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American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century$
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John Spitzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226769769

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.001.0001

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The Leopold Damrosch Orchestra, 1877–78

The Leopold Damrosch Orchestra, 1877–78

Background, Instrumentation, Programming, and Critical Reception

(p.269) [III.3] The Leopold Damrosch Orchestra, 1877–78
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Ora Frishberg Saloman

University of Chicago Press

Leopold Damrosch, who succeeded in developing a transitional orchestra in 1877 that bore his name and which emerged following an adverse professional circumstance, was an ardent and knowledgeable advocate of Richard Wagner's music and a former leading member of Franz Liszt's inner circle at Weimar. His appointment with the New York Philharmonic occurred during the widespread economic depression created after the financial panic of 1873. In addition, Damrosch's programming for his new orchestra can be briefly placed with respect to continuing critical and aesthetic tensions centering on important issues in nineteenth-century America. Although the Leopold Damrosch Orchestra has been little heralded in the current accounts, it still significantly contributed to the expansion and flourishing of professional orchestral activity in New York City during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   transitional orchestra, Leopold Damrosch, Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt, New York Philharmonic, programming, New York City

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