s approach was based on conductorial efficiency, music for music’s sake, no frills, no bells and whistles, going straight to the heart of opera, only essential gestures, nothing more than was absolutely necessary. In his classes he’d often repeat, ‘Don’t annoy the orchestra.’ To the uninitiated that phrase might seem absurd or misleading, calling into question the orchestra conductor’s usefulness. In reality he just wanted to advise us that, once the orchestra was on an orderly, rhythmic path (the obvious outcome of long rehearsing), the maestro mustn’t disturb that natural gait, and must therefore avoid rash gestures while on the podium, steering clear of any temptation to become a court jester; basically, he mustn’t alter what the nature of the piece itself had established. And such a position was a clear, complete reflection of Arturo Toscanini’s.”

Their friendship continued well beyond the conservatory, and when Muti married Maria Cristina Mazzavillani on June 1, 1969, in Ravenna, Votto was best man (“while Sviatoslav Richter became our ad hoc photographer and took some of the best photos”).

Excerpts from Riccardo Muti, An Autobiography: First the Music, Then the Words.

____________________________________________________

During his tenure as music director, Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra traveled to Carnegie Hall nearly every season. A complete list of those concerts are below:

January 8, 1970
HAYDN Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major
BARTÓK Dance Suite
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

January 9, 1970
MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
Helen Watts, contralto
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

December 7, 1970
LEVY Concerto for Piano No. 1
Earl Wild, piano
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 8 in C Minor

December 8, 1970
MAHLER Symphony No. 7 in E Minor

April 27, 1971
WAGNER Das Rheingold
Woglinde Karen Altman, soprano
Wellgunde Huguette Tourangeau, mezzo-soprano
Flosshilde Helen Watts, contralto
Alberich Rolf Kuhne, bass
Wotan David Ward, bass
Fricka Mignon Dunn, mezzo-soprano
Freia Karen Altman, soprano
Fasolt Martti Talvela, bass
Fafner Hans Sotin, bass
Donner Thomas Paul, bass
Froh Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Loge Gerhard Stolze, tenor
Mime John Lanigan, tenor
Erda Helen Watts, contralto

November 17, 1971
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97 (Rhenish)
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra
WAGNER Prelude to Act 1 of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

November 20, 1971
SCHOENBERG Moses and Aron
Moses Hans Hotter, speaker
Aron Richard Lewis, tenor
A Young Girl Karen Altman, soprano
A Young Man Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Another Man Benjamin Matthews, baritone
Priest Donald Gramm, bass-baritone
An Invalid Woman Emilie Miller, mezzo-contralto
Ephraimite Stephen Swanson, baritone
A Naked Youth Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Four Naked Virgins Barbara Pearson and Nancy Clevenger, sopranos; Sharon Powell, mezzo-soprano; Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, alto
Three Elders Alfred Reichel and Jack Abraham, baritones; Eugene Johnson, bass
Six Solo Voices in the Orchestra Barbara Pearson, soprano; Sharon Powell, mezzo-soprano; Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, alto; William Wahman, tenor; Stephen Swanson and Arthur Berg, baritones
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Theatre Chorus
Barbara Born, director

April 19, 1972
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 (Unfinished)
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano
Stuart Burrows, tenor

April 22, 1972
CARTER Variations for Orchestra
STRAUSS Don Juan, Op. 20
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14A

December 6, 1972
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24
Marguerite Josephine Veasey, contralto
Faust Stuart Burrows, tenor
Mephistopheles Robert Savoie, baritone
Brander Roger Soyer, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Theatre Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

December 9, 1972
MENDELSSOHN Overture to Fingal’s Cave, Op. 26
BARTÓK Concert for Violin, No. 2
Isaac Stern, violin
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

May 2, 1973
WAGNER Act 3 of Götterdämmerung
Gutrune Karen Altman, soprano
Brunnhilde Helga Dernesch, soprano
Woglinde Barbara Pearson, soprano
Wellgunde Gwendolyn Jones, mezzo-soprano
Flosshilde Sandra Walker, mezzo-soprano
Siegfried Jess Thomas, tenor
Gunther Donald Gramm, bass
Hagen Martti Talvela, bass
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Richard Boldrey, assistant director

