U-M Hosts Vladimir Horowitz’s Famous Steinway Piano


[Music]>>We’re really delighted to be able to host
Vladimir Horowitz’s personal piano here at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance for a
couple of days. Horowitz was one of the greatest pianists
who ever lived, and certainly he was the king of all pianists in the last half of the 20th
century. This is the piano that Vladimir Horowitz used
in his home, and which he took on tour with him for the last years of his life. One of the tragedies of pianists, whenever
we travel we have to play on a different instrument in a different acoustic. We spend a lot of time trying to get used
to each new instrument. Horowitz got to a point in his career where
he solved this by simply taking his own piano, which resided in his living room, around the
world with him. And also his own personal piano tuner, who
worked for Steinway. His name was Franz Mohr. And they were the ones who ensured that the
concert would be a success. It’s this piano as a matter of fact that was
used in the very famous 1986 concert that Horowitz gave in Moscow, that was broadcast
all over the world. [Applause] [Music] One of the greatest treasures of the former
Soviet Union, or the former Russia before it became the Soviet Union, was Vladimir Horowitz. He was born in Ukraine, as a matter of fact
in Kiev. But he was considered to be a Russian pianist. He left Russia after the Revolution in the
early 1920’s and never went back. Then in 1986, the Soviets actually invited
him, and the United States agreed to allow him to go. It was a very important concert for the thawing
of the relationship between the two countries. So that is what we are hoping to capture a
glimmer of here, that kind of excitement in 1986 alive on our stage now. [Music] We’re going to have it for two days here. The Steinway Gallery of Detroit is graciously
letting us use this piano. This is incredibly important for our students
to be able to experience that highest level of professionalism in an instrument. We’re going to have it on the stage for them
to try out for several hours each day. And the piano faculty will be giving a concert
with it of all sorts of different repertoire. [Music]>>One of the things with this instrument that
you notice as soon as you start playing it is the clarity of the tonality. The unisons are very clear on this piano,
and one of the other things about this instrument when you’re playing it is how light it is. It’s actually quite a light action. What he could do with this action is just
remarkable. [Music]>>In some ways, we’re looking forward to sounding
like Horowitz when we play. That kind of rush, or that kind of emotional
opening, in your heart is an incredibly valuable part of their education.>>Well, the instrument responds really well. I thought there was an extraordinary kind
of range of colors that I didn’t expect to come out. I think as a student I learned a lot about
his voice. We have physical evidence of his voice right
here.>>The importance of history to the piano major
can’t be underestimated. We play the great composers from Bach on through. Part of the reason that this piano is significant
is to keep that history alive. [Music]

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9 thoughts on “U-M Hosts Vladimir Horowitz’s Famous Steinway Piano”

  1. geo lin says:


  2. Kosmas Lapatas Pianist says:

    I consider this specific model a bad piano as well as Gould's of course. By todays standards is not on par with great grand pianos. Bechstein D-282, Bluthner O-280, Bösendorfer Imperial, Fazioli F308, Grotrian Royal, Mason & Hamlin CC-94, Ravenscroft 275, Schimmel K280, Seiler SE-278, Shigeru Kawai SK-EX, Stuart & Sons 296, Yamaha CFX 9' destroy this completely. However it is the piano of a piano giant and its value resides therein.

  3. Ivan Babichev says:

    Why isn’t Josh Wright playing on that piano?

  4. Maafa 1619 says:

    Typical U of M. In other places where that piano toured, the public could play it. Of course, elitist U of M would have none of that.

  5. Daniel Lu says:

    Adorable how he pets his piano walking on stage.

  6. Peter Lemken says:

    Rarely do people mention that this piano has been completely rebuilt after Horowitz' death in 1989, so except for the cabinet there is nothing left of what the actual Horowitz piano was all about.

    Apart from that, Robert is a really great piano technician and the way he prepares the UMich's own piano for a recital is a marvel and certainly doesn't sound any worse than the famous Horowitz piano.

  7. Nathan hickey Hickey says:

    Any piano without the addition of a human being has no life to speak of . Add Mr Horovitz to any piano and this brings life beyond measure.We are fortunate to know such beauty through Vladimir.

  8. Giant Killer says:

    Good video. Anybody else wish there was a bit more piano playing in it…? 💔😳

  9. Paul Jones says:

    Affected commentary. What's that about??

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