Eugene Ormandy

Over a period of four decades, from the 1940s until the beginning of the '80s, Eugene Ormandy was a mainstay of the classical music world. As music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra for more than 40 years, beginning in 1938, he was one of the most popular conductors in America, and his recordings with that orchestra on the Columbia Masterworks label consistently outsold by a wide margin the recordings of the admittedly superior New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulos. Ormandy was a supremely competent, often inspired conductor whose approach to music displayed extraordinary care and polish. Although never regarded as a musical trailblazer, he also presented the first recordings of several important works during his career, and helped several composers achieve wider recognition than they'd ever had before.