May 4, 1973
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

November 14, 1973
WEBER Overture to Oberon
HENZE Heliogabalus Imperator
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)

November 17, 1973
BACH Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068
MAHLER Symphony No. 6 in A Minor

May 1, 1974
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120
BARTÓK Bluebeard’s Castle
Judith Tatiana Troyanos, mezzo-soprano
Bluebeard Zoltán Kelemen, baritone

May 4, 1974
MOZART Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 (Haffner)
ELGAR Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 (Enigma)
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

December 17, 1974
BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047
Samuel Magad, violin
Ralph Zeitlin, recorder
Ray Still, oboe
Adolph Herseth, trumpet
SCHOENBERG Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

December 18, 1974
STRAUSS Salome
Salome Birgit Nilsson, soprano
Herodias Ruth Hesse, mezzo-soprano
Herod Antipas Ragnar Ulfung, tenor
Jokanaan Norman Bailey, baritone
Slave Sarah Beatty, soprano
The Page of Herodias Sandra Walker, mezzo-soprano
Narraboth George Shirley, tenor
Cappadocian Gershon Silins, bass
Two Nazarenes Cory Winter, tenor; Franz Mazura, bass-baritone
Four Jews Philip Creech, Jerry Jennings, John Lanigan, and William Wahman, tenors; Eugene Johnson, bass
Two Soldiers Curtis Dickson and Thomas Paul, basses

December 20, 1974
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
MAHLER Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Julia Hamari, mezzo-soprano
ELGAR Symphony No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 63

December 21, 1974
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
MAHLER Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Julia Hamari, mezzo-soprano
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

April 29, 1975
STRAVINSKY Symphony in C
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major

April 30, 1975
VERDI Requiem
Leontyne Price, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Gwynne Howell, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

May 2, 1975
HAYDN Symphony No. 101 in D Major (The Clock)
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major
Tamás Vásáry, piano
STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30

May 10, 1976
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28

May 12, 1976
MENDELSSOHN Selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
Alicia de Larrocha, piano
DEBUSSY La mer

May 14, 1976
WAGNER Der fliegende Höllander
The Dutchman Norman Bailey, bass-baritone
Senta Janis Martin, soprano
Daland Martti Talvelabass
Erik René Kollo, tenor
The Steersman Werner Krenntenor
Mary Isola Jonesmezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

November 8, 1976
MOZART Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K. 546
VERDI Four Sacred Pieces
Jo Ann Pickens, soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
WALTON Belshazzar’s Feast
David Ward, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

November 10, 1976
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (Pathétique)

November 12, 1976
RAVEL Le tombeau de Couperin
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
RAVEL La valse
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

May 9, 1977
HAYDN Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major
WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

May 11, 1977
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

May 13, 1977
BEETHOVEN Missa solemnis, Op. 123
Lucia Popp, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Mallory Walker, tenor
Gwynne Howell, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

Solti was scheduled to conduct four concerts at Carnegie Hall in October and November 1977; however after suffering a fall in Chicago, he was forced to cancel the first two appearances. The October 31 performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony was conducted by Chorus Director Margaret Hillis, and the November 1 program (identical to the November 2 concert) was led by Associate Conductor Henry Mazer.

November 2, 1977
ROSSINI Overture to The Barber of Seville
STRAVINSKY Jeu de cartes
STRAUSS Four Last Songs
Lucia Popp, soprano
STRAUSS Don Juan, Op. 20

November 4, 1977
TIPPETT Symphony No. 4
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

May 8, 1978
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
Alfred Brendel, piano
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

May 9, 1978
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

May 10, 1978
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
Alfred Brendel, piano
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

May 12, 1978
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Op. 81
BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Bernd Weikl, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

May 14 & 15, 1979
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6 in A Major

May 16 & 18, 1979
MUSSORGSKY/Rimsky-Korsakov Prelude to Khovanshchina
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 1, Op. 10
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944 (Great)

