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News - Joseph Horovitz at the Royal College of Music and on BBC Radio 3

Monday, November 7, 2016
On 29 November The Royal College of Music will celebrate the musical career of Joseph Horovitz in his ninetieth birthday year with a concert featuring his String Quartet No 5, Variations on a Theme of Paganini, and Fantasia on a Theme of Couperin. The performance will be conducted by the composer. Horovitz has had a long association with the College. As a post-graduate student in 1948 he was taught by Gordon Jacob and, in turn, Horovitz has taught composition there since 1961. He was made a Fellow in 1981 and retired from teaching this summer.

The BBC Radio 3 programme 'Composer of the Week: Gordon Jacob and Joseph Horovitz', first aired in 2013, will air once again from 28 November to 2 December. Novello works by Joseph Horovitz featured in the five programmes include his ‘autobiographical’ String Quartet No. 5, Lady Macbeth, the Jazz Concerto, Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Fantasia on a Theme of Couperin, Ballet for Band, Sinfonietta, the ever-popular Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, and the much performed and recorded Clarinet Sonatina.

BBC Radio 4 Extra will repeat its 2011 programme 'No Ordinary Joe' on December 15 and 16, in which he is interviewed about his career by fellow Music Sales composer Debbie Wiseman.

Meanwhile, this autumn’s issue of Musical Opinion features Joseph Horovitz and includes a survey of his works by Paul Conway, who writes: 

All his pieces are written with a burning desire to communicate and it is arguably those precious qualities of immediacy and lucidity which impress themselves most indelibly upon the listener when first encountering a finely honed Horovitz score.

Earlier this year, on 26 May, his actual birthday was celebrated on BBC Radio 3, on Austrian Radio ORF, Bayerischer Rundfunk, and in concerts at Wigmore Hall and the Cadogan Hall.

To book tickets to the celebratory concert at the Royal College of Music on November 29 click here.


Joseph Horovitz

Joseph Horovitz was born in Vienna in 1926 and emigrated to England in 1938. He studied music at New College, Oxford, with Gordon Jacob at the Royal College of Music where he won the Farrar Prize, and for a further year with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. The Festival of Britain in 1951 brought him to London as conductor of ballet and concerts at the Festival Amphitheatre. He then held positions as conductor to the Ballet Russes, associate director of the Intimate Opera Company, on the music staff at Glyndebourne, and as guest composer at the Tanglewood Festival, USA.

His compositions number sixteen ballets, nine concertos, two one-act operas, chamber music, works for brass band, television and radio, and a number of choral cantatas - most famously Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo. Since 1961 he has taught at the Royal College of Music, where he is now a Fellow. He has also won two Ivor Novello Awards, and in 1996 he was awarded the Gold Order of Merit of the City of Vienna. The Worshipful Company of Musicians awarded him the Cobbett Medal in 2008 for services to chamber music.

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