Eugene Ormandy collection of test pressings and private recordings
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Eugene Ormandy was born on November 8, 1899 in Hungary and died in Philadelphia on March 12, 1985. He became internationally famous for his 44-year role as the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Under his leadership, the Philadelphia Orchestra received three gold records and won two Grammy Awards. At age five, Ormandy began studying violin at the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music, giving his first concerts at age seven and graduating with a master's degree at age fourteen. He moved to America in 1921 and became a violinist at the Capitol Theatre in New York City. In 1931, Ormandy served as a substitute conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra which ultimately led to his first major appointment as a conductor in Minneapolis. In 1936, Ormandy began his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra as associate conductor under Leopold Stokowski. After two years, he became the lead conductor and remained so until his retirement in 1980.
This collection contains test pressings and private recordings, mostly of Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra although many are not labeled. Included are recordings of rehearsals and radio broadcasts. Recording studios include Air-Tone Sound, Magnetic Recorder and Reproducer, Rockhill, Columbia, and RCA Victor.
Service copies with noise reduction (compact discs) of all recordings except Item 33 (a 1944 recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rapsodie on a theme of Paganini, piano by William Kapell), were created in 2010 and are available for use by researchers. Intellectually, the service copies are arranged in alphabetical order by composer; but physically, they are arranged by item number.
The contents of this collection are also described in full on Franklin.
The original recordings, restricted from access by the public, consist mostly of 33 1/3 rpm recordings, with some 78 rpm recordings from the 1930s. Original recording are located in boxes 10-22 and item 33 (Rachmanifnoff's Rapsodie on a theme of Paganini), which was not duplicated, is located in box 13. At time of creation of service copies, 2 other copies of the recordings were also made: Masters with noise reduction (located in boxes 4-6) and Data flat transfers (located in boxes 6-9). The masters with noise reduction and the data flat transfers are also restricted from access by the public.
Bequest of Gretel Ormandy.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Date
- 2018 March 26
- Access Restrictions
The service copies (cds) are available for public use. Noise reduction masters and flat data transfers of the originals were made at the same time as the service copies but are restricted from access, as are the original recordings.
For Kislak Center staff only:
Noise reduction masters are located in box 4 (items 1-43, except for item 33), box 5 (items 44-83), and box 6 (items 84-122).
Data flat transfers are located in box 6 (items 1-4), box 7 (items 5-51, except for item 33), box 8 (items 52-86), and box 9 (items 86-122).
Original recordings are located in box 10 (items 1-5), box 11 (items 6-9), box 12 (items 10-15), box 13 (items 16-33), box 14 (items 34-44), box 15 (items 45-57), box 16 (items 58-65), box 17 (items 66-69), box 18 (items 70-80), box 19 (items 81-93), box 20 (items 94-101), box 21 (items 102-110), and box 22 (items 111-122).
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.