May 19, 1979
BEETHOVEN Fidelio, Op. 72
Leonore Hildegard Behrens, soprano
Marzelline Sona Ghazarian, soprano
Florestan Peter Hofmann, tenor
Jaquino David Kübler, tenor
Don Pizarro Theo Adam, baritone
Rocco Hans Sotin, bass
Don Fernando Gwynne Howell, bass
Two Prisoners Robert Johnson, tenor and Philip Kraus, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, chorus director

April 28 & 30, 1980
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastorale)
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

April 29, 1980
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 (Scottish)
WAGNER “Dich, teure Halle” from Tannhäuser
Leontyne Price, soprano
WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Leontyne Price, soprano
MUSSORGSKY/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition

May 2 & 3, 1980
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Isobel Buchanan, soprano
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

April 27 & 29, 1981
MAHLER Symphony No. 9 in D Major

April 28, 1981
BRUCKNER Symphony No.4 in E-flat Major (Romantic)
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra

May 1 & 2, 1981
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24
Marguerite Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano
Faust Kenneth Riegel, tenor (May 1); Peyo Garazzi, tenor (May 2)
Mephistopheles José van Dam, baritone
Brander Malcolm King, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

April 18, 1983
WAGNER Das Rheingold
Wotan Siegmund Nimsgern, bass-baritone
Alberich Hermann Becht, baritone
Fricka Gabriele Schnaut, mezzo-soprano
Loge Siegfried Jerusalem, tenor
Mime Robert Tear, tenor
Erda Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano
Fafner Malcolm Smith, bass
Fasolt Gwynne Howell, bass
Freia Mary Jane Johnson, soprano
Donner John Cheek, bass-baritone
Froh Dennis Bailey, tenor
Woglinde Michelle Harman-Gulick, soprano
Wellgunde Elizabeth Hynes, soprano
Flosshilde Emily Golden, mezzo-soprano

April 19, 1983
MOZART Overture to The Magic Flute, K. 620
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (From the New World)

April 29, 1985
VERDI Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff Guillermo Sarabia, baritone
Ford Wolfgang Brendel, baritone
Fenton Yordi Ramiro, tenor
Dr. Caius Heinz Zednik, tenor
Bardolph Francis Egerton, tenor
Pistol Aage Haugland, bass
Mistress Alice Ford Katia Ricciarelli, soprano
Nannetta Kathleen Battle, soprano
Mistress Quickly Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Mistress Meg Page Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

April 30, 1985
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9, Op. 70
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (Unfinished)

May 1, 1985
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op 56a
LUTOSŁAWSKI Symphony No. 3
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

May 3, 1985
MAHLER Symphony No. 7 in E Minor

May 4, 1985
BERG Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
BERG Concerto for Violin
Salvatore Accardo, violin
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

May 18, 1987
MAHLER Symphony No. 9

May 19, 1987
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

May 20, 1987
HAYDN Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major (Drumroll)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

February 10, 1989
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485
SCHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 65

February 11, 1989
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

April 15 & 18, 1991
TIPPETT Byzantium
Faye Robinson, soprano
MAHLER Symphony No. 5


April 16 & 19, 1991

VERDI Otello
Otello Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Desdemona Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Iago Leo Nucci, baritone
Emilia Elzbieta Ardam, mezzo-soprano
Cassio Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor
Roderigo John Keyes, tenor
Montano Alan Opie, baritone
Lodovico Dimitri Kavrakos, bass
A Herald Richard Cohn, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Terry Edwards, guest chorus master
Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus
Elena Doria, director

____________________________________________________

Solti leading a Verdi Requiem recording session at Medinah Temple in June 1977

Sir Georg Solti twice led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Verdi’s Requiem, with concerts in Orchestra Hall and Carnegie Hall.

April 24 and 26, 1975, at Orchestra Hall (special non-subscription concerts)
April 30, 1975, at Carnegie Hall
Leontyne Price, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Gwynne Howell, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

May 31, 1977, at Orchestra Hall (Musicians’ Pension Fund concert)
Leontyne Price, soprano
Janet Baker, mezzo-soprano
Veriano Luchetti, tenor
José van Dam, bass-baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

The work was recorded in Medinah Temple on June 1 and 2, 1977.

