Sir Georg Solti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is celebrating his 70th birthday season and his 14th season with the orchestra. Travel plays an important role in both his professional and private lives.
He spends part of the year conducting in Chicago. The rest of the time he is either at his main residence in London, where he lives with his wife, Lady Valerie, and their two young daughters, or traveling to conduct orchestras elsewhere in Europe. This summer he will be in Bayreuth, Bavaria, to conduct Wagner's complete Ring cycle to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer's death.
Because of the demanding performance schedule, Solti looks forward to his vacations, which "give me time to be alone with my family without any interruptions from my professional life." Last summer they enjoyed traveling on the Orient Express "from Venice to Paris." In February, Solti took his daughters "to Belatonfokajar, the village in Hungary where their grandparents came from."
The maestro says he "loves the sun and the sea and the snow." Among his favorites:
* "My house on the west coast of Italy, near the town of Castiglione della Pescaia, is my favorite summer place."
* "The mountains near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, in winter."
Solti also combines business and pleasure--"toward the end of my vacation I use the time to study new scores." And he admits to a secret vacation wish: "More."