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    Philadelphia Orchestra's organist

    In 1960 who held the post of organist with Philadelphia orchestra? I have no idea and what brings this question to mind is a recent performance I heard of Barber's "Toccata Festiva". Paul Callaway played the first performance and it was on the then-new organ in Philadelphia's Academy of Music, where the orchestra
    performed.

    #2
    According to a very reliable source there was no "Philadelphia orchestra organist" at that time. They called someone at the last
    minute to play the organ, when needed.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Mirabilis View Post
      According to a very reliable source there was no "Philadelphia orchestra organist" at that time. They called someone at the last minute to play the organ, when needed.
      That would be no surprise to me. In my searches, I've discovered that most symphonies do NOT have a contracted organist position. Either they hire a guest organist, have a local municipal organist (i.e. Portland,ME), use the "house organist" at the venue, use a church organist and ask him/her to play the part on a keyboard, or hire someone at the last minute to play the part (whenever the personnel director again discovers they need an organ--usually at the last minute). Unfortunate, but true.

      I have discovered the larger symphonies are guilty of this too. So sad one cannot be given the opportunity to represent themselves and the instrument better!

      Michael
      Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
      • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
      • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
      • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

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        #4
        The person they called--- and it was NOT at the last minute --- was Robert Elmore, my teacher and famous organist and composer of yesteryear. Eugene Ormandy really didn't like organs but would do an organ and orchestra work from time to time. BTW- the Academy of Music organ was designed jointly by Dr Elmore and Dr Joe Whiteford from Aeolian-Skinner. It now proudly resides in Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church in suburban Philadelphia where it actually sounds *better* than it did at the Academy of Music (I've played it both places) due to a fantastic installation AND fine acoustics at LVPC.
        R, Bill Miller Phila PA


        Originally posted by Mirabilis View Post
        According to a very reliable source there was no "Philadelphia orchestra organist" at that time. They called someone at the last
        minute to play the organ, when needed.

        Comment


          #5
          I'm referring specifically to Paul Callaway's performance of the Barber work. Callaway and Barber were good friends and
          so he was asked to play the 1st performance of the Barber Toccata.

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