John Warrack‘s review in Gramophone magazine noted: “Much credit for bringing four strong and distinctive artists into a unified performance, of distinctive character, clearly resides with Solti. Either he now takes a less hectic, more consolatory view of the work, or he has let the quality of his soloists make this the shaping element of the performance. He is fortunate in an outstanding choir and orchestra, and in a recording that encompasses all the vehemence of the ‘Dies irae’ and also the cool sound of the three flutes accompanying Dame Janet’s beautiful singing of the ‘Agnus Dei’, without any sense of a change of perspective.

“There are sections where he has allowed the choir to let vehemence do duty for real emphasis—a case in point is the ‘Te decet hymnus’—and the renewal of the main ‘Dies irae’ theme has a slight note of an automatic return to a sensational moment, rather than a re-intensification of the moment of Judgement.

“But this is a fine performance, and one which can stand beside any which has been recorded. To choose between this and the Giulini performance listed above is not really reasonable: Giulini has qualities which are unique, and close to the heart of the work; Solti has his own qualities, and is favoured with at least two incomparable performances among his soloists. We are fortunate to have both interpretations recorded.”

(Warrack refers to Carlo Maria Giulini‘s 1964 recording of Verdi’s Requiem on Angel with the Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra. The soloists were Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, and Nicolai Ghiaurov. Solti also recorded the Requiem in November 1967 for London Records with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Chorus. Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, and Martti Talvela were the soloists.)

Thomas Z. Shepard produced the recording, and Paul Goodman was the engineer for RCA (this was one of the few records Solti made independent of London/Decca). The recording won the 1977 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance (other than opera) from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

____________________________________________________

To honor Sir Georg Solti’s seventy-fifth birthday, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus gave a gala concert of the highest order on October 9, 1987.

Governor James R. Thompson opened the concert with welcoming remarks, and after the intermission, Mayor Harold Washington presented Sir Georg with the City of Chicago’s Medal of Merit. The concert program was as follows:

CORIGLIANO Campane di Ravello (world premiere)
Kenneth Jean, conductor

J. STRAUSS Overture to Die Fledermaus
Plácido Domingo, conductor

MOZART Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major, K. 365
Sir Georg Solti, conductor and piano
Murray Perahia, piano

STRAUSS Don Juan, Op. 20
Sir Georg Solti, conductor

Plácido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa perform a scene from Verdi’s Otello (Jim Steere photo)

VERDI Excerpts from Act 1 of Otello
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Plácido Domingo, tenor
Kurt R. Hansen, tenor
Joseph Wolverton, tenor
Richard Cohn, baritone
David Huneryager, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

The commemorative program contained letters and testimonials from numerous public officials, conductors, musicians, and industry professionals, including: Ronald Reagan, James R. Thompson, Harold Washington, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Carlo Maria Giulini, Rafael Kubelík, John Corigliano, Christoph von Dohnányi, Rudolf Serkin, Henry Fogel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christa Ludwig, Birgit Nilsson, Witold Lutosławski, Sir Charles Mackerras, Mstislav Rostropovich, Klaus Tennstedt, David Del Tredici, Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Werner Klemperer, José van Dam, Elliott Carter, Karel Husa, Isaac Stern, Morton Gould, Hans Werner Henze, Itzhak Perlman, Anja Silja, Erich Leinsdorf, Josef Suk, Plácido Domingo, Michael Tippett, Kiri Te Kanawa, Murray Perahia, Leontyne Price, András Schiff, Kenneth Jean, Andrzej Panufnik, Dame Janet Baker, Pierre Boulez, Yvonne Minton, Herbert Blomstedt, Mira Zakai, Margaret Hillis, Gunther Herbig, Ray Minshull, Ann Murray, Philip Langridge, Raymond Leppard, Vladimir Ashkenazy, George Rochberg, Gwynne Howell, Ardis Krainik, Michael Morgan, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Henry Mancini, and Barbara Hendricks.

Solti and Perahia as soloists in Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos (Jim Steere photo)

The concert was covered widely in the press, in the Chicago Tribune (here, here, and here) and Sun-Times (here and here), as well as Time, Newsweek, the Post-Tribune, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among many others.

the vault

Theodore Thomas

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The opinions expressed here are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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