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The Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra was the only symphonic orchestral ensemble ever created under the supervision of the United States Army. Founded by the composer Samuel Adler, its members participated in the cultural diplomacy initiatives of the United States in an effort to demonstrate the shared cultural heritage of the United States, its European allies and the vanquished countries of Europe during the post World War II era.

Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra
Orchestra
Seventh United States Army DUI.png
Founded1952
Disbanded1962
LocationStuttgart, Germany
Concert hallEuropean cities
Websitehttps://www.7aso.org/
External audio
You may listen to radio broadcasts of performances by the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra from 1956–2006 here on 7aso.org


Contents

HistoryEdit

The Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra was established as part of the Seventh United States Army based in Stuttgart, Germany in 1952. It was founded by the young conductor Samuel Adler who also served as its first principal conductor while stationed as a Corporal in the 2nd Armored Division during the Cold War.[1] The orchestra's membership consisted of professionally educated musicians who were also enlisted within the Army during the 1950s and early 1960s.[2][3][4]

During the course of a decade, the orchestra concertized extensively throughout the ruins of war-torn Europe as part of the cultural diplomacy initiatives of the United States in the aftermath of World War II.[5] In addition to bolstering the morale of America's enlisted troops, the orchestra was established in order to demonstrate the shared cultural values and musical heritage which united the citizens of America with their counterparts throughout Europe.[6][7] The orchestra's performances were well received by audiences and included tours within West Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom from 1952 until 1962.[8][9]

Under Samuel Adler's musical direction, the orchestra incorporated a repertoire consisting of selections from the major symphonic repertoire of classical music including works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms.[10] In later years, it also sought to share America's musical heritage with European audiences by showcasing the talents of leading american composers including: Roy Harris, Leroy Anderson and Morton Gould.[11] These concerts proved to be quite popular among civilians and military personnel alike.[12][13] General Dwight Eisenhower even praised the orchestra as the "greatest thing for American-German relations" since the end of World War II.[14] While serving as the United States High Commissioner to Germany on the Allied High Commission, James B. Conant also praised the orchestra for promoting cultural understanding between the German and American people.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] Adler received a special Citation of Excellence from the Army for forming the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra and its success in Europe between 1952 and 1961.[24]

Over the years, members of the orchestra participated in several historic performances. During the orchestra's inaugural concert on July 5, 1952 in Heidelberg, members of the orchestra performed during the farewell festivities for NATO's Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower.[25][26] In December of 1955 they served as the first American orchestra to participate in a live radio broadcast on German radio under the baton of Ronald Ondrejka. Several years later in 1957, they debuted on the German television network in Berlin under the direction of Ling Tung and participated in the program "Week of Light Music" which was broadcast on South German Radio to Europe and the United States. In 1958, the orchestra also concertized at the Brussels World's Fair under the direction of Edward Lee Alley.[27][28]

As the reconstruction of Europe advanced during the 1950s, performances by the orchestra were no longer deemed to be necessary. Recruitment within the Army for the orchestra was curtailed after 1962.[29]

Radio broadcastsEdit

In addition to providing concerts for audiences throughout Europe, the Seventh Army Orchestra also concertized over the radio. Performances by the orchestra were shared with all members of the United States armed forces over the Armed Forces Radio Service.[30]

ConductorsEdit

Over the years, various noted musicians conducted the Seventh Army Orchestra including:[31][32]

  • 1952–1953 Samuel Adler
  • 1953–1954 James Dixon, Andrew Heath
  • 1953–1955 Kenneth Schermerhorn
  • 1954–1956 Ronald Ondrejka
  • 1955–1956 Henry Lewis
  • 1956–1958 Ling Tung
  • 1957–1959 Nico Snel
  • 1958–1960 Edward Lee Alley, Howard Wassermann – Assistant Conductor
  • 1959–1960 John Ferritto, John Canarina
  • 1960–1961 Arthur Shettle, Ralph Lane
  • 1960–1962 Reid Bunger
  • 1961–1962 Thomas Lewis, John Covelli

