Coming to the Small Screen

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Coming to the Small Screen

Ormandy and Television
Curated by Richard Griscom

First Televised Orchestra Concert

First Televised Orchestra Concert

Tastykake Christmas Hour

Tastykake Christmas Hour

Vying for Airtime

Vying for Airtime

The One Touch of Music Proposal

The One Touch of Music Proposal

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Unitel Concerts (part 1)

Unitel Concerts (part 1)

Unitel Concerts (part 2)

Unitel Concerts (part 2)

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

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Introduction

Correspondence and photographs related to Eugene Ormandy's television appearances and his efforts in the 1950's and 1960's to gain more exposure on the "small screen."

These pages reproduce the content and labels for an exhibit that was on display in the Ormandy Exhibit Gallery of the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library from November 2005 until November 2007.

"I firmly believe that the time has now come when a symphony orchestra, 
properly presented, can be a very important part of future telecasts."   Eugene Ormandy, 1956

First Televised Orchestra Concert

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The hour-long concert, produced by WCAU-TV, the Philadelphia affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was broadcast live from the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust Streets. The broadcast followed close on the heels of an agreement between the American Federation of Musicians, led by James Petrillo, and the networks, which ended a three-year ban on live music performances on television. Once the agreement had been reached, the networks jockeyed for the distinction of being the first to televise an orchestra concert. Soon after the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had announced plans to telecast an hour-long all-Wagner concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini at 6:30 p.m. on 20 March 1948, CBS countered by scheduling a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the same evening, ninety minutes earlier.

Fig. 1: The Philadelphia orchestra performed two works: the overture to Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz and the recently rediscovered Symphony no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which had received its United States premiere by the orchestra the previous evening.

Fig. 2: The live broadcast was covered by three cameras: one positioned on the left balcony, one on the right balcony, and one at the rear of the stage. The table at the lip of the stage, to the left of Ormandy, was used by the announcer who introduced the program. Ormandy consulted the large clock in front of him to keep track of time during the broadcast.

Fig. 6: Dealers anticipated increased sales of television sets in response to Petrillo's lifting of the ban on televised music performances. The $445 price of this 12" black-and-white TV is comparable to $3,800 in 2007 dollars.

First Televised Orchestra Concert

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The hour-long concert, produced by WCAU-TV, the Philadelphia affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was broadcast live from the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust Streets. The broadcast followed close on the heels of an agreement between the American Federation of Musicians, led by James Petrillo, and the networks, which ended a three-year ban on live music performances on television. Once the agreement had been reached, the networks jockeyed for the distinction of being the first to televise an orchestra concert. Soon after the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had announced plans to telecast an hour-long all-Wagner concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini at 6:30 p.m. on 20 March 1948, CBS countered by scheduling a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the same evening, ninety minutes earlier.

Fig. 1: The Philadelphia orchestra performed two works: the overture to Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz and the recently rediscovered Symphony no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which had received its United States premiere by the orchestra the previous evening.

Fig. 2: The live broadcast was covered by three cameras: one positioned on the left balcony, one on the right balcony, and one at the rear of the stage. The table at the lip of the stage, to the left of Ormandy, was used by the announcer who introduced the program. Ormandy consulted the large clock in front of him to keep track of time during the broadcast.

Fig. 6: Dealers anticipated increased sales of television sets in response to Petrillo's lifting of the ban on televised music performances. The $445 price of this 12" black-and-white TV is comparable to $3,800 in 2007 dollars.

First Televised Orchestra Concert

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The hour-long concert, produced by WCAU-TV, the Philadelphia affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was broadcast live from the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust Streets. The broadcast followed close on the heels of an agreement between the American Federation of Musicians, led by James Petrillo, and the networks, which ended a three-year ban on live music performances on television. Once the agreement had been reached, the networks jockeyed for the distinction of being the first to televise an orchestra concert. Soon after the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had announced plans to telecast an hour-long all-Wagner concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini at 6:30 p.m. on 20 March 1948, CBS countered by scheduling a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the same evening, ninety minutes earlier.

Fig. 1: The Philadelphia orchestra performed two works: the overture to Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz and the recently rediscovered Symphony no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which had received its United States premiere by the orchestra the previous evening.

Fig. 2: The live broadcast was covered by three cameras: one positioned on the left balcony, one on the right balcony, and one at the rear of the stage. The table at the lip of the stage, to the left of Ormandy, was used by the announcer who introduced the program. Ormandy consulted the large clock in front of him to keep track of time during the broadcast.

Fig. 6: Dealers anticipated increased sales of television sets in response to Petrillo's lifting of the ban on televised music performances. The $445 price of this 12" black-and-white TV is comparable to $3,800 in 2007 dollars.

First Televised Orchestra Concert

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The hour-long concert, produced by WCAU-TV, the Philadelphia affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was broadcast live from the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust Streets. The broadcast followed close on the heels of an agreement between the American Federation of Musicians, led by James Petrillo, and the networks, which ended a three-year ban on live music performances on television. Once the agreement had been reached, the networks jockeyed for the distinction of being the first to televise an orchestra concert. Soon after the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had announced plans to telecast an hour-long all-Wagner concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini at 6:30 p.m. on 20 March 1948, CBS countered by scheduling a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the same evening, ninety minutes earlier.

Fig. 1: The Philadelphia orchestra performed two works: the overture to Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz and the recently rediscovered Symphony no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which had received its United States premiere by the orchestra the previous evening.

Fig. 2: The live broadcast was covered by three cameras: one positioned on the left balcony, one on the right balcony, and one at the rear of the stage. The table at the lip of the stage, to the left of Ormandy, was used by the announcer who introduced the program. Ormandy consulted the large clock in front of him to keep track of time during the broadcast.

Fig. 6: Dealers anticipated increased sales of television sets in response to Petrillo's lifting of the ban on televised music performances. The $445 price of this 12" black-and-white TV is comparable to $3,800 in 2007 dollars.

First Televised Orchestra Concert

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The hour-long concert, produced by WCAU-TV, the Philadelphia affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was broadcast live from the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust Streets. The broadcast followed close on the heels of an agreement between the American Federation of Musicians, led by James Petrillo, and the networks, which ended a three-year ban on live music performances on television. Once the agreement had been reached, the networks jockeyed for the distinction of being the first to televise an orchestra concert. Soon after the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had announced plans to telecast an hour-long all-Wagner concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini at 6:30 p.m. on 20 March 1948, CBS countered by scheduling a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the same evening, ninety minutes earlier.

