Mission and History


Through the generosity of its donors and the expertise of its board, the Solti Foundation U.S. identifies, supports, and promotes emerging young conductors as they launch their classical careers.

In doing so, the Foundation extends the legacy and influence of Sir Georg by ensuring that very promising American conductors, age 36 and under, get the opportunity to demonstrate their musicianship, leadership, and full potential to the broadest possible audience.


Sir Georg Solti was conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1969-1991 and laureate conductor until 1997. The much loved and revered Solti is remembered by his many friends and associates not only in Chicago, but throughout the world. The Solti Foundation U.S. was established to honor the memory of the legendary conductor and his dedication to helping young artists. In 2023, Penny Van Horn, Board Chair and Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee chair, announced the Foundation’s fourteenth major grant, The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, to Keitaro Harada, Music Director and Artistic Director of the Savannah Philharmonic and Associate Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young American conductors. Established in 2000 to honor the memory of Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to exclusively assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers. Since then, it has awarded grants totaling more than $1,500,000 and created an innovative opera residency program.

In the words of Lady Solti, “We are committed to realizing Solti’s passion for excellence in music by extending assistance to further the early careers of those with exceptional talent.” The Foundation endeavors to seek out those who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg’s active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards. While dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients, continuing to offer support and maintaining a constant interest in their growth and achievements.