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Eugene Ormandy Collection

This collection documents the extraordinary 64-year music career of Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985), best known for his long tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Materials are available to researchers through the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Eugene Ormandy, ca 1950

Eugene Ormandy served as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1937-1980) and was the beloved architect of the "Philadelphia sound." The Ormandy Collection includes music scores; papers and correspondence; programs; photographs; recordings; oral histories; and audiovisual material.

The collection, documenting Ormandy's extraordinary 64-year career, was donated to the University Library in 1987 by Mrs. Margaret Ormandy and may be consulted by researchers through the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. The Eugene Ormandy Music and Media Center, part of the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library, was named in honor of this gift. 

In January 2020, the Penn Libraries and The Philadelphia Orchestra partnered to celebrate the rediscovery and release (Marston Records) of the only known recording of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff playing his last major orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, which was found in the Ormandy Collection of Test Pressings.

Accordion List

Researchers should be aware that materials by and related to Eugene Ormandy are cataloged in a number of different collections, corresponding either to the physical format of the materials or to their source. Following is a list of Ormandy-related collections, with links provided to online finding aids or to search results in the online catalog, Franklin.

The Penn Libraries also hold the Leopold Stokowski Collection, Ormandy's predecessor at the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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Eugene Ormandy, ca 1950
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Eugene Ormandy, ca. 1950 (Eugene Ormandy Photographs, Ms. Coll. 330)

Ormandy in rehearsal.
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Ormandy in rehearsal with the Philadelphia Orchestra Academy of Music, Philadelphia, ca. 1936 (Eugene Ormandy Photographs, Ms. Coll. 330)

Pinchas Zukerman in concert with Ormandy.
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Pinchas Zukerman in concert with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra Academy of Music, Philadelphia, 25 January 1975 (Photographer: Adrian Siegel; Eugene Ormandy Photographs, Ms. Coll. 330)

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