Philadelphia Orchestra

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Philadelphia Orchestra, founded 1900 by Fritz Scheel, who was its conductor until his death in 1907. Scheel was followed by Karl Pohlig (1907–12). Under the leadership (1912–38) of Leopold Stokowski, the orchestra became one of the world's finest ensembles. Eugene Ormandy, who was appointed co-conductor with Stokowski in 1936 and helped to further refine the lush and distinctive "Philadelphia sound," was music director from 1938 to 1980. He was replaced as director by Riccardo Muti, who in turn was succeeded by Wolfgang Sawallisch in 1993. Christoph Eschenbach was music director from 2003 to 2008; Charles Dutoit was appointed chief conductor (2008–12) after Eschenbach's departure, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin became music director in 2012. The orchestra played in the Academy of Music (opened 1857), a national historic landmark, until 2001, when Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened. It has toured extensively in the United States and abroad. Since the 1930s it has played summer seasons at Robin Hood Dell in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, where it now performs at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. It has also had a summer schedule at the Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., since 1966.

See study by H. Kupferberg (1969).

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Philadelphia Orchestra. Amer. sym. orch. founded 1900 by Fritz Scheel, who remained cond. until 1907. Succeeded by Karl Pohlig 1907–12. The orch.'s fame and style (rich and virtuoso) were est. under the conductorship 1912–38 of Leopold Stokowski, who also introduced many new and adventurous works to Amer. audiences (e.g. Mahler's 8th Sym., 1916, and works by Schoenberg). Eugene Ormandy was co-cond. 1936–8 and succeeded Stokowski, occupying the post for the next 40 years and consolidating the orch.'s position as among the world's greatest. Riccardo Muti prin. cond. 1981–92, Wolfgang Sawallisch from 1993. Salzburg Fest. début 1987, cond. Muti.