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The Great Orchestrator

Arthur Judson and American Arts Management

James M. Doering

Publication Year: 2013

This biography charts the career and legacy of the pioneering American music manager Arthur Judson (1881 - 1975), who rose to prominence in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. A violinist by training, Judson became manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1915 under the iconic conductor Leopold Stokowski. Within a few years, Judson also took on management of the New York Philharmonic as well as several individual artists and most of the important conductors working in America. In addition to his colorful career behind the scenes at two preeminent American orchestras, Judson founded a nationwide network of local managers and later became involved in the relatively unexplored medium of radio, working first with WEAF in New York City and then later forming his own national radio network in 1927. Providing valuable insight into the workings of these orchestras and the formative years of arts management, The Great Orchestrator: Arthur Judson and American Arts Management is a valuable portrait of one of the most powerful managers in American musical history.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: Music in American Life


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4


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pp. 5-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-x

Many individuals and organizations helped bring this book to light. I am indebted to the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and Denison University for access to materials. I especially thank the . . .

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Introduction: Confronting the Silent Giant

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pp. 1-12

In a special Sunday feature that coincided with the Philharmonic’s final concert of the season, he unleashed a blistering eight-column critique entitled “The Philharmonic—What’s Wrong with It and Why.” Taubman’s assessment . . .

Part I: Discovering the Audience 1900–1921

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1 The Young Educator

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pp. 15-28

Little is known about Arthur Judson’s earliest years. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, on February 22, 1881, the second of Francis and Mary (née Myers) Judson’s two sons. His mother was a native Ohioan, . . .

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2 The Lessons of Musical America

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pp. 29-43

In 1907, New York was arguably America’s most vibrant city. Fueled by massive immigration and robust economic growth during the nineteenth century, it was the world’s second largest metropolitan center. . . .

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3 Fertile Ground in Philadelphia, 1915–1921

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pp. 44-62

Judson arrived in Philadelphia in July 1915 and immediately immersed himself in the orchestra’s ongoing projects. His principal partner in these endeavors was Stokowski, and the two men . . .

Part II: Cooperation and Cultivation 1921–1942

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4 New Alliances, New Media, New York

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pp. 65-92

In less than five years, Judson had transformed his professional life. No longer a musical jack-of-all-trades, he was now a professional music manager, solidly established in the Philadelphia community. His success . . .

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5 Managing a Renewal, 1922–1930

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pp. 93-119

When Judson became manager of the New York Philharmonic in 1922, he joined an orchestra struggling to find its way—a sharp contrast to the Philadelphia Orchestra, which was on . . .

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6 The List, the Old Man, and the English Replacement

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pp. 120-145

For Judson, the Toscanini years began with great optimism. Not only had the Philharmonic hired one of the world’s most revered conductors, it had done so at a time when its finances were in good . . .

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7 Competition and Indecision

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pp. 146-165

Barbirolli’s concerts went well in the fall of 1936, and the conductor returned to England in mid-January 1937 to a hero’s welcome. But within days, the situation in New York changed dramatically. The . . .

Part III: The Empire of Diminishing Returns 1942–1956

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8 The War Years and a Shift to a New Era

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pp. 169-193

In the 1940s, Judson’s management empire began to plateau. The Depression had rattled music’s funding structures. Technology had spawned greater competition for live musical experiences. Jazz had supplanted . . .

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9 Troubled Waters

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pp. 194-218

Rodzinski had presented a real dilemma for the Philharmonic. On the one hand, he had been the source of nearly continuous internal tension. Yet during his tenure, the critical perception . . .

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Conclusion: Lessons From AJ

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pp. 219-230

Judson was a towering figure in American concert music in the twentieth century. He managed the leading orchestras and artists of his time, built the most successful music management company . . .

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Epilogue: The Final Years

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pp. 231-239

Judson’s power waned after his resignation from the New York Philharmonic, but he was not ready to retire in 1956. He continued to work in music management for another twelve years, postponing . . .

Appendix: Leaders of the New York Philharmonic Board of Directors, 1921–1963

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p. 241-241


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pp. 243-266

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 267-268


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pp. 269-274

E-ISBN-13: 9780252094590
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037412

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Music in American Life