The Fabulous Philadelphian: Eugene Ormandy: 1899-1985

Eugene Ormandy: 1899-1985

For the conductor of one of the country's greatest orchestras, he cut a decidedly unglamorous figure. "I'm one of the boys, no better than the last second violinist," he would say with typical self-effacement. "I'm just the lucky one to be standing in the center, telling them how to play." His businesslike podium manner and his reliable but unspectacular interpretations of the standard repertory caused many to underestimate him. But in 44 years, the longest music directorship in American history, Eugene Ormandy led the Philadelphia Orchestra to a height of tonal splendor that was the joy of his adopted city and...

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