Fig. 1: The Philadelphia orchestra performed two works: the overture to Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz and the recently rediscovered Symphony no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which had received its United States premiere by the orchestra the previous evening.

Fig. 2: The live broadcast was covered by three cameras: one positioned on the left balcony, one on the right balcony, and one at the rear of the stage. The table at the lip of the stage, to the left of Ormandy, was used by the announcer who introduced the program. Ormandy consulted the large clock in front of him to keep track of time during the broadcast.

Fig. 6: Dealers anticipated increased sales of television sets in response to Petrillo's lifting of the ban on televised music performances. The $445 price of this 12" black-and-white TV is comparable to $3,800 in 2007 dollars.

First Televised Orchestra Concert

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The hour-long concert, produced by WCAU-TV, the Philadelphia affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was broadcast live from the Academy of Music at the corner of Broad and Locust Streets. The broadcast followed close on the heels of an agreement between the American Federation of Musicians, led by James Petrillo, and the networks, which ended a three-year ban on live music performances on television. Once the agreement had been reached, the networks jockeyed for the distinction of being the first to televise an orchestra concert. Soon after the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had announced plans to telecast an hour-long all-Wagner concert by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini at 6:30 p.m. on 20 March 1948, CBS countered by scheduling a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the same evening, ninety minutes earlier.

Fig. 1: The Philadelphia orchestra performed two works: the overture to Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischutz and the recently rediscovered Symphony no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which had received its United States premiere by the orchestra the previous evening.

Fig. 2: The live broadcast was covered by three cameras: one positioned on the left balcony, one on the right balcony, and one at the rear of the stage. The table at the lip of the stage, to the left of Ormandy, was used by the announcer who introduced the program. Ormandy consulted the large clock in front of him to keep track of time during the broadcast.

Fig. 6: Dealers anticipated increased sales of television sets in response to Petrillo's lifting of the ban on televised music performances. The $445 price of this 12" black-and-white TV is comparable to $3,800 in 2007 dollars.

Tastykake Christmas Hour

An essential step in the production of any Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast was securing a sponsor. In 1955, the Tasty Baking Company, a Philadelphia manufacturer of snack-sized desserts, underwrote the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Christmas show, which was broadcast live from the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate, WFIL-TV. The show featured Christmas carols sung by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake andNutcracker danced by members of the New York City Ballet.

Fig. 6: Advertisers were not always easy to come by: the following year, Triangle Publications, the parent company of WFIL-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was unable to find a sponsor for the Christmas show.

Tastykake Christmas Hour

An essential step in the production of any Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast was securing a sponsor. In 1955, the Tasty Baking Company, a Philadelphia manufacturer of snack-sized desserts, underwrote the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Christmas show, which was broadcast live from the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate, WFIL-TV. The show featured Christmas carols sung by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake andNutcracker danced by members of the New York City Ballet.

Fig. 6: Advertisers were not always easy to come by: the following year, Triangle Publications, the parent company of WFIL-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was unable to find a sponsor for the Christmas show.

Tastykake Christmas Hour

An essential step in the production of any Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast was securing a sponsor. In 1955, the Tasty Baking Company, a Philadelphia manufacturer of snack-sized desserts, underwrote the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Christmas show, which was broadcast live from the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate, WFIL-TV. The show featured Christmas carols sung by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake andNutcracker danced by members of the New York City Ballet.

Fig. 6: Advertisers were not always easy to come by: the following year, Triangle Publications, the parent company of WFIL-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was unable to find a sponsor for the Christmas show.

Tastykake Christmas Hour

An essential step in the production of any Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast was securing a sponsor. In 1955, the Tasty Baking Company, a Philadelphia manufacturer of snack-sized desserts, underwrote the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Christmas show, which was broadcast live from the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate, WFIL-TV. The show featured Christmas carols sung by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake andNutcracker danced by members of the New York City Ballet.

Fig. 6: Advertisers were not always easy to come by: the following year, Triangle Publications, the parent company of WFIL-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was unable to find a sponsor for the Christmas show.

Tastykake Christmas Hour

An essential step in the production of any Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast was securing a sponsor. In 1955, the Tasty Baking Company, a Philadelphia manufacturer of snack-sized desserts, underwrote the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Christmas show, which was broadcast live from the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate, WFIL-TV. The show featured Christmas carols sung by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake andNutcracker danced by members of the New York City Ballet.

Fig. 6: Advertisers were not always easy to come by: the following year, Triangle Publications, the parent company of WFIL-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was unable to find a sponsor for the Christmas show.

Tastykake Christmas Hour

An essential step in the production of any Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast was securing a sponsor. In 1955, the Tasty Baking Company, a Philadelphia manufacturer of snack-sized desserts, underwrote the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Christmas show, which was broadcast live from the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate, WFIL-TV. The show featured Christmas carols sung by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake andNutcracker danced by members of the New York City Ballet.

Fig. 6: Advertisers were not always easy to come by: the following year, Triangle Publications, the parent company of WFIL-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was unable to find a sponsor for the Christmas show.

Vying for Airtime

During the 1950s, as television viewing became more common in American households, Ormandy worked to secure a place for himself and the Philadelphia Orchestra on the small screen. Although the orchestra appeared with some regularity in local telecasts, Ormandy's goal was to build a broader following through series of national broadcasts on network television.

As their audiences grew, the networks began examining viewers' habits and adjusting their programming accordingly. While viewers supported the idea of cultural programming on television, they showed little patience for it when it appeared on their screens. They wanted to be entertained, and because televised concerts appealed only to a small audience, the networks became increasingly cautious in programming serious music during prime time.

Once Ormandy realized the networks would not be beating a path to his door, he decided to take a more active role in pursuing national telecasts. Ormandy signed a two-year personal contract with New York–based agent Julius Seebach in April 1956 with the hope that Seebach could secure engagements on national television for himself and the orchestra.

