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1937 __ Broadcast concert, NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arturo Toscanini
Comment : In 1937, the NBC Symphony Orchestra was created for Arturo Toscanini. He conducted the first broadcast concert on December 25, 1937, in NBC Studio 8-H in New York City's Rockefeller Center. The acoustics were very dry, until some remodeling in 1939 added a bit more reverberation to the studio. (In 1950, the studio was remodeled for television productions; today it is used by NBC for Saturday Night Live).The NBC Symphony Orchestra was a radio orchestra established by David Sarnoff of the National Broadcasting Company especially for conductor Arturo Toscanini. The NBC Symphony performed weekly radio concert broadcasts with Toscanini and other conductors and served as house orchestra for the network, beginning November 13, 1937 and continuing until 1954. Tom Lewis, in the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, described NBC's plan for cultural programming and the origin of the NBC Symphony: “David Sarnoff, the president of RCA who had first proposed the "radio music box" in 1916 so that listeners might enjoy "concerts, lectures, music, recitals," felt that the medium was failing to do this. By 1937, RCA had recovered enough from the effects of the Depression for it to make a dramatic commitment to cultural programming. With the most liberal terms Sarnoff hired Arturo Toscanini to create an entire orchestra and conduct it. On Christmas night, 1937, the NBC orchestra gave its first performance.Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso in D Minor.in an entirely refurbished studio in the RCA Building. "The National Broadcasting Company is an American business organization. It has employees and stockholders. It serves their interests best when it serves the public best." That Christmas night, and whenever the NBC orchestra played over the next 17 years, he was right” (Lewis, Tom. "'A Godlike Presence': The Impact of Radio on the 1920s and 1930s," Organization of American Historians Magazine of History 6, Spring 1992). The orchestra's first broadcast concert aired from NBC's Studio 8H on November 13, 1937 under the direction of Pierre Monteux. Toscanini conducted 10 concerts that first season, making his NBC debut on December 25, 1937. In addition to weekly broadcasts on the NBC Red and Blue networks, the NBC Symphony Orchestra made many recordings for RCA Victor of symphonies, choral music and operas. Televised concerts began in March 1948 and continued until March 1952. In the fall of 1950, NBC converted Studio 8H into a television studio and moved the broadcast concerts to Carnegie Hall, where many of the orchestra's recording sessions and special concerts had already taken place. (Compiled from various sources)

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