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Corporal Samuel Adler - 2nd Armored Division in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  2. ^ The Julilliard Journal Faculty Portraits of Samuel Adler at the Juilliard School of Music, New York, October 2013 on Juilliard.edu
  3. ^ A Conductor's Guide to Choral-Orchestral Works, Part 1 Jonathan D. Green, Scarecrow Press, Oxford, 1994, Chapter II – Survey of Works p. 14 ISBN 978-0-8108-4720-0 Samuel Adler on https://books.google.com
  4. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Samuel Adler in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  5. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Samuel Adler in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  6. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Samuel Adler in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  7. ^ New Music New Allies Amy C. Beal, University of California Press, Berkley, 2006, P. 49, ISBN 978-0-520-24755-0 "Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra (1952–1962) performing works by Roy Harris, Morton Gould and Leroy Anderson" on https://books.google.com
  8. ^ Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Orchestra John Canaria, University of Rochester Press 1998 ISBN 9781580460 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN. 194 Seventh Army Symphony on https://books.google.com
  9. ^ New Music New Allies Amy C. Beal, University of California Press, Berkley, 2006, P. 49, ISBN 13-978-0-520-24755-0 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN. "Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra (1952–1962) performing works by Roy Harris, Morton Gould and Leroy Anderson" on https://books.google.com
  10. ^ Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Orchestra John Canaria, University of Rochester Press 1998 ISBN 9781580460 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN. 194 Seventh Army Symphony on https://books.google.com
  11. ^ New Music New Allies Amy C. Beal, University of California Press, Berkley, 2006, P. 49, ISBN 13-978-0-520-24755-0 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN. "Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra (1952–1962) performing works by Roy Harris, Morton Gould and Leroy Anderson" on https://books.google.com
  12. ^ Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Orchestra John Canaria, University of Rochester Press 1998 ISBN 9781580460 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN. 194 Seventh Army Symphony on https://books.google.com
  13. ^ "7th Army Symphony Draws Praise" Samuel Adler and Army Commendtion Ribbon with Metal Pendant" on 7aso.org
  14. ^ The Julilliard Journal Faculty Portraits of Samuel Adler at the Juilliard School of Music, New York, October 2013 on Juilliard.edu
  15. ^ Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra on https://books.google.com
  16. ^ "7th Army Symphony Draws Praise" Samuel Adler and Army Commendtion Ribbon with Metal Pendant" on 7aso.org
  17. ^ The Living Composer's Project – Samuel Adler biography on composers21.com
  18. ^ A Conductor's Guide to Choral-Orchestral Works, Part 1 Jonathan D. Green, Scarecrow Press, Oxford, 1994, Chapter II – Survey of Works p. 14 ISBN 978-0-8108-4720-0 Samuel Adler on https://books.google.com
  19. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Corporal Samuel Adler in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  20. ^ The Juilliard Journal – Samuel Adler Faculty member of the Juilliard School of Music recommended for the Army's Medal of Honor by General Dwight D. Eisenhower on juilliard.edu
  21. ^ Seventh Army Symphony – Member biographies – Samuel Adler awarded the Army's Medal of Honor on 7aso.org
  22. ^ Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture Volume 1 Editor: Glenda Abramson. Routledge, New York 2005. p. 4. ISBN 0-415-29813-X Samuel Adler Biography and Army Medal of Honor (1953) for culture on https://books.google.com
  23. ^ The John F. Kennedy center for the Performing Arts – Samuel Adler's biography and The Army Medal of Honor for his work with the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra on kennedy-center.org
  24. ^ Adler, Samuel; ed. by Thym, Jürgen (2017). Building bridges with music : stories from a composer's life (illustrated ed.). Pendragon Press. ISBN 9781576473030.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  25. ^ A Composer's Insight: Samuel Adler Timothy Salzman. Meredith Music Publications September 1, 2009 p. 4 "Samuel Adler - Seventh Army Orchestra's first concert on July 5, 1952 for General Eisenhower" on books.google.com
  26. ^ 7th Army Symphony Chronology - July 5, 1952 Farewell Concert for Eisenhower in Heidelberg on 7aso.org
  27. ^ 7th Army Symphony Choronology Historical timeline of the orchestra on 7as0.org
  28. ^ Pan Pipes of Sigma Alpha Iota Vol. 2 p. 47 "Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra performs at the Brussels World Fair 1958 on https://books.google.com
  29. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Samuel Adler in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  30. ^ The Directory of the Armed Forces Radio Service Series Harry MacKenzie, Greeenwood Press, CT. 1999, p. 198 ISBN 0-313-30812-8 "Seventh Army Symphony on Armed Forces Radio in 1961 performing works by Vivaldi and Dvorak" on https://books.google.com
  31. ^ A Dictionary for the Modern Composer, Emily Freeman Brown, Scarecrow Press , Oxford, 2015, p. 311 ISBN 9780810884014 Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by Samuel Adler in 1952 on https://books.google.com
  32. ^ Seventh Army Symphony Members – Orchestra membership list on 7aso.org

External linksEdit