Fig. 2: A few months into the contract, Ormandy suggests several prospects to Seebach. Omnibus was an innovative cultural variety show, airing from 1952 to 1961, for which Ormandy had conducted a well-received performance of Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus in February 1953. Impresario Sol Hurok had recently mounted a staged performance of excerpts from Verdi's La traviata for his Festival of Music series on NBC. Ed Sullivan was the host and producer of a popular eponymous variety show, and Steve Allen was host of the Tonight Show.

Fig. 3: By this time, Leonard Bernstein, the Curtis-trained music director of the New York Philharmonic, had become the most popular classical-music personality on television. Through simple explanations of music that most viewers had previously found difficult and inaccessible, Bernstein had built a strong following among the general public. Hall felt it important that Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra not be lost in the shadow of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. The challenge was difficult: to the Philharmonic's advantage, its home was the center of the broadcasting industry, and the charm of its young conductor was unequaled.
 

Vying for Airtime

During the 1950s, as television viewing became more common in American households, Ormandy worked to secure a place for himself and the Philadelphia Orchestra on the small screen. Although the orchestra appeared with some regularity in local telecasts, Ormandy's goal was to build a broader following through series of national broadcasts on network television.

As their audiences grew, the networks began examining viewers' habits and adjusting their programming accordingly. While viewers supported the idea of cultural programming on television, they showed little patience for it when it appeared on their screens. They wanted to be entertained, and because televised concerts appealed only to a small audience, the networks became increasingly cautious in programming serious music during prime time.

Once Ormandy realized the networks would not be beating a path to his door, he decided to take a more active role in pursuing national telecasts. Ormandy signed a two-year personal contract with New York–based agent Julius Seebach in April 1956 with the hope that Seebach could secure engagements on national television for himself and the orchestra.

Fig. 2: A few months into the contract, Ormandy suggests several prospects to Seebach. Omnibus was an innovative cultural variety show, airing from 1952 to 1961, for which Ormandy had conducted a well-received performance of Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus in February 1953. Impresario Sol Hurok had recently mounted a staged performance of excerpts from Verdi's La traviata for his Festival of Music series on NBC. Ed Sullivan was the host and producer of a popular eponymous variety show, and Steve Allen was host of the Tonight Show.

Fig. 3: By this time, Leonard Bernstein, the Curtis-trained music director of the New York Philharmonic, had become the most popular classical-music personality on television. Through simple explanations of music that most viewers had previously found difficult and inaccessible, Bernstein had built a strong following among the general public. Hall felt it important that Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra not be lost in the shadow of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. The challenge was difficult: to the Philharmonic's advantage, its home was the center of the broadcasting industry, and the charm of its young conductor was unequaled.
 

Vying for Airtime

During the 1950s, as television viewing became more common in American households, Ormandy worked to secure a place for himself and the Philadelphia Orchestra on the small screen. Although the orchestra appeared with some regularity in local telecasts, Ormandy's goal was to build a broader following through series of national broadcasts on network television.

As their audiences grew, the networks began examining viewers' habits and adjusting their programming accordingly. While viewers supported the idea of cultural programming on television, they showed little patience for it when it appeared on their screens. They wanted to be entertained, and because televised concerts appealed only to a small audience, the networks became increasingly cautious in programming serious music during prime time.

Once Ormandy realized the networks would not be beating a path to his door, he decided to take a more active role in pursuing national telecasts. Ormandy signed a two-year personal contract with New York–based agent Julius Seebach in April 1956 with the hope that Seebach could secure engagements on national television for himself and the orchestra.

Fig. 2: A few months into the contract, Ormandy suggests several prospects to Seebach. Omnibus was an innovative cultural variety show, airing from 1952 to 1961, for which Ormandy had conducted a well-received performance of Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus in February 1953. Impresario Sol Hurok had recently mounted a staged performance of excerpts from Verdi's La traviata for his Festival of Music series on NBC. Ed Sullivan was the host and producer of a popular eponymous variety show, and Steve Allen was host of the Tonight Show.

Fig. 3: By this time, Leonard Bernstein, the Curtis-trained music director of the New York Philharmonic, had become the most popular classical-music personality on television. Through simple explanations of music that most viewers had previously found difficult and inaccessible, Bernstein had built a strong following among the general public. Hall felt it important that Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra not be lost in the shadow of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. The challenge was difficult: to the Philharmonic's advantage, its home was the center of the broadcasting industry, and the charm of its young conductor was unequaled.
 

The One Touch of Music Proposal

In 1960, Ormandy, orchestra manager Roger Hall, and assistant conductor William Smith worked with producer David McElroy on a prospectus for a thirteen-part series called "One Touch of Music," which McElroy shopped around to sponsors. Although some classical-music programming appeared on arts programs early and late in the day on Sundays–a time when few viewers were tuned in–the networks were reluctant to schedule classical music during prime time except in short segments on variety shows. "One Touch of Music" was never produced.

programming on television, they showed little patience for it when it appeared on their screens. They wanted to be entertained, and because televised concerts appealed only to a small audience, the networks became increasingly cautious in programming serious music during prime time.

Once Ormandy realized the networks would not be beating a path to his door, he decided to take a more active role in pursuing national telecasts. Ormandy signed a two-year personal contract with New York-based agent Julius Seebach in April 1956 with the hope that Seebach could secure engagements on national television for himself and the orchestra.

Fig. 2: In April 1960, Ormandy sent David McElroy, of Ross-McElroy Productions in Chicago, a letter proposing a series of four programs that would introduce viewers to the orchestra and show how a musical composition is prepared for performance. McElroy wrote back expressing some interest and proposed some ideas of his own, which prompted this letter from Ormandy. The meeting with McElroy would occur at Ormandy's summer home in Monterey, Massachusetts, over the weekend of 25 June 1960.

Fig. 3: Following the June meeting in Massachusetts, McElroy prepared the "One Touch of Music" proposal.

The One Touch of Music Proposal

In 1960, Ormandy, orchestra manager Roger Hall, and assistant conductor William Smith worked with producer David McElroy on a prospectus for a thirteen-part series called "One Touch of Music," which McElroy shopped around to sponsors. Although some classical-music programming appeared on arts programs early and late in the day on Sundays–a time when few viewers were tuned in–the networks were reluctant to schedule classical music during prime time except in short segments on variety shows. "One Touch of Music" was never produced.

programming on television, they showed little patience for it when it appeared on their screens. They wanted to be entertained, and because televised concerts appealed only to a small audience, the networks became increasingly cautious in programming serious music during prime time.

