On Friday, 22 July, the Hungarian-born conductor Stefan Soltész collapsed and died during a performance.
The news was announced by the Bavarian State Opera. The institution wrote on its Facebook page that Soltész collapsed on Friday during a performance of Richard Strauss’s The Silent Woman at the National Theatre in Munich. The 74-year-old artist’s life could not be saved.
Stefan Soltész was born in Nyíregyháza, Hungary in 1949 as István Soltész, but in 1956, he moved with his parents to Austria, where he graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
He began his career as a conductor at the Theater an der Wien in 1971 and conducted at the Staatsoper between 1973 and 1983. He also worked in Graz and was assistant to Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan and Christoph von Dohnányi at the Salzburg Festival. Until 1985, he was a permanent conductor in Hamburg, and then at the Deutsche Oper.
In 1991 he was appointed director of the Flemish Opera. From 1997 to 2013, he was Music Director of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Aalto Theatre – which was voted Opera House of the Year in 2008 by Opernwelt. In 2012, he was appointed Honorary Conductor by the Braunschweig State Orchestra.
Since 2012, he had been a freelance conductor, performing in various venues throughout Europe, writes szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu. He was particularly fond of late German Romanticism with Wagner and Strauss. He had been regularly invited to conduct operas and concerts in Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Paris, London, Washington and San Francisco.
„We have lost a talented conductor. I myself lost a good friend. My sympathies to his wife, Michaela,” Serge Dorny, General Director of the Bavarian State Opera, commented on the tragic news. The conductor was also a returning guest at the Hungarian State Opera House, and would have conducted the May and June performances of Strauss’s opera The Woman Without a Shadow next season, fidelio.hu reports.
Source: szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, fidelio.hu