The National Federation decided in my favor and gave me the permission 원주신경외과 to incorporate these five Frenchmen in my orchestra and to enroll them as members of the New York union, but as I had “sinned against the laws of the federation in bringing them over from a foreign country,” I was fined one thousand dollars. It was, however, intimated to me privately that if I would return to the next convention of the federation, which was to be held in Boston the following summer, I would in all probability receive a remission of the greater part of this fine. It is needless for me to say that I never saw any part of that one thousand dollars again.

I returned to New York jubilant and my French players proved themselves such superior artists that, together with our other excellent members, many of whom had been with me for years, the orchestra quickly took rank among the best in the country.

The leader of my first violins was Mr. David Mannes. I had discovered him a few years before at one of the New York theatres, where he was a member of the little orchestra and where I heard him play a solo charmingly between the first and second acts. The beautiful quality of his tone, and a fine sensitiveness to the melos of the work he was playing, attracted me and I engaged him for the last stand of the first violins. From there he was quickly promoted until he occupied the position at the first stand of concert master. He married my sister Clara, a pianist of fine accomplishment. Their sonata recitals have become models of intimate unity in chamber-music playing, and several years ago they founded the David Mannes Music School. This encroached so much upon his time and energy as to compel him to resign his position in the New York Symphony Orchestra, which he had held so honorably for many years.

Each year the guarantee fund for the maintenance of the orchestra was increased by the supporters of the New York Symphony Society, and more and more men were engaged on regular weekly salaries. At last my dream was realized, and New York had an orchestra organized on the same lines as the Boston and Chicago Orchestras, devoted exclusively to symphonic music and assembling daily for rehearsal.

The fund at this time reached over fifty thousand dollars a year, mainly subscribed by the directors of our organization. Several of these had been supporters from my father’s time, among them Isaac N. Seligman, who, with his family, had been interested in music in New York for many years. Others had come into the organization when I became its conductor and had remained loyal supporters and close friends from that time on. Among them were: Richard Welling, a director since 1886, a well-known lawyer and reformer in municipal politics, and who as a member of the Naval Reserves promptly enlisted as an ensign when we entered the Great War, although he was then well over fifty years of age; Miss Mary R. Callender and Miss Caroline de Forest who had been directors since 1885. Miss Callender further signalized her affection for the orchestra by leaving fifty thousand dollars to the pension and sick fund after her death in 1919. The complete list of the subscribers to the fund at the time was as follows:


Mrs. H. A. Alexander Mme. Nordica
Mr. C. B. Alexander Mr. Stephen S. Palmer
Miss Kora F. Barnes Mrs. Trenor L. Park
Mrs. William H. Bliss Mr. Amos Pinchot
Miss Mary R. Callender Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer
Mr. Robert J. Collier Mr. Thomas F. Ryan
Mrs. Paul D. Cravath Mr. Charles E. Sampson
Mr. Paul D. Cravath Mr. Samuel S. Sanford
Miss Caroline de Forest Mr. R. E. Schirmer
Mr. Charles H. Ditson Mr. Henry Seligman
Mrs. S. Edgar Mrs. Henry Seligman
Miss A. C. Flagler Mr. Isaac N. Seligman
Mr. Harry Harkness Flagler Mr. Jefferson Seligman
Mr. Edward S. Flagler Mrs. Jesse Seligman
Mrs. Frances Hellman Mr. Frank H. Simmons
Mr. Otto H. Kahn Miss Clara B. Spence
Mr. A. W. Krech Mrs. F. T. Van Beuren
Mrs. Daniel Lamont Mr. Richard Welling
Mr. Albert Lewisohn Mrs. J. A. Zimmerman
Mr. Frank A. Munsey Mr. Paul Warburg
Mr. Emerson
The ideal conditions under which I now worked gave me the opportunity to carry out several artistic plans which I had had for a long time. The first of these was a Beethoven cycle, in which I gave not only all the nine symphonies in chronological order, but other compositions of Beethoven, some of which had not yet appeared on the concert programmes of New York. Accordingly, in the winter of 1909, I prepared six programmes composed of Beethoven’s works, and at the last concert gave a double performance of his “Ninth Symphony.” This was a real tour de force, but not original with me. During the summer of 1887, which I had spent with von Bülow in study of the Beethoven symphonies, he had told me of having given such a double performance in Berlin and that the results had been very remarkable, inasmuch as at the second hearing, the audience had been able the more perfectly to grasp many of the intricacies of this “Hamlet” among symphonic dramas. Our double performance caused a good deal of comment, most of which was very favorable. Between the two performances the orchestra and chorus were refreshed with hot coffee and sandwiches, and as the work takes about an hour and ten minutes to perform, the repetition, together with a half-hour of rest between, brought the final tumultuous outburst of the choral “Ode to Joy” to eleven o’clock. Notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, the audience began a great demonstration of approval, applauding and shouting for many minutes; but while I and my performers took some of this as ours by right, I have always felt that the audience intended a good part of it as directed toward themselves for having so nobly endured the great strain which I had put upon them.

This was the first Beethoven Festival ever given in New York, and a few years later I organized a Brahms Festival on similar lines. I directed his four symphonies, the ingratiating Zimbalist playing the “Violin Concerto,” Wilhelm Backhaus the great “B-Flat Piano Concerto,” and my brother with the chorus of the Oratorio Society conducting a very beautiful performance of the “Requiem.”

Such festivals devoted exclusively to the work of one composer are a great lesson to the serious music lover, and I think that as Beethoven represents almost the alpha and certainly the omega of symphonic music, there should be repetitions of Beethoven cycles every few years. I have never been able to understand why it should not be similarly possible to give Shakespearian cycles in spring, in which all of our best actors could combine to make up ideal casts. We should certainly make American children as familiar with Shakespeare’s great tragedies as, for instance, the children of Germany, to whom Shakespeare is much more of a household word than he is to those of this country or England. If music can find Flaglers and Higginsons to endow it as an educational necessity, why cannot similar men be found to do the same for the drama and thus help to lift it as an educational factor from its painfully weak position to which the necessities of making it a paying institution have driven it.

During all these years my relations with Mr. and Mrs. Flagler became more and more intimate. I had never met such people in my entire life. Their devotion to and interest in the orchestra increased constantly, and Mr. Flagler’s contributions to the fund became greater and greater as the needs of the orchestra increased. But his help was offered with a shyness, as if it had been the orchestra that conferred the benefit upon him. He also took over a work which I had always detested more than anything else, and that is the collection of funds. As the expenses of the orchestra increased with the years, it became necessary to collect money from outside sources beyond the large sums already contributed by the directors of the society. With constant good humor, patience, and infinite tact Mr. Flagler, whose own donations to the fund were greater in proportion to his income than those of many others, would write letters or call personally on well-to-do musical patrons to collect perhaps a few hundred dollars toward the fund, and he would be inordinately proud of his success as a financier and collector.