Once Ormandy realized the networks would not be beating a path to his door, he decided to take a more active role in pursuing national telecasts. Ormandy signed a two-year personal contract with New York-based agent Julius Seebach in April 1956 with the hope that Seebach could secure engagements on national television for himself and the orchestra.

Fig. 2: In April 1960, Ormandy sent David McElroy, of Ross-McElroy Productions in Chicago, a letter proposing a series of four programs that would introduce viewers to the orchestra and show how a musical composition is prepared for performance. McElroy wrote back expressing some interest and proposed some ideas of his own, which prompted this letter from Ormandy. The meeting with McElroy would occur at Ormandy's summer home in Monterey, Massachusetts, over the weekend of 25 June 1960.

Fig. 3: Following the June meeting in Massachusetts, McElroy prepared the "One Touch of Music" proposal.

The One Touch of Music Proposal

In 1960, Ormandy, orchestra manager Roger Hall, and assistant conductor William Smith worked with producer David McElroy on a prospectus for a thirteen-part series called "One Touch of Music," which McElroy shopped around to sponsors. Although some classical-music programming appeared on arts programs early and late in the day on Sundays–a time when few viewers were tuned in–the networks were reluctant to schedule classical music during prime time except in short segments on variety shows. "One Touch of Music" was never produced.

programming on television, they showed little patience for it when it appeared on their screens. They wanted to be entertained, and because televised concerts appealed only to a small audience, the networks became increasingly cautious in programming serious music during prime time.

Once Ormandy realized the networks would not be beating a path to his door, he decided to take a more active role in pursuing national telecasts. Ormandy signed a two-year personal contract with New York-based agent Julius Seebach in April 1956 with the hope that Seebach could secure engagements on national television for himself and the orchestra.

Fig. 2: In April 1960, Ormandy sent David McElroy, of Ross-McElroy Productions in Chicago, a letter proposing a series of four programs that would introduce viewers to the orchestra and show how a musical composition is prepared for performance. McElroy wrote back expressing some interest and proposed some ideas of his own, which prompted this letter from Ormandy. The meeting with McElroy would occur at Ormandy's summer home in Monterey, Massachusetts, over the weekend of 25 June 1960.

Fig. 3: Following the June meeting in Massachusetts, McElroy prepared the "One Touch of Music" proposal.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

WCAU-TV Annual Telecasts

Beginning in 1962, Philadelphia station WCAU-TV (channel 10) broadcast an hour-long concert each spring featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra with two guest artiststypically a female vocalist and a male instrumentalist. Artists appearing in the annual broadcasts included Roberta Peters and nineteen-year-old Itzhak Perlman (1965), Mary Costa and Isaac Stern (1966), Rosalind Elias and Byron Janis (1967), Judith Raskin and Philippe Entremont (1968), and Teresa Stratas and the Romeros, a guitar quartet (1969).

Videotape was used regularly by television stations beginning in the late 1950s, so instead of broadcasting these concerts live, WCAU taped them several weeks or months in advance of their air dates, which usually were in May.

Unitel Concerts Part 1

By the early 1970s, the commercial networks had all but abandoned prime-time broadcasts of classical music, leaving public television to fill the voidwhich they did with some success. Funding from Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allowed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to launch the Great Performances , which featured theatrical and classical music performances. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were showcased in several installments in the series, but even on public television the spotlight continued to be trained on musical life in New York City through such series as Live from Lincoln Center. An exception was Evening at the Symphony, a PBS series debuting in 1973 that featured concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During this period, some of the most innovative telecasts of classical music performances were being produced in Europe, where governments provided greater support for arts programming and the public was more receptive to classical music broadcasts. In 1966, Leo Kirch, the head of a corporation in Munich that produced films for theater and television, founded Unitel, a company devoted exclusively to filming and distributing classical-music programs.

Kirch had the foresight to use cinema-quality stock for filming concerts, and his production crews developed imaginative camera and editing techniques based on a thorough knowledge of the music being performed. One of the earliestand most famousUnitel productions was the filming of a 1965 La Scala performance of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohhme, staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Kirch enlisted Klaus Hallig of the International Television Trading Company as the executive producer for Unitel projects in the United States. By early 1977, Hallig had reached an agreement with Ormandy for an initial taping session at the Academy of Music.

Unitel Concerts Part 1

By the early 1970s, the commercial networks had all but abandoned prime-time broadcasts of classical music, leaving public television to fill the voidwhich they did with some success. Funding from Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allowed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to launch the Great Performances , which featured theatrical and classical music performances. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were showcased in several installments in the series, but even on public television the spotlight continued to be trained on musical life in New York City through such series as Live from Lincoln Center. An exception was Evening at the Symphony, a PBS series debuting in 1973 that featured concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During this period, some of the most innovative telecasts of classical music performances were being produced in Europe, where governments provided greater support for arts programming and the public was more receptive to classical music broadcasts. In 1966, Leo Kirch, the head of a corporation in Munich that produced films for theater and television, founded Unitel, a company devoted exclusively to filming and distributing classical-music programs.

Kirch had the foresight to use cinema-quality stock for filming concerts, and his production crews developed imaginative camera and editing techniques based on a thorough knowledge of the music being performed. One of the earliestand most famousUnitel productions was the filming of a 1965 La Scala performance of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohhme, staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Kirch enlisted Klaus Hallig of the International Television Trading Company as the executive producer for Unitel projects in the United States. By early 1977, Hallig had reached an agreement with Ormandy for an initial taping session at the Academy of Music.

Unitel Concerts Part 1

By the early 1970s, the commercial networks had all but abandoned prime-time broadcasts of classical music, leaving public television to fill the voidwhich they did with some success. Funding from Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allowed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to launch the Great Performances , which featured theatrical and classical music performances. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were showcased in several installments in the series, but even on public television the spotlight continued to be trained on musical life in New York City through such series as Live from Lincoln Center. An exception was Evening at the Symphony, a PBS series debuting in 1973 that featured concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During this period, some of the most innovative telecasts of classical music performances were being produced in Europe, where governments provided greater support for arts programming and the public was more receptive to classical music broadcasts. In 1966, Leo Kirch, the head of a corporation in Munich that produced films for theater and television, founded Unitel, a company devoted exclusively to filming and distributing classical-music programs.

