Whose Record Did Beyoncé Break?
A Grammy legend
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At the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards, Beyoncé scored her 32nd Grammy. In doing so, she surpassed any other individual Grammy winner.
Who held the record before her?
Prince? Michael Jackson? Elvis?
No, it was Sir Georg Solti.
Georg Solti was born in Budapest in 1912 and fled the country during World War II due to his Jewish background and the rise of anti-Jewish laws in Hungary.
After the war, Solti became music director of the Bavarian State Opera. From 1961 until 1971, he was music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1972 for his services to the arts.
Solti served as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 22 years from 1969 to 1991, where he made much of his impact.
During his career, he recorded 45 opera sets and more than 250 albums. He was known for his very involved and athletic conducting style.
William Barry Furlong, his biographer, wrote in Season With Solti: A Year in the Life of the Chicago Symphony described it as:
“[He] looks like nothing so much as a spastic stork, bending and rearing convulsively, elbows pumping, knees popping, torso laboring until it seems almost as if he is going to tear the music from himself in a Dionysian frenzy.”
No, seriously. Watch him:
From 1963 to 1998, Solti won 31 Grammy Awards — a record that stood for 25 years, until Beyoncé passed him in 2023.
Impressively, he was nominated for a Grammy every year from 1963 to 1993, with the exception of 1970 and 1990. He has 74 Grammy nominations to his name.
All as a classical conductor.
As impressive as that is, Beyoncé is likely to continue to blow past it, as she still has plenty of career runway left.
Sir Georg Solti won’t be getting any more Grammys, since he died in 1997.
But his work lives on in his recordings and is well worth listening to.
Thanks, and I’ll see you on the internet.
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