sexta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2009
Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (Hebrew: ולדימיר הורוביץ; Russian: Владимир Самойлович Горовиц, Vladimir Samojlovič Gorovits; Ukrainian: Володимир Самійлович Горовиць, Volodymyr Samiylovich Horovyts
(October 1, 1903 – November 5, 1989) was a Russian-American pianist.
In his prime, he was considered one of the most distinguished pianists of any age. His technique, use of tone color and the excitement of his playing are legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.
orowitz said that he was born in Kiev in the Russian Empire(now the capital of Ukraine), but some sources have given Berdichev as his birthplace. His cousin Natasha Saitzoff, in a 1991 interview, stated that all four children were born in Kiev; Horowitz's wife, Wanda Toscanini, however, gave credence to the Berdichev possibility. Rabbinical documents also support a Berdichev birth.
He was born in 1903, but in order to make Vladimir 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 competent pianist. In 1912 he entered the Kiev Conservatory, where he was taught by Vladimir Puchalsky, Sergei Tarnowsky, and Felix Blumenfeld.
He left the conservatory in 1919 and performed Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor at his graduation. His first solo recital was performed in 1920.
His 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.
During the 1922-1923 season, he performed 23 concerts of eleven different programs in Leningrad alone. On January 2, 1926, Horowitz made his first appearance outside his home country, in Berlin. He later played in Paris, London and New York City. Horowitz was selected by Soviet authorities to represent Ukraine in the inaugural 1927 Chopin Piano Competition: however the pianist had decided to stay in the West and thus did not participate.
Horowitz settled in the United States in 1940, and became an American citizen in 1944.
Horowitz gave his U.S. 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 success with the audience was phenomenal, and a solo recital was quickly scheduled. Olin Downes, writing for the New York Times, was critical about the metric tug of war between conductor and soloist, but Downes credited Horowitz with both a tremendous technique and a beautiful singing tone in the second movement. In this debut performance, Horowitz demonstrated a marked ability to excite his audience, an ability he preserved for his entire career. As Olin Downes commented, "it has been years since a pianist created such a furor with an audience in this city." In his review of the Horowitz's solo recital, Downes characterized the pianist's playing as showing "most if not all the traits of a great interpreter."
In 1933, he played for the first time with the conductor Arturo Toscanini in a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 The Emperor. Horowitz and Toscanini went on to perform together many times, on stage and in recordings.
Despite rapturous receptions at recitals, Horowitz became increasingly unsure of his abilities as a pianist. Several times, he withdrew from public performances - during 1936 to 1938, 1953 to 1965, 1969 to 1974, and 1983 to 1985. On several occasions, Horowitz had to be pushed onto the stage. After his comeback in 1965 he gave solo recitals only rarely. He made his television debut on September 22, 1968, in a concert televised by CBS from Carnegie Hall.
In 1933, in a civil ceremony, Horowitz married Toscanini's daughter Wanda. Horowitz was Jewish and Wanda Catholic, but this was not an issue as neither was observant. As Wanda knew no Russian and Horowitz knew very little Italian, their primary language became French. They had one child, Sonia Toscanini Horowitz (1934-1975). It has never been determined whether her death, from a drug overdose, was accidental or a suicide.
Despite his marriage, there is evidence to suggest that Horowitz was gay, a claim which he denied . He is credited with the quote: "There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists".
Horowitz underwent psychological treatment in the 1950s in an attempt to alter his sexual orientation. In the early 1960s and again in the early 1970s, he underwent electroshock therapy for depression.
Vladimir Horowitz died on November 5, 1989 in New York of a heart attack. He was buried in the Toscanini family tomb in the Cimitero Monumentale, Milan, Italy.
Horowitz plays Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G# Minor.