Hungarian-born naturalized British conductor. He was appointed a KBE in 1971.
Solti studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, under Ernst von Dohnányi (1877–1960), Bartók (piano), and Kodály, and began his career as répétiteur at the Budapest Opera. However, being Jewish he left Hungary in 1939 for Switzerland, where he won the 1942 Geneva International Piano Contest. In 1946 Solti returned to conducting, as musical director of the Bavarian State Opera, and soon established a European reputation. From 1952 until 1961 he conducted the Frankfurt Opera, moving to London as musical director of Covent Garden from 1961 to 1971. He was director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1969–91), which under his baton gained a reputation of being perhaps the finest in the world. He also conducted the Orchestre de Paris from 1972 to 1975, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1979 to 1983. Solti was particularly renowned for his interpretations of the works of Richard Strauss, Verdi, and Wagner.