Howard Chandler Robbins Landon was a musicologist, born in Boston, MA. He found his calling when a music teacher played a recording of Haydn's Symphony No. 93 for him. Upon learning that there were 104 symphonies, an astonished Robbins Landon determined he would become a Haydn scholar to learn all he could about this composer.
He attended Swarthmore College and Boston University, where he studied with Haydn authority Karl Geiringer. After graduation in 1947 he moved to Europe, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army of Occupation in Vienna and was assigned to research the official history of General Mark Clark's Fifth Army in the liberation of Italy. After leaving the army, Robbins Landon returned to the United States for post-graduate studies and founded the Haydn Society, which issued recordings. He also wrote music criticism for newspapers.
An inheritance allowed him to return to Europe, where he discovered long-forgotten Haydn manuscripts in Prague, Budapest, and Vienna, edited a number of compositions for first-time publication, and wrote Symphonies of Joseph Haydn and Haydn: Chronicle and Works. He also wrote articles about other composers, including Vivaldi, Mozart, and Beethoven. Robbins Landon made many radio and television programs for the BBC and other networks, performing much of the popularizing of classical music that Kenneth Clark had done for art. In 1992, Robbins Landon was the recipient of the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize. He lived in France in the last years of his life.