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The Midwest Experience: Ormandy in Minnesota
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Each winter, the Minneapolis Symphony toured the Midwest and South. In January 1932, two months after his appointment as conductor, Ormandy led the orchestra on the longest of its midwinter tours. Over the course of thirty-four days (18 January - 20 February), the orchestra performed in twenty-eight cities in thirteen states, traversing 7,248 miles by train. The largest single audience was 6,200 in Birmingham, Alabama. The effects of the depression led the orchestra's management to scale back the tours in successive years, but these performances built a following for the orchestra outside Minnesota that would boost sales of its recordings a few years later.

"Coming to Your City"
Reproduced from Minnesota Orchestra at 100 (2002)

"Symphony's Annual Pilgrimage"
Minneapolis Star, 16 January 1932
Eugene Ormandy Papers, University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

"Symphony Starts Its Winter Tour"
Minneapolis Tribune, 18 January 1932
Eugene Ormandy Papers, University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

"Throng Hails Symphony, Home from Triumphal Tour"
Minneapolis Journal, 22 February 1932
Eugene Ormandy Papers, University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

"Symphony Back from Triumphal Concert Series"
Minneapolis Tribune, 22 February 1932
Eugene Ormandy Papers, University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

Cities Visited during Ormandy's Winter Tours

In his history of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, John K. Sherman writes,

The tours trod familiar itineraries through the South and Midwest, but did not chance New York. The one hundred and eighty pieces of baggage, the $100,000 worth of instruments, the eight trunks bulging with scores were trundled from city to city and town to town: Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans were the big spots (sometimes the tough ones as regards critics), while Georgia and Florida offered balmier climes for the musical troupers who for a time had left behind their bills and families and Minnesota's subzero blasts.

The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Tour of January - February 1932

"While Ormandy Conducts, Wife Knits"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 1936
Eugene Ormandy Papers, University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

By early 1936, Ormandy was looking ahead to his move to Philadelphia, but he was still obligated to finish out the season with Minneapolis, including the annual midwinter tour. His wife, Stephanie Goldner Ormandy, was an accomplished harpist and in 1924 had been appointed the first female member of the New York Philharmonic. This photograph, staged by the newspaper photographer, is a good example of how gender roles were depicted in the popular press during this era.
   
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