In summer 2020, the Binghamton Philharmonic was given twenty years of recordings of performances conducted by Fritz Wallenberg, the founder of the orchestra that became today’s Philharmonic. The recordings, made by Marvin Fred Kelley, Jr. of Custom Recording Studio in Binghamton, date from a Christmas concert on December 14, 1958 and carry through 1978. Most of the 150+ reel-to-reel tapes come with excellent documentation, including timings, printed programs, and newspaper articles and reviews.
The vast majority of the performances are of Wallenberg’s Community Symphony Society and its later incarnation, the Binghamton Symphony. Some performances include the Binghamton Choral Society, another ensemble created by Wallenberg, while others include notable musicians who made their way to Binghamton, from ‘cellist Leonard Rose to the Guarneri String Quartet to violinist Erick Friedman.
Reel-to-reel recordings don’t last forever, and they need to be preserved. Through a partnership with Newclear Studios of Windsor, NY, the Philharmonic has embarked on a project to digitize Wallenberg’s important recorded legacy. Once digitized, recordings will be shared with local radio for broadcast and uploaded to the Philharmonic website and our YouTube channel for free access.
If you would like to become a part of the Wallenberg Legacy, consider sponsoring the digital transfer of a concert. Sponsoring a full concert costs $150. For a smaller contribution, you may sponsor a part of a concert. Donors will receive a CD copy of the archived recording and be honored on this website through recognition connected to the sponsored recording. Most importantly, donors will be a part of preserving this important collection of Binghamton history.
For more information on preserving this important collection of Binghamton history, contact Binghamton Philharmonic Executive Director Paul Cienniwa at 607-723-3931, ext. 4 or email firstname.lastname@example.org