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Philadelphia Maestros

Ormandy, Muti, Sawallisch

Phyllis Rodriquez-Peralta

Publication Year: 2009

Over the past century, the Philadelphia Orchestra has earned its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in the world. Philadelphia Maestros tells the tale of this marvelous orchestra through the tenures of three conductors: Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. With their singular approaches to sound and public image, all three maestros left an indelible mark on the Orchestra, and the cultural life of the city of Philadelphia. A lifelong fan and scholar of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Phyllis White Rodríguez-Peralta paints intimate portraits of the conductors using archival material and interviews with musicians, including pianists Gary Graffman and Lang Lang, and violinist Sarah Chang. Rodríguez-Peralta's text captivates as she recounts Eugene Ormandy's performance as a last-minute substitute for guest conductor Arturo Toscanini; Riccardo Muti's magnetic presence and international fame; and the role of Wolfgang Sawallisch in moving the Orchestra to its grand new hall at the Kimmel Center. Engaging and entertaining, Philadelphia Maestros will be a welcome addition to any aficionado's bookshelf.

Published by: Temple University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

I am part of this loyal, music-loving audience, and from this perspective I have focused this book on the three past music directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra: Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Although their professional lives are also tied to Europe, I have concentrated on the contributions of their years in Philadelphia. ...

A Note on Sources

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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. xvii-xviii

I wish to express my gratitude to the many musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra who shared their time and thoughts with me, in particular those who have played under the batons of all three maestros: William de Pasquale, co-concertmaster; Richard Woodhams, principal oboist; ...

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Chapter One - Eugene Ormandy

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pp. 1-46

The Friday afternoon audience on October 30, 1931, waited expectantly for the idolized Arturo Toscanini to stride onto the stage. Instead, they watched with amazement as a diminutive, very young-looking conductor with reddish hair, unknown to most of them, ascended the podium. ...

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Chapter Two - Riccardo Muti

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pp. 47-84

The choice of Ormandy’s successor became a topic of speculation, rumor, and gossip in Philadelphia and in the music world beyond. As early as 1968, Ormandy was asked in an interview with Herbert Kupferberg if he had considered what kind of successor he would like to see. ...

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Chapter Three - Wolfgang Sawallisch

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pp. 85-128

Riccardo Muti’s unexpected resignation left the Philadelphia Orchestra in the unusual position of scrambling to find a music director in a relatively short period of time. Ormandy had been Stokowski’s co-conductor for two years before his appointment as music director, and Muti was named permanent guest conductor some three years before his directorship. ...

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Chapter Four - Voices from the Music World: Gary Graffman, Lang Lang, Sarah Chang

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pp. 129-148

The interaction of soloists and conductors is always fascinating. Among the numerous soloists who have performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Gary Graffman, Lang Lang, and Sarah Chang have especially strong ties to the Philadelphia scene, and therefore a special relationship with the Orchestra and its music directors. ...


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pp. 149-158

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 159-162


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pp. 163-172

E-ISBN-13: 9781592134892
Print-ISBN-13: 9781592134885

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2009

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