Here is the actual program page from Stokowski’s first concert after taking over the leadership of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Yannick will lead a near-replica of this program at the Academy in June … nearly 100 years later. As you can see, the original program opened with a Beethoven overture. Audiences were perhaps used to lengthier concerts at the time. But don’t worry; we have our own surprises for the Academy concerts in June.
Here’s what the Star said about that historic day in 1912:
“The debut of Leopold Stokowski as Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra was an extraordinary occasion at the Academy of Music on yesterday afternoon when the Orchestra’s thirteenth season was opened most auspiciously.”
“It is quite evident that modesty is one of the prime factors in the make-up of [Leopold Stokowski] and that he has an uncommon amount of personal magnetism among other qualities which ensure him popularity.”
“There can be no doubt of the fact that the orchestra this season is a better organization than ever before.”