Play it again— Paris


French accordion player Yvette Horner harks back to another age. Hers is a nostalgic repertoire that draws on the countryside as a source of inspiration. Yet despite the years, her shock of orange hair and desire to play remain.

Accordion, French, countryside, music, nostalgic

In Yvette Horner’s living room in Paris, there is no doubt which instrument made her famous. There’s a giant accordion-shaped mirror, matching accordion candelabras, a wooden credenza inlaid with accordions and framed pictures showing her playing the accordion. At 89, Horner is a bit frail and needs help hoisting the instrument onto her lap. She’s sold her big house and much of the memorabilia from her music career, and moved into this small assisted-living apartment in eastern Paris.

Despite the setting, Horner isn’t ­retired. She still has her…

Yvette Horner's CV

1922 Born in Tarbes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France
1952 Starts performing at the Tour de France bicycle race
1989 Horner plays next to the National Jazz Orchestra (conducted by Quincy Jones) to celebrate France’s bicentenary
1996 Awarded the Legión d’Honneurby François Mitterrand
1998 Styled by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Horner is invited to participate in Maurice Béjart’s remake of the ‘Casse-Noisette’ (‘The Nutcracker’) ballet
2005 Horner’s autobiography, ‘Le Biscuit dans la Poche’, is published
2011 Horner’s new album ‘Hors Norme’ (a duet with fellow accordionist Richard Galliano) is completed


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