(b Lemberg [now L'viv], 23 June 1892; d Philadelphia, 22 May 1993). American pianist of Polish birth. A remarkable child prodigy, his playing from the earliest age was noted for its rare musicality and maturity of insight. His mother, a pupil of Mikuli, was his first teacher, and before going to Vienna in 1899 to study with Leschetizky he also had lessons from Melcer-Szczawiński (piano) and Soltys (composition). Horszowski made his official recital début in Vienna in March 1902 and the same year played Beethoven's First Concerto with the Warsaw PO under Młynarski, after which he spent several years touring Europe. His USA début took place on 30 December 1906 in Carnegie Hall. From 1914 he lived in Milan, which remained his base until the outbreak of World War II. He then moved permanently to the USA. Invited to join the teaching staff of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in the early 1940s, Horszowski was a member of the piano faculty there until his death at the age of 100. An important aspect of his career was his activity in chamber music and for 50 years he was the favoured duo partner of the cellist Pablo Casals.
The most significant periods in his concert giving were the late 1920s, the decade from 1954 (during which he gave a cycle of Beethoven's complete piano works in New York) and the final years, when, having married for the first time at the age of 89, he once more toured quite widely, giving concerts in the USA, Canada, Japan and throughout Europe. His interpretations retained an extraordinary vigour and depth of poetic insight into extreme old age. His highly developed technique allowed him to continue to perform such works as Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and Chopin's Third Sonata with little diminution in power and impact. Although an outstanding interpreter of Debussy, Horszowski's repertory was centred on Bach, Beethoven and Chopin, all of whose music held a spiritual significance for him that allowed his playing to transcend the routine. He was the dedicatee of piano works by Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri and gave the première of Szymanowski's Third Piano Sonata in 1932.
J. and A. Gillespie: Notable Twentieth-Century Pianists (Westport, CT, 1995)
Hortense (Eugénie de Beauharnais)
(b Paris, 10 April 1783; d Arenenberg, 5 Oct 1837). French amateur musician. The daughter of Viscount Alexandre de Beauharnais, guillotined during the French Revolution, and Joséphine Tascher de La Pagerie, whose second husband was Napoleon Bonaparte, Hortense married Louis Bonaparte in 1802. When he was made King of Holland in 1806, she became queen. After separating from her husband in 1810, she returned to Joséphine at Malmaison, and acquired the title of Duchess of Saint-Leu in 1814 after Napoleon’s abdication. In 1817 she bought a property at Arenenberg in Switzerland, where she lived from 1832 until her death.
Hortense’s musical output consists of romances composed at Malmaison and Arenenberg. In 1867 the complete collection of 124 romances, published by Vialon, was exhibited by Napoleon III at Malmaison. The best known of them, Partant pour la Syrie (originally entitled Le beau Dunois), became a national anthem under the Second Empire, and provided the subject for many piano variations, including those of Hummel (1811) and Schubert (1818). Her romances are generally in the troubadour or pastoral genre, the voice supported by a simple piano or harp accompaniment. Most of the texts were written by Count Laborde, and the queen’s melody was then developed by a professional such as Dalvimare, harp master to Empress Joséphine, the composer Plantade, or the singing master J.F.N. Carbonel. This unpretentious music exemplifies the taste of contemporary society for light, pastoral, sentimental subjects. Although simple and naive, they are expressive and elegantly written, thanks to the skill of her musical colleagues.
Baron Thiébault: Du chant et particulièrement de la romance (Paris, 1813)
P. Scudo: Critique et littéraire musicales, i: Esquisse d’une histoire de la romance (Paris, 3/1856), 322–54
O.E. Deutsch: ‘Schubert et la Reine Hortense’, ReM, x/2 (1928–9), 23–30
V. Masuyer: Mémoires, lettres et papiers (Paris, 1937) [with introduction and notes by J. Bourguignon]
H. Gougelot: La romance française sous la Révolution et l’Empire (Melun, 1938)
D. Baumann: ‘Die Musiksammlung der Königin Hortense auf Arenenberg’, Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Bibliophilen-Gesellschaft, ii (1985), 2–28
(b Austin, MN, 6 Sept 1944; d Berkeley, 8 June 1998). American composer. He studied philosophy at the University of Minnesota. After moving to the San Francisco area in 1968, he played the analogue synthesizer in various ensembles. During the 1970s he studied at the Center for Contemporary Music, Mills College, with Robert Ashley, among others. He began to compose and perform live computer music in 1976. He co-founded the first computer network band, the League of Automatic Music Composers, with John Bischoff and Rich Gold in 1978, and the Rotaleague live electronic music ensemble with Bischoff, Tim Perkis, K. Atchley, Sam Ashley, Ben Azarm, Barbara Golden and Jay Cloit in the 1980s. He performed in the computer band AA Bee Removal with Azarm, Ashley and Bob Gonsalves, and in the multimedia noise collective Cactus Needle Project. His music, which employs algorithmic processes and just intonation, uses the computer as an interactive partner, not a directed tool. From 1994 to 1998 he assembled an extensive archive of texts on the history of experimental music in Northern California, published on the World Wide Web.
Rebirth, cptr, 1990; Some Pointillism, 1990; Faraway Stations, cptr, 1992; Rave Patterns, cptr, 1992; Simulated Winds and Cries, cptr, 1992
with J. Bischoff and R. Gold: ‘Music for an Interactive Network of Microcomputers’, Computer Music Journal, ii/3 (1978), 24–9
‘Horton Hears a Whole Number Ratio’,1/1 Just Intonation, ii/2 (1986), 1 only, 11–14