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Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (1903) Options
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (1903)

A Russian-American virtuoso pianist, Horowitz made his debut in Russia at 17. Within years, he was touring internationally, with much success. He eventually settled in the US, where his extraordinary technical virtuosity made him one of the most popular pianists of his time. Always susceptible to nervous strain, in 1953 he decided to quit performing publicly. He returned to the stage in 1965 and occasionally thereafter until his death. Why did Horowitz's father lie about his son's birthday? More...
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 7:36:58 AM

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Horowitz, Vladimir
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Vladimir Horowitz
Vladimir Horowitz

Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (Russian: Влади́мир Самойло́вич Го́ровиц, Vladimir Samojlovich Gorovitz; October 1 [O.S. September 18] 1903 – November 5, 1989)[1] was an American classical pianist and composer.[2] His technique and use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were legendary.[3] He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.[4]
Life and early career

Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kiev[5] in the Russian Empire (now the capital of Ukraine). There are unsubstantiated claims that Horowitz was born in Berdychiv; however, his birth certificate unequivocally states Kiev as his birthplace.[6]

Horowitz was the youngest of four children of Samuil Horowitz and Sophia Bodik, who were assimilated Jews. Samuil was a well-to-do electrical engineer and a distributor of electric motors for German manufacturers. Horowitz's grandfather Joachim was a merchant (and an arts-supporter), belonging to the 1st Guild. This status gave exemption from having to reside in the Pale of Settlement. Horowitz was born in 1903, but in order to make him appear too young for military service so as not to risk damaging his hands, his father took a year off his son's age by claiming he was born in 1904. The 1904 date appeared in many reference works during the pianist's lifetime.

Horowitz received piano instruction from an early age, initially from his mother, who was herself a pianist. In 1912 he entered the Kiev Conservatory, where he was taught by Vladimir Puchalsky, Sergei Tarnowsky, and Felix Blumenfeld. His first solo recital was in Kharkiv in 1920.

Horowitz's fame grew, and he soon began to tour Russia where he was often paid with bread, butter and chocolate rather than money, due to the country's economic hardships caused by the Civil War.[7] During the 1922–1923 season, he performed 23 concerts of eleven different programs in Petrograd alone.[7] Despite his early success as a pianist, Horowitz maintained that he wanted to be a composer, and undertook a career as a pianist only to help his family, who had lost their possessions in the Russian Revolution.[8]

In December 1925, Horowitz crossed the border into the West, ostensibly to study with Artur Schnabel in Berlin. Privately intending not to return, the 22-year-old pianist had stuffed American dollars and British pound notes into his shoes to finance his initial concerts.[9]
Career in the West
Horowitz in 1931

On December 18, 1925, Horowitz made his first appearance outside his home country, in Berlin.[10] He later played in Paris, London, and New York City. Horowitz was selected by Soviet authorities to represent Ukraine in the inaugural 1927 International Chopin Piano Competition; however, the pianist had decided to stay in the West and thus did not participate.[11]

Horowitz gave his United States debut on January 12, 1928, in Carnegie Hall. He played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 under the direction of Sir Thomas Beecham, who was also making his U.S. debut. Horowitz later commented that he and Beecham had divergent ideas regarding tempos, and that Beecham was conducting the score "from memory and he didn't know" the piece.[12] Horowitz's success with the audience was phenomenal. Olin Downes, writing for the New York Times, was critical about the metric tug of war between conductor and soloist, but Downes credited the pianist with both a beautiful singing tone in the second movement and a tremendous technique in the finale, referring to Horowitz's playing as a "tornado unleashed from the steppes".[13] In this debut performance, Horowitz demonstrated a marked ability to excite his audience, an ability he maintained for his entire career. As Downes commented, "it has been years since a pianist created such a furor with an audience in this city." In his review of Horowitz's solo recital, Downes characterized the pianist's playing as showing "most if not all the traits of a great interpreter."[14] In 1933, he played for the first time with the conductor Arturo Toscanini in a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor. Horowitz and Toscanini went on to perform together many times, on stage and in recordings. Horowitz settled in the U. S. in 1939, and became an American citizen in 1944.[15]

Despite rapturous receptions at recitals, Horowitz became increasingly unsure of his abilities as a pianist. On several occasions, the pianist had to be pushed onto the stage.[7] Several times, he withdrew from public performances - during 1936 to 1938, 1953 to 1965, 1969 to 1974, and 1983 to 1985. He made his television debut in a concert taped at Carnegie Hall on February 1, 1968, and broadcast nationwide by CBS on September 22 of that year.

with my pleasure
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 12:01:34 PM

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I can very well remember when he was still performing. He was quite old then.
olddogg eleventy2
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 2:53:20 PM

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I will familiarize myself with his music as soon as I can, but I think I have a vague memory of seeing him perform on the Ed Sullivan Show when I was a child. Yes, Ed did have classic artists on too! I was drawn to this picture because it reminded me of someone.....then it hit me. Basil Rathbone, they could have been brothers, I swear.My apologies if I have offended any rigid admirers of the maestro! No disrespect was intended.
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