Co-Founder/President, Solti Foundation; Former BBC Reporter (UK)
Because of her shared life with her Husband Sir Georg Solti, Valerie Solti has, since his death, continued to be involved with the international world of classical music and opera, both as an advisor and as a fundraiser. Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she started her professional acting career in the West End and went on to work in television as an interviewer and presenter with the BBC. She is credited as being one of the BBC’s original team of television presenters during the 1950s. Lady Solti appeared on children’s television, as a presenter of Play School and then at Granada Televisions series for older children, ExtraOrdinary, about true stories involving science and the arts. After marrying Sir Georg Solti, she continued her television work on a freelance basis, specialising in arts and music programs. For several years, she was a regular panellist on the musical quiz program Face the Music. Following her Husband’s death in 1997, she has continued her Husband’s work of giving advice to young musicians at the start of their careers.
Lady Solti serves on the board of several music organizations, including The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Mariinsky Theatre Trust, The Hungarian Cultural Centre, The Liszt Academy Budapest, The Solti Foundation, The Frankfurt Conducting Competition and the Solti Accademia Bel Canto. Her principal commitments are to the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, Sadler’s Wells London and the Liszt Academy Budapest. In 2007, Lady Solti was appointed Cultural Ambassador to the Hungarian Government. She is the patroness of the World Orchestra for Peace, which her Husband founded and whose first concert at the United Nations he conducted. In the past, she also proudly served in senior leadership positions and on the boards of many organizations from the Royal College of Music and the Jewish Music Institute to the London Philharmonic and the Rolex Global Mentor & Protege Initiative. She has been a Trustee of Music Preserved, Music in Country Churches and Opera 80 (now English Touring Opera). The renowned recipient of The Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary and The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award 2013, she was bestowed with the Arts & Business Award for Service to Arts in the UK.