Kirch had the foresight to use cinema-quality stock for filming concerts, and his production crews developed imaginative camera and editing techniques based on a thorough knowledge of the music being performed. One of the earliestand most famousUnitel productions was the filming of a 1965 La Scala performance of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohhme, staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Kirch enlisted Klaus Hallig of the International Television Trading Company as the executive producer for Unitel projects in the United States. By early 1977, Hallig had reached an agreement with Ormandy for an initial taping session at the Academy of Music.

Unitel Concerts Part 1

By the early 1970s, the commercial networks had all but abandoned prime-time broadcasts of classical music, leaving public television to fill the voidwhich they did with some success. Funding from Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allowed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to launch the Great Performances , which featured theatrical and classical music performances. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were showcased in several installments in the series, but even on public television the spotlight continued to be trained on musical life in New York City through such series as Live from Lincoln Center. An exception was Evening at the Symphony, a PBS series debuting in 1973 that featured concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During this period, some of the most innovative telecasts of classical music performances were being produced in Europe, where governments provided greater support for arts programming and the public was more receptive to classical music broadcasts. In 1966, Leo Kirch, the head of a corporation in Munich that produced films for theater and television, founded Unitel, a company devoted exclusively to filming and distributing classical-music programs.

Kirch had the foresight to use cinema-quality stock for filming concerts, and his production crews developed imaginative camera and editing techniques based on a thorough knowledge of the music being performed. One of the earliestand most famousUnitel productions was the filming of a 1965 La Scala performance of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohhme, staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Kirch enlisted Klaus Hallig of the International Television Trading Company as the executive producer for Unitel projects in the United States. By early 1977, Hallig had reached an agreement with Ormandy for an initial taping session at the Academy of Music.

Unitel Concerts Part 1

By the early 1970s, the commercial networks had all but abandoned prime-time broadcasts of classical music, leaving public television to fill the voidwhich they did with some success. Funding from Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allowed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to launch the Great Performances , which featured theatrical and classical music performances. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were showcased in several installments in the series, but even on public television the spotlight continued to be trained on musical life in New York City through such series as Live from Lincoln Center. An exception was Evening at the Symphony, a PBS series debuting in 1973 that featured concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During this period, some of the most innovative telecasts of classical music performances were being produced in Europe, where governments provided greater support for arts programming and the public was more receptive to classical music broadcasts. In 1966, Leo Kirch, the head of a corporation in Munich that produced films for theater and television, founded Unitel, a company devoted exclusively to filming and distributing classical-music programs.

Kirch had the foresight to use cinema-quality stock for filming concerts, and his production crews developed imaginative camera and editing techniques based on a thorough knowledge of the music being performed. One of the earliestand most famousUnitel productions was the filming of a 1965 La Scala performance of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohhme, staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Kirch enlisted Klaus Hallig of the International Television Trading Company as the executive producer for Unitel projects in the United States. By early 1977, Hallig had reached an agreement with Ormandy for an initial taping session at the Academy of Music.

Unitel Concerts Part 1

By the early 1970s, the commercial networks had all but abandoned prime-time broadcasts of classical music, leaving public television to fill the voidwhich they did with some success. Funding from Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allowed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to launch the Great Performances , which featured theatrical and classical music performances. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were showcased in several installments in the series, but even on public television the spotlight continued to be trained on musical life in New York City through such series as Live from Lincoln Center. An exception was Evening at the Symphony, a PBS series debuting in 1973 that featured concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

During this period, some of the most innovative telecasts of classical music performances were being produced in Europe, where governments provided greater support for arts programming and the public was more receptive to classical music broadcasts. In 1966, Leo Kirch, the head of a corporation in Munich that produced films for theater and television, founded Unitel, a company devoted exclusively to filming and distributing classical-music programs.

Kirch had the foresight to use cinema-quality stock for filming concerts, and his production crews developed imaginative camera and editing techniques based on a thorough knowledge of the music being performed. One of the earliestand most famousUnitel productions was the filming of a 1965 La Scala performance of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohhme, staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Kirch enlisted Klaus Hallig of the International Television Trading Company as the executive producer for Unitel projects in the United States. By early 1977, Hallig had reached an agreement with Ormandy for an initial taping session at the Academy of Music.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Unitel Concerts Part 2

Under Ormandy's direction, the orchestra recorded five hour-long programs for Unitel during three successive summers in the late 1970s. For these featured works in these concerts, Ormandy selected romantic scores with colorful orchestrations that would show off the "Philadelphia Sound."

  • Ormandy's transcription of George Frideric Handel's Organ Concerto in D Major (HWV 335a), Claude Debussy's La Mer, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (24 June 1977)

  • Gustav Holst's Planets (25 June 1977)

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Michail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, and Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon (30 June 1978)

  • Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Overture to The Secret of Suzanna, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1 July 1978)

  • Peter Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy and Violin Concerto in D Major (with soloist Itzhak Perlman) (13–14 June 1979)

In 1980, the year following the last Unitel taping, Ormandy retired as music director of the orchestra and was named conductor laureate. In 1981, PBS broadcast the six-part series The Fabulous Philadelphians: From Ormandy to Muti, co-produced with Philadelphia station WHYY-TV. Ormandy continued to appear as a guest conductor during the years preceding his death in 1985 in Philadelphia at the age of 85.

Placards placed on music stands allowed the production crew to set up camera angles and rehearse shot sequences without the presence of the orchestra. A crew member sat in for Ormandy on the podium.

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

During the period of enormous growth for television in the late 1950s, Ormandy often wrote at length to orchestra staff, producers, and friends of the potential for serious music on television and the place the Philadelphia Orchestra should hold in programming for the new medium. While he clearly wanted to increase the television presence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, there were certain contexts and presentations he considered inappropriate. The word "dignified" appears frequently in these letters. The orchestra was to be kept at a safe distance from jazz performers, circus acts, and other popular entertainers that might not share the orchestra's seriousness of purpose.

