Radio stars (May 1933)

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RADIO STARS 2//71 Harry Horlick was a prisoner of war H ARRY HORLICK is a gypsy. Not just an A. & P. Gypsy, though he's the leader of that group—and not a child of the Romany camps, but a true nomad in background and incli- nation. If an X were used to mark the spot on the map where Harry Horlick was born, it would be placed just outside of Moscow in Russia. Tiflis was the scene of Harry's education, where he studied in the Con- servatory of Tiflis. A full- fledged graduate, he played the violin in Moscow symphonies. Excellent training schools. Then came the war and Harry entered the Russian army where for more than two years he did not touch his violin. The Imperial standard fell and the red flag of revolution waved. Harry was captured by the Bol- sheviki. Instead of Siberia, the revolutionists sent him into a symphony orchestra and later he was assigned to play in an orchestra for the communized opera. It was hard work and not very gratifying. Tiring, he escaped. Traveling by night, he reached Constantinople. Then he moved to America to join his parents who had left Europe before the outbreak of the war. Later he returned to Europe, listening for melodies which he carefully noted. He spent days with bands of real gypsies, playing for them and learning their distinc- tive folk tunes. In America he played at a small club in New York in a string ensemble of six. Representatives of radio heard him and now his augmented ensemble is an NBC feature. Much of the music used by Horlick is unpublished. The scores have been prepared from notes taken by Hor- lick during his wanderings. He has taught these melodies to his ensemble so well that manuscripts are not necessary. South American music holds a high place in the estimation of the violinist. His first violin was a gift from his brother and he began playing before he was ten years old. He traded that instrument for one of fancy make. He soon learned that beautiful wood does not make beautiful music so he acquired an Italian violin, valued at several thousand dol- lars, which he still plays. He will never be happy, he says, until he has a program entirely divorced from commercialism in which he can produce the sort of music that he is sure America needs and wants. As yet the opportunity hasn't come, but some day it will, he is sure. And he'll be readv for it.