Benjamin Horch

Benjamin Horch. Baritone, conductor, teacher, administrator, broadcaster, b near Odessa, Russia, of German parents, 19 Nov 1907, d 2 Jul 1992; honorary LL D (Winnipeg) 1974.

Benjamin Horch. Baritone, conductor, teacher, administrator, broadcaster, b near Odessa, Russia, of German parents, 19 Nov 1907, d 2 Jul 1992; honorary LL D (Winnipeg) 1974. The Horch family moved to Canada in 1909, and in his youth Benjamin Horch sang in the Winnipeg Male Voice Choir and in the Manitoba Music Competition Festival. After some years of private music study he served 1932-8 as choir director and theory teacher at the Winnipeg Bible Institute (now Providence College, Otterburne). He studied 1939-43 in Los Angeles and returned to serve 1943-55 as music director of the Mennonite Brethren Bible College and founder-conductor of the Mennonite Symphony Orchestra in Winnipeg. During the summers 1943-50 he conducted Mennonite community choirs across Canada. Horch was one of the music editors of the Gesangbuch (1952) of the Mennonite Brethren Churches and a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. He joined the CBC in Winnipeg in 1959 as a producer of serious music for radio and after his retirement in 1973 worked as a freelance broadcaster and to promote Mennonite music in Canada. Horch proposed the commissioning of Victor Davies' Mennonite Piano Concerto in 1974. In 1987 he was the first recipient of the Prix Manitoba Award for his contribution in the areas of media and communications.

See also Mennonites.


Further Reading

  • Siemens, Lloyd. 'Ben Horch: Dean of Mennonite conductors,' Manitoba Choral Assoc, special issue, 1986

    "The Ben Horch legacy," Manitoba Sings!, Autumn 1992

    Klassen, Doreen H. "Benjamin Horch as an insider-outsider musical-theological visionary," Sound in the Land: Essays on Mennonites and Music, eds Maureen Epp and Carol Ann Weaver (Kitchener 2005)

    Davies, Victor. "A non-Mennonite writes a Mennonite piano concerto," ibid.

    Letkemann, Peter. The Ben Horch Story (Winnipeg 2007)