Tennessee guy wins Solti award

Tennessee guy wins Solti award


norman lebrecht

April 20, 2020

Aram Demirjian, music director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, has won the 2020 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.

It’s worth $30,000, the biggest of its kind in America, and it is limited to US conducotrs under the age of 38.


  • Jack says:

    Congratulations Aram! This is richly deserved.

  • GGV says:

    An award for conductors under 38…

    Age limits are far too common. We should move to a music world without age discrimination in work (for example, some orchestras in Europe have age limit for work positions such as assistant conductor), training (for example, many masterclasses have age limits), and career development opportunities (such as this).

    Why not just an award for “a career-ready artist in the field of conducting” without any age restriction?

    • Anon says:

      Interesting point. Check out Maestro Leonard Slatkin’s new project. He’s writing his new book and asking for reader input. This week’s chapter is exactly what you’ve mentioned: age & music. Go to his website and perhaps you’d like to make this comment. It’s a good observation, and I’m sure quite relevant to what he will be discussing in his book.

    • OPus30 says:

      Maybe Solti wanted it this way, or 38 was his lucky number?

  • Larry says:

    Couldn’t think of a better person. Prior to the virus this orchestra has been thriving. Very creative and interesting programming. Orchestra loves him. Great choice.

  • Nurhan Arman says:

    Congratulations Aram Demirjian!

  • Edoardo Saccenti says:

    at 38 a conductor should be already conducting all major orchestras. If at 38 one is not at the top, is very unlikely that he or she will ever be a great conductor. All great conductors, with really little exceptions, are great before 30. IMHO

    • Schnitzel von Krum says:

      No conductor is great before 30, with no exceptions. IMHO.

    • Bruce says:


    • Saxon Broken says:

      Before 30? That is just absurd. And while most “great” conductors are already conducting the “major” orchestras by the time they are 38, there are also late developers. Norman, for instance, highly esteems Tennstedt who was toiling in obscurity at that age. Even Klemperer only established himself as a top talent late in his career.