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Malcolm Sargent
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Conductor
    (April 29, 1895-October 3, 1967)
    Born in Ashford, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Harold Malcolm Watts Sargent
    Principal conductor for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (1942-48) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1950-57)
    Succeeded Henry Wood as conductor of the Proms summer music festival (1948-67)
    Knighted for services to music (1947)
    His dandyish appearance earned him the nickname 'Flash Harry.'
    He was a notorious womanizer before, during and after his marriage, and had affairs with Princess Marina and Edwina Mountbatten.
    He often had hostile relations with the musicians in the orchestras because of his demanding standards.
    He further alienated musicians when he told an interviewer that orchestra members did not deserve a 'job for life,' which really ticked off those musicians who had stood by him when he had to take a two-year sabbatical after an attack of tuberculosis.
    He was on the verge of accepting an appointment with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation when WWII broke out, and he decided it was his duty to return home to England.
    When an air raid siren interrupted a performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, he stopped the orchestra, calmed the audience by saying they would be safer staying in the concert hall than fleeing outside, then resumed conducting.
    His daughter Pamela died of polio (1944).
    He helped save the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from going under financially after the death of Thomas Beecham.
    Toscanini praised him as the greatest choral conductor in the world.

Credit: C. Fishel


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