Met orchestra mourns longest-serving musician

Jason Haaheim, principal timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera, has posted a notice of the death of his distinguished predecessor, Richard Horowitz.

Richard Horowitz, Metropolitan Opera's tympanist and percussionist  ---   {Tuesday in Manhattan 5-5-09}   Original Filename: DSC_0204x.JPG

Dick, who served for 66 years, retired in 2012, aged 88.

He was the third longest-serving orchestral player on record.

richard horowitz

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  • Dick Horowitz played percussion and timpani at the Met. I don’t believe that he was specifically the “principal” timpanist for this entire duration. As an example, Fred Hinger (formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra) was the Met principal timpanist in name and title from 1967-1983. Dick also had a side business making conductor’s batons. He was a great guy.

    • As a retired 3rd hornist with the Met, I know that Fred Hinger and Dick Horowitz were BOTH principal tympanists at the same time from 1967 to 1983. You might say that Dick was the “senior” principal at that time.

  • Thank you for the clarification. I didn’t mean to diminish Dick’s career in any way. I knew him, albeit casually, and also worked several times with his wife, Bernice, who was an excellent harpist.

  • Richard Horowitz not only was the timpanist for the Met, he also made batons (for among others Leonard Bernstein). I was lucky enough to get one as a present, given to me by his brother Harry Horowitz, a fine pianist who played for many years for the New York All City High School Chorus

  • There are now very few former students of legendary NY Philharmonic timpanist, Saul Goodman, left to pass on the tradition. Are any still performing? Though not as rare as former Schnabel students—is Leon Fleisher the last one?—they are, alas, nearly extinct.

  • Goodman died in 1996. As I recall, he was actively teaching almost to the end. There are lots of ex-Goodman students still out there, including Daniel Druckman of the NY Philharmonic, to name but one.

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