Higginson, Henry Lee
- Joseph Horowitz
(b New York, NY, Nov 18, 1834; d Boston, MA, Nov 14, 1919). American patron and orchestra founder. He moved to Boston at the age of four. Though his family, on both sides, was of distinguished Boston stock, his father was not wealthy. He attended the elite Boston Latin School and proceeded to Harvard University, but poor eyesight forced him to abandon college. He wound up a diligent music student in Vienna forced to skip meals for lack of means. When he discovered he had no special talent for music, he returned to Boston and was swallowed up by the Civil War; as Major Higginson, he was severely wounded in hand-to-hand combat. Having acquired French and German, soldiered with Americans from every walk of life, married the daughter of Louis Agassiz, and failed in business (an oil venture in Ohio, a cotton plantation with freedman in Georgia), he became a banker. Once he had amassed sufficient capital, he realized his life’s dream and founded a “Boston Symphony Orchestra.” According to a ...