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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

50 years ago in Expo history: The Philadelphia Orchestra impressed an S-R critic, beating out Cleveland and even LA in his eyes

 (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, proved why it was “perhaps the finest in the world,” during a performance at Expo ’74.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra had played Expo, but The Spokesman-Review’s critic was convinced that the Philadelphia Orchestra outshone them all.

“Of the three major orchestras that have so far appeared at Expo, there is no doubt … that the Philadelphia Orchestra has been the best,” critic Les Blumenthal said. “Perhaps comparisons have been unfair, because they have all been magnificent. But the Philadelphia plays with a spirit, a dynamic feeling, which puts it in a class above the rest.”

Blumenthal also opined that the new Opera House had “responsive” acoustics, and “every note stood out, full and true.” This would later prove to be a minority opinion, at least among classical musicians.

From 100 years ago: The mystery deepened around the death of former boxer Tom McKevitt, who died on the railroad tracks near the city’s rail yards.

The county prosecutor said some of his investigators believed McKevitt was murdered. An initial investigation found he tried to jump off a moving train, but new evidence did not match that theory.

McKevitt’s brother, a prominent Spokane attorney, said he was “by no means satisfied that my brother was killed by a box car.”

Also on this day


1942: U.S. Admiral Chester Nimitz wins first WWII naval defeat of Japan at the Battle of Midway Island.