The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Applications are due Oct. 1 for the first Georg Solti International Conductor Competition to be held in Chicago.

August 22, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

I don’t have any intention of becoming a  conductor.

Still, I found the announcement of the inaugural Georg Solti International Conductor Competition and Apprenticeship fascinating.

Applications are due Oct. 1 for the competition, which will be held in Chicago Feb. 4-7, 2011.

For one, this will be a very big fall and season for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Riccardo Muti takes over the podium next month, taking the place of former CSO music director Daniel Barenboim. He has already hired superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma as an artistic advisor.

For another, I was a big admirer of Solti (1912-1997, below) and still relish many of his CSO recordings. If  I am not mistaken, Solti still holds the record for the most Grammys — 31 — won by a single artist. And he recorded for London the first complete recording of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle. I liked his Brahms and Beethoven symphonies, his Mahler symphonies less so.

Anyway, take a careful look at the press release — and maybe even think about applying if you want to be a professional conductor.

Here’s a link:–7-2011-chicago-deadline-for-applicati/

Lower further down, and check out at the interesting repertoire applicants must know.

Curiously, I don’t see any Bach or Haydn, although I do see Mozart.

Perhaps they give the baroque repertoire a pass because of period instrument groups. But you’d think some really juicy contrapuntal section of a passion or suite or Brandenburg concerto might show off some special skills. And I remember one famous conductor saying he always used Haydn to clean an orchestra of its leftover bad habits.

What do you think of Solti?

Do you have a favorite Solti recording?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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