Eugene Ormandy

Real Name:
Jenö Blau
Profile:
Hungarian-American conductor and violinist (November 18, 1899, Budapest, Hungary – March 12, 1985, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA).

Ormandy is best known for his longstanding post as the conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra. He also developed what came to be known as the "Philadelphia Sound," emphasizing lush string sonorities and, often, legato phrasing and rounded tone.

Ormandy, born Jenö Blau, began his musical career at an early age. He could identify symphonies at the age of 3 and could play the violin by the age of 4. When he was 5, he became a pupil at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest (now the Franz Liszt Academy of Music). He studied with Jenő Hubay and began his conducting career with the Symphonisches Blüthner-Orchester Berlin (Blüthner Orchestra).

He moved to the United States in 1921 (taking citizenship in 1927). Around this time he changed his name to "Eugene Ormandy," "Eugene" being the equivalent of the Hungarian "Jenő." Accounts differ on the origin of "Ormandy"; it may have either been his own middle name at birth, or his mother's. In the 1920s, Ormandy worked in New York as a conductor and in 1930 made his first appearance in Philadelphia with The Robin Hood Dell Orchestra Of Philadelphia. When Arturo Toscanini was too ill to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1931, Ormandy was asked to sit in. This led to Ormandy's first major appointment as a conductor in Minneapolis.

From 1931 to 1936 Ormandy served as Music Director of Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now the Minnesota Orchestra). During his time in Minnesota, RCA Victor contracted the orchestra and recordings were made from 1934-1935. Several premiere recordings were made in Minneapolis, including Zoltán Kodály's <i> Háry János Suite </i> and Arnold Schoenberg’s <i> Verklärte Nacht </i>.

In 1936, Eugene Ormandy began his 44-year long tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra when he became associate conductor under Leopold Stokowski. In 1938, he was promoted to permanent conductor. Ormandy was a quick learner of scores, often conducting from memory and without a baton. He developed an amazing ensemble rapport and personally hired every one of the 104 musicians who played under his baton.

As music director, Ormandy conducted from 100 to 180 concerts each year in Philadelphia. He led the Philadelphia Orchestra on several national and international tours, including a 1955 tour of Finland, where Ormandy and Orchestra members visited the elderly composer Jean Sibelius and in 1973, they became the first American symphony orchestra in the People's Republic of China. Ormandy and the orchestra recorded extensively for Columbia and RCA, especially during the stereo LP era. Ormandy retired as conductor in Philadelphia at the end of the 1979-1980 season (whereupon he was named Conductor Laureate).

Ormandy was always a knowledgeable, well-prepared conductor, but he was most comfortable with Romantic and post-Romantic music; especially noteworthy were his performances and recordings of Richard Strauss and Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff. He led the first performances of many works by American composers and, in 1948 he led the Philadelphia Orchestra in the first symphony concert broadcast on American TV.

Ormandy's awards include: <b> The Presidential Medal of Freedom</b>, presented by Richard M. Nixon in 1970; <b> The Ditson Conductor's Award </b> for championing American music in 1977; Appointment by Queen Elizabeth II as an honorary <b> Knight of the British Empire </b> in 1976; and he was awarded the <b> Kennedy Center Honors </b> in 1982.

He was the brother of Martin Ormandy.
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Albums

