Croatian conductor Horvat was born in Pakrac on 28 July 1919, and studied with Igor Markevitch.
He began his career working with Radio Symphony Orchestra Zagreb in 1946, and worked as chief conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin from 1953 until 1958. He also worked as chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic qnd Opera Zagreb, and worked with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Graz Symphonic Orchestra.
He also taught conducting, running several summer masterclasses in Salzburg and holding a class at the University of Music in Graz.
Horvat died in Innsbruck on 1 January 2014, aged ninety-four.