Industry Vet, Former Billboard Editor Israel Horowitz Dies

Israel Horowitz, a renowned record producer of classical music, died at his home in Closter, N.J., on Dec. 26. He was 92.

Horowitz began his career in the music industry on the editorial staff for Billboard magazine, where he joined as a reporter covering the coin-machine beat in 1948, and soon moved to cover the music beat.

Horowitz, who would ultimately have a 46-year relationship with Billboard, left the magazine to joined Decca Records as director of classical A&R. During his 15 years at Decca he produced several hundred recordings, including albums by Andres Segovia, Leopold Stokowski, and New York Pro Musica.

Until Horowitz joined Decca, the label "had no footing in the classical field and he soldiered that element all by himself and made them a contender in that genre," says John Sippel, who himself spent 25 years at Billboard in three separate stints. "At the time, only RCA and Columbia were issuing classical and London would soon join in, so [Horowitz] helped establish classical music in the U.S. record market."

After leaving Decca, Horowitz continued his record producer relationship with Segovia. Meanwhile, Horowitz rejoined Billboard in 1973, first as a freelance classical music writer and then joining fulltime. When the legendary Paul Ackerman left Billboard, "Is took up Paul's mantle and did a great job for Billboard, covering music publishing, during a crucial time," Sippel says.

During his lengthy association with Billboard, Horowitz served as music and radio news editor, New York bureau chief, international editor and executive editor. At the end of 1985, Horowitz moved into a part-time role, editing the Commentary page and continued writing the classical music column.

When Horowitz retired from writing the classical column in 1994, Billboard's then editor in chief Timothy White, said, “Is Horowitz is one of the most distinguished and admired figures in the music industry, but also one of its modern architects, helping pioneer contemporary music journalism and criticism, as well as playing a consummate role as A&R executive and astute producer of some of the foremost classical artists of our era. Horowitz exemplifies the finest aspects of journalism and the arts.”

According to the New York Times, Horowitz is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mildred, and two sons, Robert, of Manhattan, and Michael, of Bern, Switzerland.


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