DB 8395/8405 Symphony No. 2 ( Gustav Mahler, Eugene Ormandy, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Gustav Mahler, Eugene Ormandy, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra - Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection") (Album) Victor Red Seal, Victor Red Seal DB 8395/8405 UK 1935 Sell This Version
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M 274, M-274 Symphony No. 4 In B Flat (Opus 60) — Eugene Ormandy Beethoven* - Eugene Ormandy And The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Beethoven* - Eugene Ormandy And The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra - Symphony No. 4 In B Flat (Opus 60)(5xShellac, 12", Album) Victor Red Seal, Victor Red Seal M 274, M-274 US 1935 Sell This Version
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M 201 Symphony No. 4, In D Minor, Op. 120 — Eugene Ormandy Schumann* / Eugene Ormandy And The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Schumann* / Eugene Ormandy And The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra - Symphony No. 4, In D Minor, Op. 120 (Album) Victor Red Seal M 201 US 1934 Sell This Version
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M-555, M 555 Songs Of Brahms — Eugene Ormandy Brahms* - Marian Anderson, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy Brahms* - Marian Anderson, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Songs Of Brahms Victor Red Seal, Victor Red Seal M-555, M 555 Canada 1939 Sell This Version
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M 211 Kreisleriana — Eugene Ormandy Eugene Ormandy And The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra* Eugene Ormandy And The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra* - Kreisleriana Victor Red Seal M 211 US 1939 Sell This Version
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M 750 Sibelius* - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy Sibelius* - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Sibelius 75th Anniversary Album (Album) Victor Red Seal M 750 US 1940 Sell This Version
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D.B. 8806, DB. 8807, DB. 8808 Concerto No. 1 In F Sharp Minor — Eugene Ormandy Rakhmaninov*, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy Rakhmaninov*, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Concerto No. 1 In F Sharp Minor (Album) RCA Victor Red Seal D.B. 8806, DB. 8807, DB. 8808 UK 1940 Sell This Version
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18201 Roumanian Rhapsodies - No. 1, In A Major No. 2 In D Major (Op. 11) — Eugene Ormandy The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Roumanian Rhapsodies - No. 1, In A Major No. 2 In D Major (Op. 11) (Album) Victor Red Seal 18201 Canada 1941 Sell This Version
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DM 828 Symphony No. 5 In E Minor, Op. 64 — Eugene Ormandy Eugene Ormandy ,The Philadelphia Orchestra Tchaikovsky* Eugene Ormandy ,The Philadelphia Orchestra Tchaikovsky* - Symphony No. 5 In E Minor, Op. 64 (Album) Victor Red Seal DM 828 Canada 1941 Sell This Version
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M 815 Double Concerto In A Minor, Op. 102 — Eugene Ormandy Jascha Heifetz, Emanuel Feuermann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Brahms* Jascha Heifetz, Emanuel Feuermann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Brahms* - Double Concerto In A Minor, Op. 102 (Album) Victor Red Seal M 815 US 1941 Sell This Version
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DM 900 Concerto In A Minor For Piano And Orchestra, Op. 16 — Eugene Ormandy Artur Rubinstein* And The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Grieg* Artur Rubinstein* And The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Grieg* - Concerto In A Minor For Piano And Orchestra, Op. 16 (Album) Victor Red Seal DM 900 US 1942 Sell This Version
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DM 262 The Music Of Johann Strauss — Eugene Ormandy Johann Strauss* / Eugene Ormandy, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Johann Strauss* / Eugene Ormandy, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra - The Music Of Johann Strauss (Album) Victor Red Seal DM 262 US 1942 Sell This Version
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MM-557, MM 557, M-MM-557 Beethoven Seventh Symphony — Eugene Ormandy Beethoven* ; Eugene Ormandy And The Philadelphia Orchestra Beethoven* ; Eugene Ormandy And The Philadelphia Orchestra - Beethoven Seventh Symphony (Album) Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Masterworks MM-557, MM 557, M-MM-557 US 1944 Sell This Version
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D131 Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole In D Minor, Op. 21 — Eugene Ormandy Lalo*, Nathan Milstein With The Philadelphia Orchestra Conducted By Eugene Ormandy Lalo*, Nathan Milstein With The Philadelphia Orchestra Conducted By Eugene Ormandy - Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole In D Minor, Op. 21 (Album) Columbia Masterworks D131 Canada 1945 Sell This Version
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J88 Rhapsody In Blue — Eugene Ormandy Gershwin* / Oscar Levant with The Philadelphia Orchestra Conducted By Eugene Ormandy Gershwin* / Oscar Levant with The Philadelphia Orchestra Conducted By Eugene Ormandy - Rhapsody In Blue (Album) Columbia Masterworks, Columbia J88 Canada 1945 Sell This Version
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MM 567, mm-567 Symphony No. 4 In E Minor, Op. 98 — Eugene Ormandy Johannes Brahms, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy Johannes Brahms, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Symphony No. 4 In E Minor, Op. 98 (Album) Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Masterworks MM 567, mm-567 US 1945 Sell This Version
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MM 591 Symphony No. 9 In D Minor, Op. 125 ( The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Beethoven* The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Beethoven* - Symphony No. 9 In D Minor, Op. 125 ("Choral") (Album) Columbia Masterworks MM 591 US 1945 Sell This Version
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MM-584 Piano Concerto Number 2 In B-Flat Major — Eugene Ormandy Rudolf Serkin / The Philadelphia Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy - Brahms* Rudolf Serkin / The Philadelphia Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy - Brahms* - Piano Concerto Number 2 In B-Flat Major (Album) Columbia Masterworks MM-584 US 1945 Sell This Version
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MX-247, X-MX-247, MX 247 Two Nocturnes — Eugene Ormandy Debussy* - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy Debussy* - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy - Two Nocturnes(2xShellac, 12", Album) Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Masterworks MX-247, X-MX-247, MX 247 US 1945 Sell This Version
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MM 608 Symphony In D Minor — Eugene Ormandy Eugene Ormandy Conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra / Franck* Eugene Ormandy Conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra / Franck* - Symphony In D Minor (Album) Columbia Masterworks MM 608 US 1946 Sell This Version
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MM-642 Brahms: Symphony No. 3 In F Major — Eugene Ormandy The Philadelphia Orchestra , conducted by Eugene Ormandy The Philadelphia Orchestra , conducted by Eugene Ormandy - Brahms: Symphony No. 3 In F Major (Album) Columbia Masterworks MM-642 US 1946 Sell This Version
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D141 Alexander Nevsky - Cantata, Op. 78 — Eugene Ormandy Prokofiev*, The Philadelphia Orchestra Conducted By Eugene Ormandy Prokofiev*, The Philadelphia Orchestra Conducted By Eugene Ormandy - Alexander Nevsky - Cantata, Op. 78 (Album) Columbia D141 Canada 1946 Sell This Version
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MM 570, MM-570 New World Symphony — Eugene Ormandy Dvořák* - Eugene Ormandy Conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra Dvořák* - Eugene Ormandy Conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra - New World Symphony (Album) Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Masterworks MM 570, MM-570 US 1946 Sell This Version
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MM-616 The Pines Of Rome  — Eugene Ormandy Respighi*, Eugene Ormandy, The Philadelphia Orchestra Respighi*, Eugene Ormandy, The Philadelphia Orchestra - The Pines Of Rome (3xShellac, 10", Album + Box) Columbia Masterworks MM-616 US 1946 Sell This Version
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DB.6284, DB.6285, DB.6286, DB.6287 Rachmaninoff* Played By Sergei Rachmaninoff* With The Philadelphia Orchestra* Conducted By Eugene Ormandy Rachmaninoff* Played By Sergei Rachmaninoff* With The Philadelphia Orchestra* Conducted By Eugene Ormandy - Concerto No. 4 In G Minor, Op. 40(4xShellac, 12", Album, Mono) His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice DB.6284, DB.6285, DB.6286, DB.6287 UK 1946 Sell This Version