The networks saw things differently. Symphony orchestras were a hard sell with viewers, so the networks attempted to broaden the public appeal of Ormandy and the orchestra by having them share the stage with popular entertainers. While Ormandy agreed to work with comedians Jack Benny and Danny Kaye, both of whom were accomplished amateur musicians, other offers were dismissed out of hand. In 1960, Roger Hall wrote to a CBS executive that he felt "strongly that the mating of Mr. Ormandy and Captain Kangaroo is somewhat out of character."

In his correspondence during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ormandy anticipates a bright future for the arts on network television. He refers to the "trash" and "junk" on television and how the average viewer is weary of what the networks are offering. In a 6 April 1960 letter to David McElroy, he claims that American viewers are "becoming satiated with westerns, detective dramas, and other violent plays, and they are now ready to listen to the well-known music of the great masters presented in visual form, as well as audio." In these letters, Ormandy is certainly idealistic, if not a bit naove.

By the mid-1960s, it had become clear that the American public in fact preferred popular forms of entertainment and that telecasts of classical music appealed only to a small niche market. Ormandy must have come around to this realization and accepted it, because the orchestra ended its aggressive pursuit of the networks with the departure of Roger Hall in 1963. While occasional network television appearances continued through the remainder of his career, Ormandy's attention shifted to proven strengths: recording and touring. He was able to focus national attention on the orchestra through premiere performancessuch as the 1965 premiere of Deryck Cooke's edition of Mahler's Tenth Symphony—and tours of Latin America and Asia, including a landmark tour of China in 1973.

Fig. 2: Seebach was a television agent under contract with Ormandy. In the paragraph on Ed Sullivan's show, Ormandy spells out ground rules for televised performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra that would apply throughout his career: the broadcast should originate from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia if at all possible, the orchestra should be distanced from popular acts, and the presentation must be dignified.

Fig. 3: For Ormandy, the low quality of arts programming in the United States was not the product of the tastes and viewing habits of the American public; the fault lay instead with overly cautious advertising firms. Clipp was general manager of the parent organization of WFIL-TV.

Fig. 4: Ormandy is replying to a 25 October 1960 letter from Weaver, in which the educator congratulated Ormandy on a recent telecast of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from the United Nations Building and asked why it had been so poorly advertised. He also lamented the general decline in cultural programming on television and sought Ormandy's opinion on what could be done to improve the situation.

Fig. 5: On 25 May 1979, Eugene Ormandy received the "Person of the Year" award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Broadcast Pioneers. Their website includes an audio recording of the speeches given during the presentation, including a portion of Ormandy's acceptance speech.

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

During the period of enormous growth for television in the late 1950s, Ormandy often wrote at length to orchestra staff, producers, and friends of the potential for serious music on television and the place the Philadelphia Orchestra should hold in programming for the new medium. While he clearly wanted to increase the television presence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, there were certain contexts and presentations he considered inappropriate. The word "dignified" appears frequently in these letters. The orchestra was to be kept at a safe distance from jazz performers, circus acts, and other popular entertainers that might not share the orchestra's seriousness of purpose.

The networks saw things differently. Symphony orchestras were a hard sell with viewers, so the networks attempted to broaden the public appeal of Ormandy and the orchestra by having them share the stage with popular entertainers. While Ormandy agreed to work with comedians Jack Benny and Danny Kaye, both of whom were accomplished amateur musicians, other offers were dismissed out of hand. In 1960, Roger Hall wrote to a CBS executive that he felt "strongly that the mating of Mr. Ormandy and Captain Kangaroo is somewhat out of character."

In his correspondence during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ormandy anticipates a bright future for the arts on network television. He refers to the "trash" and "junk" on television and how the average viewer is weary of what the networks are offering. In a 6 April 1960 letter to David McElroy, he claims that American viewers are "becoming satiated with westerns, detective dramas, and other violent plays, and they are now ready to listen to the well-known music of the great masters presented in visual form, as well as audio." In these letters, Ormandy is certainly idealistic, if not a bit naove.

By the mid-1960s, it had become clear that the American public in fact preferred popular forms of entertainment and that telecasts of classical music appealed only to a small niche market. Ormandy must have come around to this realization and accepted it, because the orchestra ended its aggressive pursuit of the networks with the departure of Roger Hall in 1963. While occasional network television appearances continued through the remainder of his career, Ormandy's attention shifted to proven strengths: recording and touring. He was able to focus national attention on the orchestra through premiere performancessuch as the 1965 premiere of Deryck Cooke's edition of Mahler's Tenth Symphony—and tours of Latin America and Asia, including a landmark tour of China in 1973.

Fig. 2: Seebach was a television agent under contract with Ormandy. In the paragraph on Ed Sullivan's show, Ormandy spells out ground rules for televised performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra that would apply throughout his career: the broadcast should originate from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia if at all possible, the orchestra should be distanced from popular acts, and the presentation must be dignified.

Fig. 3: For Ormandy, the low quality of arts programming in the United States was not the product of the tastes and viewing habits of the American public; the fault lay instead with overly cautious advertising firms. Clipp was general manager of the parent organization of WFIL-TV.

Fig. 4: Ormandy is replying to a 25 October 1960 letter from Weaver, in which the educator congratulated Ormandy on a recent telecast of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from the United Nations Building and asked why it had been so poorly advertised. He also lamented the general decline in cultural programming on television and sought Ormandy's opinion on what could be done to improve the situation.

Fig. 5: On 25 May 1979, Eugene Ormandy received the "Person of the Year" award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Broadcast Pioneers. Their website includes an audio recording of the speeches given during the presentation, including a portion of Ormandy's acceptance speech.

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

During the period of enormous growth for television in the late 1950s, Ormandy often wrote at length to orchestra staff, producers, and friends of the potential for serious music on television and the place the Philadelphia Orchestra should hold in programming for the new medium. While he clearly wanted to increase the television presence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, there were certain contexts and presentations he considered inappropriate. The word "dignified" appears frequently in these letters. The orchestra was to be kept at a safe distance from jazz performers, circus acts, and other popular entertainers that might not share the orchestra's seriousness of purpose.

