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Ormandy, Eugene

Ormandy, Eugene

Born in 1899


Inducted in 2000

Eugene Ormandy entered the Budapest Royal Academy at the age of five, and gave his first concerts at seven. Awarded a Bachelor of Music degree at 14, Ormandy was given a professor’s diploma to teach at the Academy in 1918. Following his graduation from the Academy, Ormandy performed in central Europe, making his official debut as a concert violinist. In 1921, Ormandy decided to head for New York. At The Capitol Theater orchestra Ormandy became concert master, made his conducting debut in September 1924, and became the Capitol Theater orchestra’s Associate Music Director in 1926. In 1927, just over five years after his arrival in the United States, Ormandy became a U.S. citizen. However, the year 1929 saw Ormandy’s resignation from the Capitol and his debut conducting the New York Philharmonic Symphony at Lewisohn Stadium. A year later, Ormandy was invited to conduct a series of concerts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, in place of the scheduled conductor, Arturo Toscanini. Ormandy’s reputation grew further during his five-year tenure as Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1931-1936), an appointment which followed closely upon his Philadelphia Orchestra debut. He returned to Philadelphia in 1936 as assistant conductor to Leopold Stokowski. Ormandy was appointed Music Director in 1938 upon Stokowski’s retirement. With the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy made over 300 recordings, one of which, Carl Orff’s Catulli Carmina, received a Grammy Award in 1967. Ormandy received numerous honorary degrees, and many awards, including Commander, French Legion of Honor (1958), the U.S. Presidential Freedom Medal (1970), honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (1976) and the Gold Baton Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League (1979). Ormandy retired in 1980 and was made Conductor Laureate of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He conducted for the last time in 1984, a year before his death.

Listen to Ormandy, Eugene

"Karelia Suite "

Movement: Alla marcia
Performer: Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy (conductor)
Courtesy Of: Sony Classical

Audio Tour

Courtesy of WGUC 90.9 FM