Lady Solti mourns a great producer

Lady Solti mourns a great producer


norman lebrecht

August 28, 2018

From the Chicago Symphony memorial to James Mallinson, who died yesterday:

Lady Valerie Solti shared her thoughts. “I was so very sad to hear of James’ passing. What a fantastic amount of iconic recordings he masterminded that were such a very important part of not only the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s legacy but also Solti’s own personal catalog. I especially remember him working so hard to get the breathing right in Tippett’s extraordinary Fourth Symphony and the balances in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, and the wonderful Brahms symphonies. James was a man of great skill and diplomacy, always so calm and self-effacing, one of the great unsung heroes.




  • V.Lind says:

    Her title is Lady Solti, not Lady Valerie. They are not interchangeable.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    They don,’t know, they are American.

  • David Hilton says:

    The former is a title of honour. The latter is a curtesy title. I’m American and I know.

  • Douglas O. says:

    Considering this has an international audience, your comments about Americans are rude. We do not have “aristocracy” in the sense that European countries have them. We have no need of titles beyond simple forms of address; therefore, we have no reason to study them or be certain they are correctly used. If you have nothing to contribute regarding the Lady, Maestro Solti or the gentleman in question and the art they were all a part of creating or witnessing other than a pithy comment regarding a title, then perhaps silence is the better course.

    • Martain Smith says:

      Does this mean if I don’t live in France I don’t need to know where Lyon or Chartres are located…Uh????

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Err…you have lots of titles, what you are saying is plain wrong. In the US it is President Clinton and President Bush. But in Britain it is Mr. Cameroon and Mr. Blair (not Prime Minister Blair). Even Maestro Solti is a horrible americanism which isn’t used in Europe. You just assign titles to different people and in different ways.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Does the title matter?

  • David Hilton says:

    Yes, the title matters. It tells the reader different, and very specific, things about the person being described. Someone called Lady Solti is likely married to a knight (as was the case here). Someone called Lady Valerie Solti describes the daughter of a Marquis, Earl, or Viscount. Someone named “Lady Whatever” is unlikely to be related to the peerage. Someone called “Lady First Name” is certainly related to the peerage.

    The UK elected Lord John Russell Prime Minister in the 1840’s, and elected Earl Russell Prime Minister in the 1860’s. It is the same man. But one — as the title tells us — was entitled to serve in the House of Commons; and the other — again as indicated in the title stating he is an Earl — could only sit in the House of Lords.

    The reader knows, without having to consult Wikipedia, that “Lord John Russell” is the second son of a marquis or earl. Lord John may someday become Earl Russell, as happened here — and thus become a peer — or he may not.

    Had he been merely a Knight — and not a peer — he would have been titled “Sir John Russell”, and his wife “Lady Russell”. This was the situation with the Solti’s.

    • patrick says:

      Here we are interested in music. We all know that Lady Solti was married to Georg Solti , one of the most important maestro of the 20 th century. She rightly wants to highlight how important james Mallinson was and she is right.

    • Saxon Broken says:


      Calling him “Little Johnny Russell”, as many at the time did, tells me that he was short. Which, I think, is a rather more useful thing to know.