Colin Horsley, one of Britain's leading pianists after the Second World War, was born in Whanganui in 1920 into a musical family, and soon showed great talent as a pianist. He won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music at the age of 18 and made his debut at the Proms (the annual BBC promenade concert series) in 1940, playing in Bach's triple concerto in D minor. He was a regular at the Proms from 1948, and performed with all the leading British orchestras. Horsley also played chamber works with many artists, notably the violinist Max Rostal. He made many recordings, and championed the compositions of Lennox Berkeley. He toured New Zealand on a number of occasions. Horsley was awarded an OBE in 1963, and was a visiting professor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (1964–80) and the Royal School of Music (1965–90). In 1992 he retired to the Isle of Man, where his grandfather had been born, and continued playing the piano into his late 80s. He died in 2012.
Horsley is shown rehearsing with the New Zealand National Orchestra in the Wellington Town Hall in 1950 on a return visit to the country.
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