|Harry Harkness Flagler Dies;
Was President of Philharmonic
|Son of Late Industrialist Reorganized Orchestra, Underwrote Its Deficits
Harry Harkness Flagler, eighty-one, former president of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New
York, died yesterday in a doctor's office after a heart attack. He lived in Millbrook, N. Y.
Mr. Flagler was a son of the late Henry M. Flagler, but never interested himself in his father's railroad
and development projects in Florida, nor in the Standard Oil Co. through his mother, the former Mary
His lifelong interest was in music and its promotion, primarily in New York City. He became president
of the Symphony Society of New York in 1914, reorganized it and supported it with what amounted
to an endowment by agreeing to underwrite its deficits up to $100,000 a year.
In 1928, when the Symphony Society was merged with the Philharmonic Society, he became
president of the Philharmonic-Symphony, a poistion he held until 1934, when he resigned because of ill
health and was succeeded by Marshall Field. He also resigned as chairman of the society's pension
fund and as a member of its executive committee, but retained his membership on the board of
The Symphony Orchestra, under his presidency, was the first American orchestra to tour Europe, a
project made possible by Mr. Flagler's generosity.
Mr. Flagler also was former president of the National Orchestral Association. He was a director of the
Fifth Avenue Bank of New York; a trustee of Roosevelt Hospital and Vassar Brothers Hospital in
Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; president of the Millbrook Library and the Millbrook School, and a member of
the Century Association.
Born in Cleveland, he was graduated from Columbia University in 1897, and traveled extensively in
Europe thereafter. He was married in 1894 to Miss Anne Lamont, who died in 1939. Surviving are
three daughters. Mrs. Melber B. Carey jr., of New York City; Mrs. Flagler Harris, of Philadelphia,
and Mrs. Flagler Matthews, of Rye, N. Y.
1 July 1952
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