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Encyclopedia > Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of the "Big Five" symphony orchestras in the United States and usually considered among the finest in the world. Since 2001, its annual series of concerts have been performed in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, near the Academy of Music, its old home of half a century since the orchestra was founded. Independence Hall, as it appears today. ... In the context of classical music in America, the Big Five refers to a group of five specific symphony orchestras considered to be the most prominent, significant, and accomplished ensembles when the term gained widespread use by music critics and journalists in the late 1950s. ... Orchestra at City Hall (Edmonton). ... The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is a large Performing Arts venue located in Philadelphia, PA. . The center contains the 650 seat recital theater, Perelman Theater, and the 2,500 seat Concert hall, Verizon Hall. ... The Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the oldest opera house in the United States that is still used for its original purpose. ...

It was founded in 1900 by Fritz Scheel, who also acted as its first conductor. In 1907, Karl Pohlig took over the post, but it was Leopold Stokowski, who became principal conductor in 1912, who made it famous. Under him, the orchestra gained a reputation for great virtuosity. See Conductor for other possible uses of the word. ... Leopold Stokowski Leopold Stokowski (April 18, 1882 - September 13, 1977) (born Antoni Stanisław Bolesławowicz) was the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. ...

It was under Stokowski's direction that the orchestra was featured in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia. 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Walt Disney Pictures is a United States-based movie studio, and is a division of The Walt Disney Company. ... Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, the third in the Disney animated features canon, which was a Walt Disney experiment in animation and music. ...

In 1936, Eugene Ormandy joined the organisation, and jointly held the post of Principal Conductor with Stokowski until 1938, when he took over the role full time. He remained with the orchestra for forty years, and many of the orchestra's best known recordings were made under his baton. Eugene Ormandy in the 1950s Eugene Ormandy (November 18, 1899 – March 12, 1985) was a conductor and violinist. ...

Ormandy was succeeded by Riccardo Muti (principal conductor 1981-92) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1993-2002). The orchestra's current music director is Christoph Eschenbach. Riccardo Muti (born July 28, 1941, in Naples) is an Italian conductor best known for being the music director of Milans La Scala opera house, a position he held from 1986 to 2005. ... Wolfgang Sawallisch (born August 26, 1923) is a German conductor and pianist. ... Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940 in Breslau, Germany (today Wroclaw, Poland)) is a noted pianist and conductor. ...

Further reading

  • The Philadelphia Orchestra: A Century of Music, edited by John Ardoin. 1999, Temple University Press, 240 pages.
  • Those Fabulous Philadelphians, by Herbert Kupferberg. 1969, Scribner's New York, 257 pages.
  • Riccardo Muti: Twenty Years in Philadelphia 1972-92, edited by Judith Karp Kurnick. 1992, Philadelphia Orchestra, 112 pages.
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra Celebrates Sawallisch 1993-2003, edited by Sedgwick Clark. 2003, Philadelphia Orchestra, 80 pages.
  • Within These Walls: A History of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, by John Francis Marion. 1984, Academy of Music/Philadelphia Orchestra, 328 pages.

External links

  • Official website / home page
  • Art of the States: Philadelphia Orchestra

  Results from FactBites:
Philadelphia Performs (837 words)
The Orchestra's 100th anniversary was also com-memorated through two special publications: a 12-CD set issued by the Orchestra and featuring live performances recorded from 1917-98, and a special new coffee-table-sized history of the ensemble published by Temple University (The Philadelphia Orchestra: A Century of Music).
His Philadelphia tenure has featured renewed recognition of Philadelphia's unique standing as an ensemble, eight overseas tours, a year of special activities and concerts to celebrate the ensemble's 100th anniversary, and construc-tion of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Orchestra's new home set to open in December 2001.
The Philadelphia Orchestra performs more than 130 concerts during its winter subscription season from September to May. Its summer season begins at Philadelphia's outdoor Mann Center for the Performing Arts and also includes an intense three-week residency in August at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York.
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