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15-Jun-2018

Yvette Horner (1922-2018), Paris – France

Yvette Horner album covers
Free mp3 file download available in honor of Yvette Horner.
Pearls of Crystal A piece that Yvette Horner was famous for recording.
Recorded by Harley Jones in 1975. Enjoy.

Historical Video by Yvette Horner
Yvette HornerYvette Horner, one of France’s most famous and popular accordionists, was born in Tarbes in the south of France on September 22nd 1922, where there is a street named in her honour. She married the footballer René Droesch (1918-86), who played for the Girondins de Bordeaux and who became her manager, and they moved to Nogent-sur-Marne, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris.

Yvette first learned to play the piano as child, and trained at the Toulouse Conservatory, embarking on a career as a classical concert pianist. She also began learning the accordion, and her mother advised her that with there then being so few female accordion players around Yvette would have much better career prospects as an accordionist. Yvette took this advice to heart, and was soon in demand for playing at bal musettes, and went on to become a notable personality in the accordion world.

Although often thought of as a musette player, at which she excelled, she actually had a much broader range and performed everything from popular music to jazz to classical music, often collaborating with other musicians and orchestras.

For example, she recorded a country music album in Nashville with the American harmonica player Charlie McCoy. There is on YouTube a film of Yvette accompanying the singer Boy George on ‘Summertime’. In 1989 for July 14th, in a blue-white-red sequined dress, she played at the Bastille with the National Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Quincy Jones.

In 1948 Yvette Horner became the first female CIA Coupe Mondiale World Champion, winning this inaugural competition in Lausanne, Switzerland. From 1952 to 1963 she was the main official accompanist at the Tour de France, performing at each of the main stages, which brought her to the attention of the French public and made her a star. There was even a Tour de France model car marketed featuring her playing the accordion.

Throughout her life Yvette Horner was passionate about music and the accordion, and its benefits for good health. She once said that if there was no music, there would be the need for a lot more mental institutions.

Yvette Horner had many awards over the years, from the International Grand Prix in 1950 for her debut album ‘Le Jardin secret d'Yvette Horner’ (The Secret Garden of Yvette Horner) to being promoted Commander of the Legion of Honor in 2011 by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

During her long career she performed over 2,000 concerts, and recorded 150 albums, and a DVD, with combined sales of more than 30 million. Her first major public concert was in 1947, and her last public performance was in 2011, by which time she was living in a residence for the elderly in Paris. She passed away on June 11th at Courbevoie, Paris, at the grand age of 95.

Download printable article by Rouleur: YvetteHorner.pdf
Yvette Horner
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