Vladimir Horowitz – The unrivaled master of the piano


Vladimir Horowitz was one of the most important pianists of the 20th century. His virtuoso and expressive playing delighted millions of listeners around the world. He was born in Ukraine on October 1, 1903, and studied at the Kiev Conservatory with renowned teachers such as Felix Blumenfeld. As a young man, he made a name for himself as an outstanding interpreter of works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and other composers.

Horowitz left the Soviet Union in 1925 and began an international career that took him to Berlin, Paris, London, and finally New York. There he made his debut in 1928 with Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham, taking American audiences by storm.

He married Wanda Toscanini in 1933, the daughter of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, with whom he often collaborated. He became an American citizen in 1944 and lived in New York until his death in 1989. Horowitz was known for his technical brilliance, tonal beauty and emotional depth.

He played a wide repertoire, ranging from Bach to modernism, and created his own arrangements and variations of well-known pieces. He was especially famous for his interpretations of Liszt, Schumann, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff, as well as for his own compositions such as the Carmen Variations or the Danse excentrique.

However, Horowitz also suffered from depression, stage fright and self-doubt, which forced him to take long concert breaks on several occasions. He retired from the stage for several years in 1936, 1953, 1969 and 1983, devoting himself to teaching, studying or recording. His return to the podium each time was a great event, celebrated with enthusiasm by his fans. He gave his last public concert in Hamburg on June 21, 1987.

Horowitz left a rich musical legacy, documented in numerous recordings. He received many awards and honors for his life’s work, including several Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and an honorary doctorate from Yale University. He is considered one of the most influential pianists in the history of music and an inspiration to many generations of piano players to follow.

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