Mieczyslaw Horszowski Collection
Mieczyslaw Horszowski was born in Lvov, Poland on June 23, 1892 and received
his first piano lessons from his mother, a student of Karol Mikuli, who had been
a pupil of Chopin. He went on to study in Vienna with Theodor Leschetizky, who
was a pupil of Beethoven's protegé Karl Czerny and the most important piano
teacher next to Franz Liszt. In 1905, the young pianist played for Gabriel Fauré
and he met Camille Saint-Saëns in Nice. The following year, he met Arturo
Toscanini and Pablo Casals, both of whom later became close musical associates
and personal friends.
Horszowski began concertizing throughout Europe in 1900 as an eight-year-old
prodigy. At 10 he gave his first recital in Vienna. Within five years he was
touring North and South America.
In 1911, Horszowski interrupted his career to devote himself to the study of
literature, philosophy, and the history of art at the Sorbonne in Paris. Upon
Casals' insistence, he returned to the concert stage and, after World War I, he
settled in Milan. At the outbreak of World War II he was on a tour of Brazil;
instead of returning to Europe, he came to the United States, where he made his
home until his death.
Though he initially established his reputation as a young soloist, Horszowski
subsequently devoted much of his adult career to chamber music. His longstanding
collaboration with Casals is well known, and he took a major role in many of the
prestigious chamber music festivals around the world, such as the Prades
Festival, Casals Festival, Marlboro Festival, etc. Among the many famous
musicians with whom he collaborated were Joseph Szigeti, Alexander Schneider,
Walter Trampler, and the Budapest Quartet.
Other highlights of his performing career include appearances with Arturo
Toscanini and the NBC Symphony; a cycle of Beethoven's entire solo piano works,
presented in twelve New York recitals in 1957; a similar cycle, also in New
York, of all of Mozart's piano sonatas in 1960; and a series of ten Mozart
concertos two years later at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He
performed at the White House for Presidents Kennedy and Carter. In 1973,
Horszowski participated in an unique concert at the American Museum-Hayden
Planetarium commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of the great Polish
astronomer, Nicholas Copernicus. Also at the Metropolitan Museum he recorded for
the first time in history on the earliest surviving piano - an instrument built
in 1720 by its inventor, Bartolommeo Cristofori. On this occasion Horszowski
played sonatas by D. Ludovico Giustini di Pistoia, which were commissioned by
Cristofori and are the first known compositions written for the pianoforte.
Contemporary music also occupied a part of his repertory. He performed works by
Honegger, d'Indy, Martinu, Villa-Lobos, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, and Joonas
Horszowski made numerous recordings, beginning with his mid-1930s HMV discs
with Casals, and continuing with solo, chamber and concerto releases for
Columbia/CBS/Sony, Mercury, Vox, RCA Victor, Vanguard, Deutsche Grammophon, and
Nonesuch. Many are now available on compact disc, and newly-discovered live
Horszowski performances have continued to appear after his death.
As a link between the great musicians of the past and the young artists of
the future, Horszowski provided an inestimable contribution to the world of
music not only through his performances and recordings but also through his
teaching. For many years he was a distinguished member of the faculty of the
Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Among his more famous students are
Seymour Lipkin, Anton Kuerti, Peter Serkin, Murray Perahia and Richard Goode.
Horszowski died in Philadelphia on May 22, 1993, at the age of 100.
SERIES I(A) - PERFORMANCE FILES
Here are found programs, reviews, advertisements, promotional materials and
like documents that are related to specific performances of Horszowski. The
materials are organized chronologically by performance date, and span the period
1898 through 1991. This series is located in boxes 1 through 9. Additional
materials are found in the Series I(b); Festival Files.
SERIES I(B) - FESTIVAL FILES
Horszowski maintained lifelong associations with some of the well-known
summer music festivals. Boxes 10 to 13 contain materials related to each of
these festivals. They are:
- Prades Festival in Prades, France
- Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Marlboro Festival in Marlboro, VT
SERIES II - RECORDING ACTIVITY
Here are found royalty statements, contracts, correspondence regarding
recordings, and reviews of commercial sound recordings made by Horszowski. The
materials are organized alphabetically by recording company and are located in
boxes 14 and 15.
SERIES III - COLBERT MANAGEMENT
This series contains materials related to Colbert Artists Management, Inc.
which was Horszowski's agent in US. Materials such as contracts, lists of
engagements, itineraries, statements, publicity materials, correspondence, &
etc. are listed chronologically and found in box 16.
SERIES IV - CORRESPONDENCE
All of the letters here - boxes 17 to 19 - are incoming correspondence,
including the ones written to/via Mrs. Horszowski or Colbert Management and
their agents. Often Horszowski's replies are jotted down on blank space or on a
small piece of paper and attached. This series is divided into three categories
according to the contents of each item:
- Foreign Business Correspondence and Other Papers (Box 17)
Organized alphabetically by country, then by organization or person. Includes
some legal papers (work permits, contracts, etc.)
- Domestic Business Correspondence (Box 18)
Organized alphabetically by organization or person.
- Personal Correspondence (Box 19)
Organized alphabetically by last names. Most of them are thank you letters and
SERIES V - SUBJECT FILES
- Horszowski As An Adjudicator (Box 20)
Here are found documents related to competitions at which Horszowski
participated in some way, as a jurist, as a member of board, etc., listed in
- Magazine & Newspaper Articles (Box 21)
This series consists of newspaper and magazine articles about Horszowski, about
other people such as Casals, and other general clippings.
- Other Documents (Boxes 22 & 23)
Here are found various documents that have been divided into the following
categories: Biographical Materials, Horszowski Memorials, Photographs, Master
Classes, Recommendations, Oversized Materials, and etc.