Joseph Horovitz

In this interview from 2007, recorded with RCM librarian Pamela Thompson and former RCM student John Wilson, Joseph Horovitz talks about his childhood in Vienna and arrival in England in the late 1930s.

He discusses how he studied drawing, French, German and Music at New College Oxford, before being classed as an enemy alien class C (friendly) during the war and lecturing about music to the troops. Finally, Joseph speaks about coming to the Royal College of Music, where he is still teaching in 2015.


Joseph Horovitz was born in Vienna in 1926 and emigrated to England with his family in 1938. After completing a BMus at Oxford, he studied with Gordon Jacob at RCM and later with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. His compositions range widely from ballets, one-act operas, concertos and chamber music, through to pieces for brass, wind bands and choral works. He has also written many Son et Lumière, and over seventy scores for television. Horovitz is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music and holds two Ivor Novello awards. In 2002 he received the Nino Rota Prize of Italy, and in 2007 he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art First Class. In 2008 the Worshipful Company of Musicians awarded him the Cobbett Medal for services to chamber music.

The full interview with further details about life at the RCM is available on DVD in the RCM library.

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