Horowitz Makes American Debut on This Date in 1928

Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Special Announcements | 0 comments

Pianist Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) made his American debut playing Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 on this date in 1928.  According to Wikipedia, his performane created an enormous reaction and stir.

"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. Horowitz's rapport with his 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." 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."

Here is Horowitz playing Concerto No. 1 live with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arturo Toscanini on April 25, 1943 in Carnegie Hall.

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