1997 32¢ Eugene Ormandy
Conductors and Composers
Issue Date: September 12, 1997
City: Cincinnati, OH
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Born in Hungary, Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985) gave his first performance as a violinist at the age of seven. By age 17 he had been appointed a professor of the violin, and was successfully touring Europe. A trip to New York in 1921 for a tour that never materialized, forced him to take work with a theater symphony that accompanied silent movies and provided musical interludes. Quickly moving to first violin, Ormandy made his conducting debut there in 1924.
Ormandy became an American citizen in 1927. At that time he focused his attention on conducting programs of lighter classical music for use in the new medium of radio. In 1930 he began conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, and from 1938 until 1980, he served as the orchestra’s sole musical director. In 1948 Ormandy conducted the first symphony to be broadcast on American television. Under his leadership the Philadelphia Orchestra toured many countries and made many recordings.
Ormandy specialized in performances of romantic and neo-romantic music. He often emphasized fine string playing and rich, saturated orchestral tones, causing critics to describe his orchestra’s sound as “voluptuous.”