Philadelphia Orchestra, conductor: Eugene Ormandy. The Philadelphia Orchestra was founded in 1900. From 1936 to 1980 Eugene Ormandy was its chief conductor. He continued the work of his predecessor Leopold Stokowski and made the ensemble one of the leading orchestras in the world. Ormandy's recordings of late Romantic and early 20th Century compositions contributed to the orchestra's enduring fame. Sergei Rachmaninov's magnificent Second Symphony was recorded in February 1979 in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.