The Solti Foundation U.S. Honors Elizabeth Buccheri with Naming of Opera Residency Program
Last night during the regularly scheduled meeting, The Board of The Solti Foundation U.S. acknowledged the dedication and hard work of Artistic and Awards Committee Chair Elizabeth Buccheri by naming the Foundation's Opera Residency Programin her honor.The program, an expansion of the organization's work to help award recipients further develop their talent and careers, is the brainchild of Ms. Buccheri. Introduced in the 2014-15 season, the program places former Foundation award recipients with a distinguished U.S. opera house for one-on-one mentoring and coaching of an opera during the company's professional season. Conductors cannot apply to the program but are instead selected by the Artistic and Awards Committee.
Penny Van Horn, Chair of The Solti Foundation U.S. Board of Directors, and Artistic and Awards Committee member Duain Wolfe made the surprise announcement. Ms. Van Horn stated, "Without the tireless efforts of Elizabeth Buccheri, the Opera Residency Program, which provides an important opportunity for emerging young American conductors, would not exist. She is the creator and guiding light of this initiative. She has always spoken of the fact that it is standard for European conductors to have both orchestra and opera training, but it is not necessarily so here in the U.S. In today's highly competitive arts field, experiences such as this can go a long way in helping a career to grow and in developing additional industry contacts. Bettie has forged relationships with numerous stellar opera companies renowned for their artistic excellence across the country, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Michigan Opera Theatre. It is therefore with great pleasure, Bettie, as we enter the fifth year of the program, that we celebrate your devotion to The Solti Foundation U.S. by officially naming the opera program The Elizabeth Buccheri Opera Residency."
Artistic and Awards Committee member Duain Wolfe added, "Bettie's drive and ingenuity to not only make this program a reality, but her ability to execute it on such a high level is inspiring. As the first program of its kind here in the United States, Bettie has enabled the Foundation to make an even greater contribution, not only to young American conductors, but to both the opera and orchestral fields."
Lady Valerie Solti, Sir Georg's widow and co-founder of the Foundation with her daughters, stated, "Sir Georg trained as a conductor by working as a coach with the Budapest Opera and in Salzburg with Toscanini. Throughout his life he believed that working in opera was an essential training for young conductors. He would have been delighted that this new award of The Solti Foundation will be named after his longtime collaborator and friend Bettie Buccheri, who was his associate in so many operatic and recording projects, and whose talent and skill as a coach and accompanist he admired so much."
The Foundation will formally celebrate Elizabeth Buccheri in October at the annual Solti Night Gala.
Elizabeth Buccheri is a renowned chamber musician and vocal coach. Chair of The Solti Foundation U.S.'s Artistic and Awards Committee, she is also Head of Music at the Aspen Opera Center. Her varied career includes serving as accompanist/coach for conductors Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Sir Andrew Davis, and Christoph Eschenbach. From 1987 to 2013 Buccheri served as assistant conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago. She served twenty-eight seasons as accompanist for the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the direction of the legendary Margaret Hillis. She also served as pianist/coach for the opera companies of the Brevard (N.C.) Music Festival and Rochester, NY's Opera Under the Stars. She was responsible for musical preparation on London Records' issues of Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, and Verdi's Otello, all with Sir Georg Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists. (For this work, Elizabeth Buccheri became the first American musician to receive the Solti Foundation Award.) During the 2004 and 2005 concert seasons, she assisted Maestro Pierre Boulez, the Cleveland Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists with preparations for performances at Severance Hall, Cleveland and Carnegie Hall, New York.
As a performer, Elizabeth Buccheri served as collaborative pianist for Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute for Young Artists. She served as pianist for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, toured with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed with the Vermeer and Shanghai string quartets and such accomplished artists as Midori, Gil Shaham, Michelle DeYoung, Vinson Cole, Samuel Ramey, Thomas Hampson, Sherrill Milnes, Elizabeth Futral, Susan Graham, Susanna Phillips, Nicole Cabell, Pamela Hinchman, Susanne Mentzer, Patrice Michaels, and William Warfield.
Her many recordings can be found on the CRI, Spectrum, Sony, Cedille, Boston, and Albany labels.
As an educator, Elizabeth Buccheri has given master classes at The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, AMFS, Lawrence Conservatory, and the music academies of Lithuania and Latvia. Buccheri supervised the collaborative piano program in the Bienen School of Music as a faculty member at Northwestern University from 2000 to 2013.
A native of South Carolina, Elizabeth Buccheri received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music from Winthrop University, and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, as well as a Performers' Certificate in Piano from the Eastman School of Music. The founder and former music director of Chamber Music at North Park, Buccheri was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by North Park University in May 2004.
Established in 2000 to honor the memory of Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to exclusively assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over $500,000 in grants to American conductors. Now in its 14th year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young American conductors. www.soltifoundation.us