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Philadelphia Orchestra 1966 Latin American Tour collection


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

In the 1960s, the Philadelphia Orchestra was led by music director Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985), who, with his predecessor, Leopold Stokowski, brought the Philadelphia Orchestra to international attention. According to Ormandy's obituary, the Philadelphia Orchestra "was held to be the world's most traveled and most recorded symphonic organization," and performed outside of Philadelphia soon after its founding in 1900.

The Latin American Tour of 1966 appears to have been the brainchild of Oscar H. Alcazar of Conciertos Asociados, the concert promoter for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Shortages of funding, in particular from corporate sponsors, delayed the tour for five years; however, Alcazar persevered with determination and continued to seek funding and support from 1961 to 1966. He worked with music director Eugene Ormandy, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, the United States Department of State, embassies, and consuls; and finally, the Latin American tour took place from May to June 1966.

The Latin American Tour, consisting of Eugene Ormandy, guest conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, departed Philadelphia on May 10, 1966 under the auspices of the Cultural Presentations Program of the United States Department of State. They visited Kingston, Jamaica; Caracas, Venezuela; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Porto Alegre, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and Mexico City and Puebla, Mexico; and gave twenty-four concerts.


"Philadelphia Orchestra's Eugene Ormandy, 85, Dies," Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1985

The collection, dating from 1961 to 1966, documents both the planning phase of the five week Latin American tour as well as the actual tour in 1966 and is arranged in two series: Planning documents, 1961-1966 and Tour documents, 1966. The Planning documents series includes correspondence, financial records, performance contracts, planning notes, newspaper clippings, and publicity materials. The primary correspondent is Oscar Humberto Alcazar Vega, the tour promoter, but other correspondents include Eugene Ormandy, the music director for the Philadelphia Orchestra; Boris Sokoloff, the manager for the Philadelphia Orchestra Association; Joseph Sokoloff, assistant manager for the Philadelphia Orchestra Association; Mary H. Krouse, secretary to Mr. Ormandy; Samuel R. Rosenbaum, general chairman of the festival; C. Wanton Balis, Roger Hall, and Henry Peltier of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association; and members of the United States Foreign Service, the United States Department of State, and embassies and consuls in Central and South America. These letters and the other material in the series document the logistics of planning an international tour including: obtaining funding; scheduling concerts; creating itineraries; sorting out customs issues; booking hotels; and transporting 120 people, ten tons of instruments and personal possessions, and seven trunk loads of music.

The Tour documents series contains travel documents and itineraries, concert programs and other publicity for the tour, newspaper clippings, and photographs. There are photographs of the Philadelphia Orchestra performing, Eugene Ormandy conducting, and Orchestra members sightseeing in various locales.

Gift of Richard Ingunza, great, great nephew of concert promoter Oscar Humberto Alcazar Vega, 2009.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Amanda E. Mita and Evan S. Peugh
Finding Aid Date
The processing of this collection was made possible through the generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.
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.

Collection Inventory

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Correspondence, 1961-1964.
Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1965 January-August.
Box 1 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1965 September-December.
Box 1 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1966 January-February.
Box 1 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1966 March-June, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5
Clippings and publicity materials: pre-tour, 1963-1965.
Box 1 Folder 6
Financial records, 1965-1966.
Box 1 Folder 7
Performance contracts, 1966.
Box 1 Folder 8
Planning notes, 1963-1966, undated.
Box 1 Folder 9

Clippings, 1966.
Box 1 Folder 10
Travel documents and itineraries, 1966.
Box 2 Folder 1
Photographs, 1966.
Box 2 Folder 2
Publicity materials, 1966.
Box 2 Folder 3

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