Penn Library

Eugene Ormandy
A Centennial Celebration

Curated by Marjorie Hassen
Otto E. Albrecht Music Library
University of Pennsylvania


Table of Contents

Ushering in the Ormandy Era

Audio excerpt of 1991 interview with William Smith, keyboard player and Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1952-1992), speaking about Ormandy's conducting style


Ormandy in performance with
the Philadelphia Orchestra
Academy of Music, Philadelphia
ca. 1935

Ormandy in rehearsal
with the Philadelphia Orchestra
Academy of Music, Philadelphia
ca. 1936

During his tenure in Minneapolis, Ormandy appeared as guest conductor in both Europe and the United States, most notably in Philadelphia beginning in the 1932-33 concert season. In December 1934 Leopold Stokowski made public his intention to resign as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra with an announcement that he would appear during only half of future concert seasons. During the following two years, Ormandy contributed to the steady stream of guest conductors at the Philadelphia Orchestra. Then, in the spring of 1936, Ormandy was formally appointed co-conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and released from his Minneapolis contract, which had one more year to run. For the next five concert seasons Ormandy and Stokowski shared the Philadelphia podium while maintaining a cordial, albeit distant, relationship. In 1938 Ormandy advanced one step closer to sole proprietorship of the Orchestra when the Board named him Music Director "in recognition of his splendid musical achievements that have made the last three years a succession of triumphs for conductor and orchestra alike." It was not until 1941, however, when Stokowski finally severed his ties to Philadelphia, that the "Ormandy Era" officially began.


Crowd watching a store-window television
showing the Philadelphia Orchestra in the first
television broadcast of a symphony orchestra concert
Philadelphia, 20 March 1948

Table of Contents

Last update: Thursday, 16-Jun-2011 13:59:35 EDT
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