The networks saw things differently. Symphony orchestras were a hard sell with viewers, so the networks attempted to broaden the public appeal of Ormandy and the orchestra by having them share the stage with popular entertainers. While Ormandy agreed to work with comedians Jack Benny and Danny Kaye, both of whom were accomplished amateur musicians, other offers were dismissed out of hand. In 1960, Roger Hall wrote to a CBS executive that he felt "strongly that the mating of Mr. Ormandy and Captain Kangaroo is somewhat out of character."

In his correspondence during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ormandy anticipates a bright future for the arts on network television. He refers to the "trash" and "junk" on television and how the average viewer is weary of what the networks are offering. In a 6 April 1960 letter to David McElroy, he claims that American viewers are "becoming satiated with westerns, detective dramas, and other violent plays, and they are now ready to listen to the well-known music of the great masters presented in visual form, as well as audio." In these letters, Ormandy is certainly idealistic, if not a bit naove.

By the mid-1960s, it had become clear that the American public in fact preferred popular forms of entertainment and that telecasts of classical music appealed only to a small niche market. Ormandy must have come around to this realization and accepted it, because the orchestra ended its aggressive pursuit of the networks with the departure of Roger Hall in 1963. While occasional network television appearances continued through the remainder of his career, Ormandy's attention shifted to proven strengths: recording and touring. He was able to focus national attention on the orchestra through premiere performancessuch as the 1965 premiere of Deryck Cooke's edition of Mahler's Tenth Symphony—and tours of Latin America and Asia, including a landmark tour of China in 1973.

Fig. 2: Seebach was a television agent under contract with Ormandy. In the paragraph on Ed Sullivan's show, Ormandy spells out ground rules for televised performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra that would apply throughout his career: the broadcast should originate from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia if at all possible, the orchestra should be distanced from popular acts, and the presentation must be dignified.

Fig. 3: For Ormandy, the low quality of arts programming in the United States was not the product of the tastes and viewing habits of the American public; the fault lay instead with overly cautious advertising firms. Clipp was general manager of the parent organization of WFIL-TV.

Fig. 4: Ormandy is replying to a 25 October 1960 letter from Weaver, in which the educator congratulated Ormandy on a recent telecast of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from the United Nations Building and asked why it had been so poorly advertised. He also lamented the general decline in cultural programming on television and sought Ormandy's opinion on what could be done to improve the situation.

Fig. 5: On 25 May 1979, Eugene Ormandy received the "Person of the Year" award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Broadcast Pioneers. Their website includes an audio recording of the speeches given during the presentation, including a portion of Ormandy's acceptance speech.

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

During the period of enormous growth for television in the late 1950s, Ormandy often wrote at length to orchestra staff, producers, and friends of the potential for serious music on television and the place the Philadelphia Orchestra should hold in programming for the new medium. While he clearly wanted to increase the television presence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, there were certain contexts and presentations he considered inappropriate. The word "dignified" appears frequently in these letters. The orchestra was to be kept at a safe distance from jazz performers, circus acts, and other popular entertainers that might not share the orchestra's seriousness of purpose.

The networks saw things differently. Symphony orchestras were a hard sell with viewers, so the networks attempted to broaden the public appeal of Ormandy and the orchestra by having them share the stage with popular entertainers. While Ormandy agreed to work with comedians Jack Benny and Danny Kaye, both of whom were accomplished amateur musicians, other offers were dismissed out of hand. In 1960, Roger Hall wrote to a CBS executive that he felt "strongly that the mating of Mr. Ormandy and Captain Kangaroo is somewhat out of character."

In his correspondence during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ormandy anticipates a bright future for the arts on network television. He refers to the "trash" and "junk" on television and how the average viewer is weary of what the networks are offering. In a 6 April 1960 letter to David McElroy, he claims that American viewers are "becoming satiated with westerns, detective dramas, and other violent plays, and they are now ready to listen to the well-known music of the great masters presented in visual form, as well as audio." In these letters, Ormandy is certainly idealistic, if not a bit naove.

By the mid-1960s, it had become clear that the American public in fact preferred popular forms of entertainment and that telecasts of classical music appealed only to a small niche market. Ormandy must have come around to this realization and accepted it, because the orchestra ended its aggressive pursuit of the networks with the departure of Roger Hall in 1963. While occasional network television appearances continued through the remainder of his career, Ormandy's attention shifted to proven strengths: recording and touring. He was able to focus national attention on the orchestra through premiere performancessuch as the 1965 premiere of Deryck Cooke's edition of Mahler's Tenth Symphony—and tours of Latin America and Asia, including a landmark tour of China in 1973.

Fig. 2: Seebach was a television agent under contract with Ormandy. In the paragraph on Ed Sullivan's show, Ormandy spells out ground rules for televised performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra that would apply throughout his career: the broadcast should originate from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia if at all possible, the orchestra should be distanced from popular acts, and the presentation must be dignified.

Fig. 3: For Ormandy, the low quality of arts programming in the United States was not the product of the tastes and viewing habits of the American public; the fault lay instead with overly cautious advertising firms. Clipp was general manager of the parent organization of WFIL-TV.

Fig. 4: Ormandy is replying to a 25 October 1960 letter from Weaver, in which the educator congratulated Ormandy on a recent telecast of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from the United Nations Building and asked why it had been so poorly advertised. He also lamented the general decline in cultural programming on television and sought Ormandy's opinion on what could be done to improve the situation.

Fig. 5: On 25 May 1979, Eugene Ormandy received the "Person of the Year" award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Broadcast Pioneers. Their website includes an audio recording of the speeches given during the presentation, including a portion of Ormandy's acceptance speech.

Ormandy's Hopes for Television

During the period of enormous growth for television in the late 1950s, Ormandy often wrote at length to orchestra staff, producers, and friends of the potential for serious music on television and the place the Philadelphia Orchestra should hold in programming for the new medium. While he clearly wanted to increase the television presence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, there were certain contexts and presentations he considered inappropriate. The word "dignified" appears frequently in these letters. The orchestra was to be kept at a safe distance from jazz performers, circus acts, and other popular entertainers that might not share the orchestra's seriousness of purpose.

The networks saw things differently. Symphony orchestras were a hard sell with viewers, so the networks attempted to broaden the public appeal of Ormandy and the orchestra by having them share the stage with popular entertainers. While Ormandy agreed to work with comedians Jack Benny and Danny Kaye, both of whom were accomplished amateur musicians, other offers were dismissed out of hand. In 1960, Roger Hall wrote to a CBS executive that he felt "strongly that the mating of Mr. Ormandy and Captain Kangaroo is somewhat out of character."

