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Philadelphia Orchestra

The German conductor Fritz Scheel established the Philadelphia Orchestra as one of America’s “Big Five” in the realms of symphony orchestras in 1900.  Karl Pohlig replaced him in 1907 and then in 1912 they were firmly put on the map when their leadership came under the baton of Leopold Stokowski when he introduced the world to the “Philadelphia Sound” and became the first to feature on a film soundtrack, make electrical recordings and make a live radio broadcast of its own that was commercially sponsored.

He stayed with them until 1941, but shared the role of principal conductor with Eugene Ormandy from 1936.  It was with Eugene Ormandy that their name became known in the recording world and with him they were also the first orchestra from the West in many decades to tour the People’s Republic of China and have since returned on several occasions.

Eugene Ormandy left the orchestra in 1980 and was taken over by Robert Muti, who had been with them since the 1970s as a guest conductor and with him they would record the first American CD of the complete Beethoven symphonies.

From 1993 to 2003 Wolfgang Sawallisch, who would become Conductor Laureate, led them to another groundbreaking first when they gave the first live broadcast over the Internet n 1997, and since that time Christoph Eschenbach and Charles Dutoit have filled the post.   Charles Dutoit held the post of principal conductor from 2008 to 2012 and from 2012 he was named a Conductor Laureate.  Since 2012 Yannick Nezet-Seguin has served as the music director.

For a hundred and one years, 1900-2001, they performed at the Music Academy, but they later moved to their new home of The Kimmel Centre of Performing Arts.

Leroy Anderson recordings
Sleigh Ride
RCA 6430 (CD: Joy to the World)
Conductor – Eugene Ormandy

Traditional Recordings
Angels We Have Head on High (Traditional French/James Chadwick/Edward Barnes)
RCA 6430 (CD: Joy to the World)
Conductor – Eugene Ormandy