Lady Solti, née Pitts, first met Georg Solti at the Savoy Hotel in 1964, where she went to interview him for a BBC Television arts programme. They were married in 1967.
Brought up in Leeds and then a student at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), she was first an actress before going to work for television in the Sixties, first at Granada, later at the BBC, presenting and producing programmes, including nearly ten years appearing on Face the Music (1971- 80). Still a freelance broadcaster and writer, she contributes to BBC Radio 3, BBC Classic Magazine, Classic FM, Classic FM Magazine, LBC, WFMT and WTTW, USA.
Valerie Solti has held, and continues to hold, a plethora of voluntary posts within the cultural world which impose a busy international schedule on her. Currently she is a trustee and governor of Sadler’s Wells Theatre Trust (and, since 2004, President), chairman of the Mariinsky Theatre Trust, honorary trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, belongs to the Advisory Board of Musica Nel Chiostro, Battignano Italy, and is advisor to the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London, and the Liszt Academy, Budapest. She is also chairman of the Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and, harking back to her dramatic interests, holds the posts of governor for the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, and director of Milbourne Productions at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. Having played a key role in the inception of the World Orchestra for Peace (the unique orchestra first assembled by Sir Georg Solti for the UN’s 50th anniversary), she continues to serve as its Patron.
Together with her daughters, Valerie Solti created the Solti Foundation to assist young professional musicians at the start of their careers. This year she is launching a series of master classes for singers in Castiglione della Pescaia – the seaside village in Tuscany where her husband spent his summers. She is particularly interested in primary school education and the vital role a first-class education plays in the early years of a child’s life.