Eugene Ormandy (November 18, 1899–March 12, 1985) was a Hungarian-born conductor and violinist.
Born Jenő Blau in Budapest, Hungary, Ormandy began studying violin at the National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music (now the Franz Liszt Academy of Music) at the age of five. He gave his first concerts as a violinist at age seven and graduated at 14 with a master's degree. In 1920, he obtained a university degree in philosophy. In 1921, he moved to the United States of America. Around this time Blau changed his name to "Eugene Ormandy," "Eugene" being the equivalent of the Hungarian "Jenö." Accounts differ on the origin of "Ormandy"; it may have either been Blau's own middle name at birth, or his mother's. He worked first as a violinist in the Major Bowes Capitol Theater Orchestra in New York City. He became the concertmaster within five days of joining and became the conductor of this group which accompanied silent movies. Ormandy also made 16 recordings as a violinist between 1923 and 1929, half of them using the acoustic process.
Arthur Judson, the most powerful manager of American classical music during the 1930s, greatly assisted Ormandy's career. When Arturo Toscanini was too ill to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1931, Judson asked Ormandy to stand in. This led to Ormandy's first major appointment as a conductor, in Minneapolis.