Sir Georg Solti, Journey of a Lifetime

A film by Georg Wübbolt

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Program notes

A portrait of the great Hungarian conductor Georg Solti.

Born in 1912, Solti began his career as a conductor after the Second World War, when Germany was on its knees. The film depicts this situation by including historical video documents. But soon, his success brought him on the most prestigious music institutions around the world, including the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and eventually Covent Garden.

Only a couple of hours before his death on the 5th of September 1997, he made his last corrections to his Memoirs. By using a narrator who reads excerpts of his autobiography, Solti is virtually given a voice in this film. The interview partners add an important dimension to the film. All of them were very well acquainted with Solti and have fascinating stories to tell.

In regards to capturing performances, Solti was as productive as Bernstein and Karajan. The archives of the ARD network list about 120 TV productions, interviews, rehearsals. Further rich sources are the archives of BR, HR, SWR, ORF, Unitel and the BBC.

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