Ormandy, Eugene

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Ormandy, Eugene

(ôr`məndē), 1899–1985, American conductor, b. Budapest. At the age of five Ormandy entered the Budapest Conservatory, where he studied the violin. Graduating in 1914, he became a member of the faculty. In 1921 he came to the United States, working as violinist, concertmaster, and later conductor of the Capitol Theatre Orchestra, New York City. After a successful guest appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was appointed conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1931. In 1936 he became associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and later its permanent conductor and music director (1938–80). Ormandy was known for superb romantic interpretations, excelling in works by Beethoven and 19th-century masters.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ormandy, Eugene


(real surname Blau). Born Nov. 18, 1899, in Budapest. American symphonic conductor of Hungarian birth.

Ormandy graduated in 1916 from the Budapest Royal Academy of Music, where he studied violin and then taught. He was concertmaster of the Blüthner Orchestra in Berlin from 1917 to 1921. Since 1921 he has lived in the United States; in that year he became concertmaster of the Capitol Theater Orchestra and in 1924 its conductor. He was principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1931 to 1936.

Between 1936 and 1938, Ormandy was associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra under L. Stokowski, becoming the orchestra’s principal conductor in 1938. He has toured with this orchestra to many countries, including the USSR (1958). Ormandy’s repertoire as a conductor is wide. Noted for his precise style and romantic interpretations, he faithfully realizes the composer’s intention.


Ginzburg, L. “Filadel’fiiskii orkestr v Moskve.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1958, no. 7.
Grigor’ev, L., and la. Platek. Sovremennye dirizhery. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ormandy, Eugene (b. Blau)

(1899–1985) conductor; born in Budapest, Hungary. A child prodigy on violin, Ormandy came to the U.S.A. to play violin in 1920, then took up conducting. He headed the Minneapolis Symphony (1931–35) before taking the podium of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1936 (for two years co-conductor with Leopold Stokowski); he remained at that post until his retirement in 1980, maintaining the voluptuousness of sound for which the orchestra was both praised and criticized.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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