A British refugee composer turns 95

A British refugee composer turns 95


norman lebrecht

May 27, 2021

The mellifluous Joseph Horovitz turned 95 yesterday, in full command of his faculties.


  • Simon Holt says:

    Many happy returns, Joe. You only stopped teaching at the Royal College very recently and are much missed. Hope you had a great day!

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr. H. I first heard the piece above played by Jack Brymer and David Lloyd and instantly fell in love with it. I went on to play it later (not as well as David Lloyd, though). The second movement has the best chord ever written. Fact. If you know the piece, you know the one I mean.

  • Talia says:

    Happy Birthday Joseph Horovitz – 95, and also Happy Birthday to Thea Musgrave – 93 – also today!

  • Tony Britten says:

    Happy Birthday Joe – fine Composer, my favourite teacher at RCM, an inspiration to all and I’m proud to call you my friend.

  • Mathias Broucek says:

    I was fortunate enough to meet him a couple of times. A lovely man and a fine composer.

  • christopher storey says:

    I listen each Wednesday on Channel 81 to his wonderful music for Rumpole of the Bailey . It is wonderfully quirky and gives enormous pleasure

  • John Borstlap says:

    Interesting and sympathetic man. And that piece – which is very good – strangely sounds like a ‘Viennese Poulenc’, an original style.

  • Martin Snell says:

    I fondly remember performing the Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz musical for children, Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo, as a schoolboy in New Zealand. I still can remember the lyrics and music 45 years’ later. A delightful piece.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    I remember Mr. H being a judge for a TV music competition on ITV either in the late 1970s or early 1980s, the Barclaycard Composer of the Year. You could see the horror on his face as he listened to the works being performed. Fortunately, there was a very accomplished piece for piano which seemed to unite the panel. Asked to summarise his opinion, JH said something along the lines of ‘All the pieces bar one are…of a certain standard’. An object lesson in diplomacy when one has the feeling of having been stitched up in front of a TV audience.

  • Michael Turner (conductor) says:

    I enjoyed his company at a record industry event many, many years ago. A marvellous man who has written so many splendid pieces. Happy Birthday!

  • Gareth Bimson says:

    Happy Birthday Mr H. It was a privilege performing your Trumpet Concerto. I was also very lucky to have you as my tutor for theory and composition studies at the RCM.