Vladimir Horowitz

Biography

Born: October 1, 1903   Died: November 5, 1989  
A pianist of legendary fame and stature, Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kiev, Ukraine. His mother, herself a professional pianist, provided his first instruction at the piano and was the first to recognize his extraordinary talents; he studied further at the Kiev Conservatory. His first public appearance was a recital in Kiev on May 30, 1920, and in 1922 he gave a series of 15 concerts in Kharkov for which he was paid in food and clothing. Read more Although Russia was still reeling from the revolution of 1917, Horowitz fashioned successful concert tours in major cities such as Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev -- marking the beginning of a performing career of unflagging and spectacular success.

His first international appearance came with his 1926 trip to Berlin, soon after which followed concerts in Paris, London, and New York. Further appearances in the United States solidified his reputation as an exceptional virtuoso, and the country which was to become his adopted home embraced him warmly. He was invited to the White House to play for President Hoover in 1931, and in 1933 he married Wanda Toscanini -- the daughter of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, who would soon conduct Horowitz and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of the Beethoven piano concertos. Horowitz permanently settled in the United States in 1940 and achieved citizenship in 1944.

Wanda Toscanini assumed a gentle stewardship of her new husband, who was in fragile physical and emotional health. Often seized with an irrational fear of failure, Horowitz found the life of touring threatening to his equilibrium. He withdrew from the concert stage for several periods during his life, and made only rare appearances after 1970. When Horowitz did schedule a concert, it often took the persuasive powers of his wife and friends to keep him from canceling at the last minute. His nagging, and often overpowering, insecurity led him to seek shock therapy in 1973, but though he seemed to achieve some benefit from treatment, he was never free of anxiety when playing in public. The one exception to this trend was when he appeared as accompanist to another artist, which he often did with baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and violinist Isaac Stern. Because of his long absences from the concert stage, Horowitz's popularity was largely sustained by his recordings.

Perhaps the most significant single event in Horowitz's long career was his long-overdue return to the Soviet Union (his first since his departure in the 1920s) for a series of concerts in 1986. The resulting tour became a major political event, coinciding as it did with an era of new understanding between the United States and the Soviet Union, and it resonated powerfully with Soviet audiences. Revitalized by the Soviet tour, Horwowitz signed a new contract with Sony; the contract included provisions for recording him at home on his favorite piano. He made his last such recording on November 1, 1989; on November 5 he died of a massive heart attack.

As a performer, Horowitz had huge resources of speed and power, and a clean articulation. His performances were brilliant, exciting, and often mystifying to those who found his technique enigmatic (he played, for instance, with unusually straight fingers, laying them nearly flat on the keys). Though his performances were frequently criticized for their willfulness and self-indulgent nature, there was an undeniable charisma to his playing that endeared him to most everyone who heard him. Read less
Vladimir Horowitz Plays Great Sonatas
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7884092   Number of Discs: 10
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Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
Release Date: 09/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 548417   Number of Discs: 42
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Browse 1-25 of 133 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Vladimir Horowitz Plays Great Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7884092 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 3.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999602 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Liszt,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 4.
    Great Moments: Horowitz Live At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 376860 Release Date: 11/11/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  George Szell
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  • 5.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 6.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22329 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 7.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4206 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 8.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22362 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 9.
    Mozart 111 [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001766872 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Emil Gilels,  Elena Gilels,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  James Levine,  Herbert von Karajan,  Marc Minkowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 10.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 11.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10132 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jascha Heifetz,  Rudolf Serkin,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfred Scholz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    Vladimir Horowitz - The Video Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 907209 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    DVD: $25.99
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  • 13.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5101 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 14.
    The Romantic Era - Beethoven, Etc / Horowitz, Reiner, Szell
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5002 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 15.
    Late Night Liszt
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001606702 Release Date: 10/04/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Claudio Arrau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Wilhelm Kempff  ... 
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  • 16.
    Franz Liszt - Master & Magician
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 775542 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Van Cliburn,  Byron Janis,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein,  Eugene Ormandy,  Fritz Reiner,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $28.49
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  • 17.
    Horowitz Plays Liszt
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 783987 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 18.
    Liszt - Wild & Crazy / Argerich, Richter, Bolet...
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001565102 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Alice Sara Ott,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Jean-Rodolphe Kars,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Keeping The Doors Open - Isaac Stern 90th Birthday Celebration
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 75347 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 20.
    Piano & Cello Masterpieces
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10105 Release Date: 11/19/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski,  Pablo Casals,  Shura Cherkassky
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leopold Ludwig,  Richard Kraus
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    Horowitz - The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001491202 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 22.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 23.
    111 More Classic Tracks [6-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001483202 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Maurice André,  Stefan Askenase,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Karel Ancerl,  Hans Stadlmair,  John Nelson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 24.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4217 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    CD: $13.99
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  • 25.
    A Century Of Romantic Chopin
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54001 Release Date: 08/19/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Moritz Rosenthal,  Alfred Cortot,  Rosita Renard,  Sydney Foster  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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