The Solti Foundation U.S. is currently the only American Foundation to grant these kinds of awards each year to young American conductors. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States, 36 years of age or younger, who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply. Applicants for all Solti Foundation U.S. awards must be able to demonstrate a developing career as a symphonic/operatic conductor. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold a grant in any given year if the Awards Committee does not find suitable applicants in one or more of the various award categories.

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

The largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers, the prestigious $30,000 grant is given annually to a single promising American conductor. The Award, also known as The Solti Fellow, includes ongoing professional mentoring and introductions to two of Chicago’s most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Past recipients include Keitaro Harada (2023), Earl Lee (2022), Gemma New (2021), Aram Demirjian (2020), Yaniv Dinur (2019), Roderick Cox (2018), Christopher Allen (2017), Karina Canellakis (2016), Vladimir Kulenovic (2015), Cristian Macelaru (2014), James Feddeck (2013), Case Scaglione (2011), Eric Nielsen (2009), and Anthony Barrese (2007).

The Emerging Conductor Award

Received by Cristian Macelaru (2012) and Ryan McAdams (2010).

Solti Foundation U.S. Award


Received by Eric Melear (2006), Carlos Cezar Rodriguez (2005), and Thomas Rimes (2004).

Prior to the Foundation’s announcement to exclusively focus on American conductors, the first awards granted by the Solti Foundation U.S. were to Quinn Kelsey and Stacy Tappan (2003)

Career Assistance Awards

All applications from The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award are considered for a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Applications are reviewed by an awards committee comprised of a panel of professionals with broad musical and conducting experience.