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On February 4th at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia...

Rudolf Serkin performed with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Eugene Ormandy in a benefit concert for Curtis’s student assistance fund.

Ormandy conducted an orchestra of 104 students and alumni, and Serkin played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 17. The program also included Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5.

Serkin and Ormandy were longtime friends, and Ormandy joined the Curtis faculty to conduct the CSO at Serkin’s invitation in 1968. However, Ormandy accepted the offer on one condition: that his salary be put in a fund for students in need.

Ormandy, who referred to the Curtis ensemble as his “other orchestra,” continued to conduct at Curtis until 1977 before retiring from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1980.