Additional physical form: Preservation tapes available in Archives. For specific listings, consult finding aid.
Acquisition: Gift 740 sound discs
Biographical/historical: Thomas Scherman founded the Little Orchestra Society for the 1947/48 season with the aim of performing contemporary orchestral and operatic works, including many works specially commissioned for the society. The society consisted of a reduced orchestra that was large enough to reproduce major works, but small enough that it afforded a more chamber-like atmosphere. They regularly attracted famous soloists to augment the orchestra, and they emphasized 'authentic performances' - that is, performances which followed original instrumentation and original playing practices. Most of the Little Orchestra Society concerts took place in the Town Hall concert hall in New York City.
Biographical/historical: The Little Orchestra Society featured a number of famous performers in solo pieces. Some of these soloists were: Marian Anderson, Claudio Arrau, Erna Berger, Benjamin Britten, Kathleen Ferrier, George London, Sir Peter Pears, Cesare Siepi, Isaac Stern, Joseph Szigeti, Richard Tucker, and Vronsky and Babin.
Biographical/historical: The Little Orchestra Society premiered a large number of contemporary works, and revived many Baroque pieces. Because of this, the Little Orchestra Society recordings provide an important source for the performance history of these pieces.