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Philadelphia Maestros

Philadelphia Maestros: Ormandy, Muti, Sawallisch

Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Philadelphia Maestros
    Book Description:

    Over the past century, the Philadelphia Orchestra has earned its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in the world.Philadelphia Maestrostells the tale of this marvelous orchestra through the tenures of three conductors: Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. With their singular approaches to sound and public image, all three maestros left an indelible mark on the Orchestra, and the cultural life of the city of Philadelphia. A lifelong fan and scholar of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Phyllis White Rodríguez-Peralta paints intimate portraits of the conductors using archival material and interviews with musicians, including pianists Gary Graffman and Lang Lang, and violinist Sarah Chang. Rodríguez-Peralta's text captivates as she recounts Eugene Ormandy's performance as a last-minute substitute for guest conductor Arturo Toscanini; Riccardo Muti's magnetic presence and international fame; and the role of Wolfgang Sawallisch in moving the Orchestra to its grand new hall at the Kimmel Center. Engaging and entertaining,Philadelphia Maestroswill be a welcome addition to any aficionado's bookshelf.

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-489-2
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Eugene Ormandy
    (pp. 1-46)

    The Friday afternoon audience on October 30, 1931, waited expectantly for the idolized Arturo Toscanini to stride onto the stage. Instead, they watched with amazement as a diminutive, very young-looking conductor with reddish hair, unknown to most of them, ascended the podium. This was Eugene Ormandy’s first appearance at the Academy of Music, an unexpected debut that led eventually to 44 years of his leadership of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

    Toscanini had been engaged as guest conductor for two weeks of concerts, but shortly before the first rehearsal he cabled from Italy that a bout of neuritis in his right arm...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Riccardo Muti
    (pp. 47-84)

    The choice of Ormandy’s successor became a topic of speculation, rumor, and gossip in Philadelphia and in the music world beyond. As early as 1968, Ormandy was asked in an interview with Herbert Kupferberg if he had considered what kind of successor he would like to see. After assuring the questioner that he was not ready to retire, Ormandy gave his candid description of the conductor who, in his opinion, should lead the Philadelphia Orchestra in the future: “The conductor who comes here should be an outstanding, well-rounded musician, even if he’s only thirty years old…. He should be able...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Wolfgang Sawallisch
    (pp. 85-128)

    Riccardo Muti’s unexpected resignation left the Philadelphia Orchestra in the unusual position of scrambling to find a music director in a relatively short period of time. Ormandy had been Stokowski’s co-conductor for two years before his appointment as music director, and Muti was named permanent guest conductor some three years before his directorship. But now the Orchestra was faced with making a selection without day-to-day experience with a conductor. A committee of 12 began its search in April 1990. Initially there were 230 candidates, who were subsequently narrowed down, first to 27 and then to 16. Five of these received...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Voices from the Music World
    (pp. 129-148)
    Gary Graffman, Lang Lang and Sarah Chang

    The interaction of soloists and conductors is always fascinating. Among the numerous soloists who have performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Gary Graffman, Lang Lang, and Sarah Chang have especially strong ties to the Philadelphia scene, and therefore a special relationship with the Orchestra and its music directors. Taken together, these artists span the eras of Maestros Ormandy, Muti, and Sawallisch.

    Gary Graffman, pianist, was a frequent soloist with Eugene Ormandy and performed once with Riccardo Muti. Since 1986 he has been the president/director of the Curtis Institute of Music, where his contact with the conductors takes a different form. He...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 149-158)
    (pp. 159-162)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 163-172)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 173-173)