In his correspondence during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ormandy anticipates a bright future for the arts on network television. He refers to the "trash" and "junk" on television and how the average viewer is weary of what the networks are offering. In a 6 April 1960 letter to David McElroy, he claims that American viewers are "becoming satiated with westerns, detective dramas, and other violent plays, and they are now ready to listen to the well-known music of the great masters presented in visual form, as well as audio." In these letters, Ormandy is certainly idealistic, if not a bit naove.

By the mid-1960s, it had become clear that the American public in fact preferred popular forms of entertainment and that telecasts of classical music appealed only to a small niche market. Ormandy must have come around to this realization and accepted it, because the orchestra ended its aggressive pursuit of the networks with the departure of Roger Hall in 1963. While occasional network television appearances continued through the remainder of his career, Ormandy's attention shifted to proven strengths: recording and touring. He was able to focus national attention on the orchestra through premiere performancessuch as the 1965 premiere of Deryck Cooke's edition of Mahler's Tenth Symphony—and tours of Latin America and Asia, including a landmark tour of China in 1973.

Fig. 2: Seebach was a television agent under contract with Ormandy. In the paragraph on Ed Sullivan's show, Ormandy spells out ground rules for televised performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra that would apply throughout his career: the broadcast should originate from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia if at all possible, the orchestra should be distanced from popular acts, and the presentation must be dignified.

Fig. 3: For Ormandy, the low quality of arts programming in the United States was not the product of the tastes and viewing habits of the American public; the fault lay instead with overly cautious advertising firms. Clipp was general manager of the parent organization of WFIL-TV.

Fig. 4: Ormandy is replying to a 25 October 1960 letter from Weaver, in which the educator congratulated Ormandy on a recent telecast of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from the United Nations Building and asked why it had been so poorly advertised. He also lamented the general decline in cultural programming on television and sought Ormandy's opinion on what could be done to improve the situation.

Fig. 5: On 25 May 1979, Eugene Ormandy received the "Person of the Year" award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Broadcast Pioneers. Their website includes an audio recording of the speeches given during the presentation, including a portion of Ormandy's acceptance speech.

Vying for Airtime

As time passed, Ormandy saw other orchestras–what was worse, lesser orchestras–gain the exposure he sought for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He became increasingly frustrated with his agent's efforts, and after two years of seeing Seebach come up empty handed, Ormandy decided not to renew the contract when it expired in 1958.

The arrival in July 1959 of thirty-three-year-old Roger Hall as general manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra marked the beginning of a focused campaign by the orchestra's management to promote programming for the orchestra on network television. Although Ormandy continued to be closely involved in the planning and approval of television appearances, Hall became the initial contact, and he made energetic pitches for television series to the major networks as well as to independent producers. Although the orchestra did appear on CBS in the nationally televised Spring Music Festival in 1960, the orchestra was unable to line up a network and a sponsor for an extended television series.

Fig. 2: "NAC" is a typographical error for "NBC." Sol Schoenbach had retired as a bassoonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1957.

Jay Hoffman proposed a series of educational programs based on Alice in Wonderland, which had been the subject of a popular 1951 animated feature film by Walt Disney. Several years later, the Alice scenario was recycled, with Eloise (of Eloise in Paris) replacing Alice. Neither series reached production.

Fig. 3: Television program prospectus by assistant conductor William Smith   11 November 1957

This outline for a program surveying several centuries of music history later found its way into the One Touch of Musicproposal.

Vying for Airtime

As time passed, Ormandy saw other orchestras–what was worse, lesser orchestras–gain the exposure he sought for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He became increasingly frustrated with his agent's efforts, and after two years of seeing Seebach come up empty handed, Ormandy decided not to renew the contract when it expired in 1958.

The arrival in July 1959 of thirty-three-year-old Roger Hall as general manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra marked the beginning of a focused campaign by the orchestra's management to promote programming for the orchestra on network television. Although Ormandy continued to be closely involved in the planning and approval of television appearances, Hall became the initial contact, and he made energetic pitches for television series to the major networks as well as to independent producers. Although the orchestra did appear on CBS in the nationally televised Spring Music Festival in 1960, the orchestra was unable to line up a network and a sponsor for an extended television series.

Fig. 2: "NAC" is a typographical error for "NBC." Sol Schoenbach had retired as a bassoonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1957.

Jay Hoffman proposed a series of educational programs based on Alice in Wonderland, which had been the subject of a popular 1951 animated feature film by Walt Disney. Several years later, the Alice scenario was recycled, with Eloise (of Eloise in Paris) replacing Alice. Neither series reached production.

Fig. 3: Television program prospectus by assistant conductor William Smith   11 November 1957

This outline for a program surveying several centuries of music history later found its way into the One Touch of Musicproposal.

Vying for Airtime

As time passed, Ormandy saw other orchestras–what was worse, lesser orchestras–gain the exposure he sought for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He became increasingly frustrated with his agent's efforts, and after two years of seeing Seebach come up empty handed, Ormandy decided not to renew the contract when it expired in 1958.

The arrival in July 1959 of thirty-three-year-old Roger Hall as general manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra marked the beginning of a focused campaign by the orchestra's management to promote programming for the orchestra on network television. Although Ormandy continued to be closely involved in the planning and approval of television appearances, Hall became the initial contact, and he made energetic pitches for television series to the major networks as well as to independent producers. Although the orchestra did appear on CBS in the nationally televised Spring Music Festival in 1960, the orchestra was unable to line up a network and a sponsor for an extended television series.

Fig. 2: "NAC" is a typographical error for "NBC." Sol Schoenbach had retired as a bassoonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1957.

Jay Hoffman proposed a series of educational programs based on Alice in Wonderland, which had been the subject of a popular 1951 animated feature film by Walt Disney. Several years later, the Alice scenario was recycled, with Eloise (of Eloise in Paris) replacing Alice. Neither series reached production.

Fig. 3: Television program prospectus by assistant conductor William Smith   11 November 1957

This outline for a program surveying several centuries of music history later found its way into the One Touch of Musicproposal.

Selected bibliography

Contributors

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