Knowledge Base Article: KB2598
Topic: FAQ - Music Business Questions & Issues

Title: Composer Profile: Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) – American Concert Pianist and Composer Profile and 1985 Live Recording of Mozart

Last Reviewed: Jan 07, 2014

Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) – American Concert Pianist and Composer Profile and 1985 Live Recording of Mozart

(From Dec 22, 2013 entry at

Today we celebrate the famous American classical pianist and composer Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989), with a live session of him recording for the first time “Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major” – and his handlers are almost sweating bullets!!! They had to be asking themselves, “Can this dear elderly gentleman genius (born in Kiev, Russia, and now aged 84) successfully do this, or do we dismiss the La Scala Orchestra and try to record this Mozart on another day?!?”

As Mr. Horowitz arrives for the session his handlers treat him like a delicate Soufflé, with great hopes for a perfect recording session. The session is interspersed with snippets of various interviews and his musings on other orchestras and composers. Rachmaninoff, another famous composer and classical pianist during this era, said this about Vladimir: “'Horowitz is the better pianist, but I am the better musician.' This video may prove his point, or does it??

Horowitz was often in and out of public performances, withdrawing for years at a time, only to return with full gusto and great success, winning new admirers each time he played. From 1975 to 1982, he made live recordings for RCA, and finalized a Sony Classical recording only four days before his death… From 1985-1989, he made both studio and live recordings with Deutsche Grammophon, and in 1985, performed the Mozart piece shown here. Four documentary films featuring Horowitz were also made during this time, including the telecast of his April 20, 1986 Moscow recital.

Wiki indicates he had a grueling life of back-to-back performances, and he was paid, when he was younger, for concerts in Russia with bread, butter and chocolate… In his NY Times obituary, it appears Mr. Horowitz went out with quite a bang: “…But in the last four years of his life, he became virtually a one-man industry in the concert business--with a much-publicized tour of the Soviet Union, performances in Europe and America, all linked with compact disk recordings, videotapes, television programs and films.” 

Bravo for Mr. Horowitz, what a guy! What a national treasure!!!

And here’s his bio:

(From Jan 5, 2014 entry at

Easing into a lazy Sunday morning enjoying a younger Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) playing Rachmaninoff with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, way back in 1977, conducted by Zubin Mehta. “Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 3 in d-Moll op. 30” is so beautiful and mesmerizing…

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