Ormandy, Feature for WDR

He led the Philadelphia Orchestra for more than 40 years and hardly took any jobs as a guest conductor. His leadership qualities included reliability, charisma, and patience. Eugene Ormandy (original name: Jeno Blau), an American of Hungarian decent, was born in Budapest as the son of a dentist. He had his first public violin performance as a seven-year-old child prodigy and became a pupil of the famous Hungarian violinist and composer Jeno Hubay. At age 17 he became a professor of music, and when he was 18, he became concertmaster at the Bluethner Orchestra in Berlin. In 1921, he was lured to New York by the empty promises of two phony concert managers. With no money and no connections, he ended up as a violinist in a silent movie orchestra. From there, he made his way as an American concert master and conductor. In 1938, he succeeded Leopold Stokowski as music director at the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ormandy further developed the high sound quality of the orchestra, molding it into one of the best orchestras in the world. The well-rounded sound of the string section became famous as the "Philadelphia Sound." Georg Hirsch has found old speeches and interviews with Ormandy and talked with people who knew Ormandy personally.

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