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Blau, Jenö Ormandy

Born: 1899 AD
Died: 1985 AD
Nationality: Hungarian
Categories: Conductors

1899 – Born on November 18th in Budapest. Hungarian-born American conductor who was identified with the Late Romantic and early 20th-century repertoire.

1913 – Ormandy graduated from the Budapest Royal Academy, where he studied violin with Jenö Hubay, at age 14.

1916 – By age 17 he was a professor of violin, undertaking concert tours throughout Central Europe. Lured to New York City by the prospect of a U.S. tour, he instead ended up playing the violin in the orchestra of the Capitol Theatre, accompanying silent films.

1924 – He stood in for the regular conductor and thereupon chose conducting as his career. He began conducting light classics for radio and appearing at summer concerts, which led to a position as deputy for Arturo Toscanini during a major concert series of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

1931-1936 – A contract with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ensued, and he remained there, gaining national prominence with a series of recordings.

         – He returned to the Philadelphia Orchestrato share the conductorship with Leopold Stokowski.

1938-1980 – Ormandy was made principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a post that he held until he retired.

         – Ormandy shaped the orchestra’s sound by developing the lush, velvety string colour that became its trademark.

1985 – Died on March 12th in Philadelphia.