Maestro dies while conducting Strauss opera in Munich

Maestro dies while conducting Strauss opera in Munich


norman lebrecht

July 23, 2022

The Hungarian conductor Stefan Soltész collapsed last night while leading a performance of Die Schweigsame Frau by Richard Strauss at Bavarian State Opera. His death was confirmed by a hospital shortly afterwards.

He was 73.

Stefan Soltesz was a widely respected conductor on the opera circuit. A former assistant to Herbert von Karajan, he was Generalmusikdirektor at Braunschweig from 1988 to 1993, chief conductor at Flemish Opera from 1992 to 1997, from where he became artistic director and GMD of the Aalto-Theater in Essen.

The Bavarian State Opera posted:
It is with great sadness that the Bavarian State Opera must announce the death of Stefan Soltesz. 🖤
He passed away this evening after a collapse during his conducting of DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU at the National Theater. Our thoughts are with his wife Michaela:
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Stefan Soltesz’s collapse and passing. We are losing a gifted conductor. I lose a good friend. My thoughts are with his wife Michaela,” said Managing Director Serge Dorny.

The Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught shared:
It is hard to believe that I am writing this.
After such a wonderful, fun filled rehearsal period, we finally came to perform Die Schweigsame Frau at the Bayerische Staatsoper last night. An outstanding cast, all led by the wonderful Meastro Stefan Soltesz.
Meastro became ill and collapsed in the First Act Finale, and very sadly, passed away.
Meastro Soltesz, it was and always will have been such an honor to work with you. When we first met many years ago, you took each one of us under your experienced Strauss wings, teaching us, always with great humor, and making some INCREDIBLE performances together. Thank you! May you Rest In Peace now.

Ailyn Perez adds:


  • Una says:

    May he rest in peace. Always so distressing and shocking when this happens and for those watching on.

    • Del Boy says:

      Whilst I don’t disagree with your humane sentiments – a terrible event – one might also say, “What a way to Go”. Doing something you love and care for!

  • Ritorna vincitor says:

    Very tragic indeed. May Maestro Soltesz rest in peace, at least he was doing until his last breath what he indeed loved to do. The great Italian conductor Giuseppe Patane (1 January 1932 – 29 May 1989) was the last before him dying from a heart attack during a performance of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia on May 29, 1989 at the same podium (as did German conductor Joseph Kleiberth on July 20,1968 conducting Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, at the exact spot of Isolde’s Liebestod; so did collapse the Austrian conductor Felix Mottl, also conducting in Munich the 100th performance of Tristan and Isolde at the same spot on June 21, 1911, but died 11 days later never recovering from his heart attack.)

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    I don’t know anything about him but me he RIP. It’s sad.

  • Cordula Merks says:

    I have dear memories of many wonderful concerts and opera performances in Essen with this most dedicated conductor. Condolences to his family. RIP Stefan Soltesz.