This is a big deal. The personal piano of Vladimir Horowitz is touring North America and is in Calgary for 2 weeks. There was a recital tonight – students of APTA teachers were given the opportunity to play on this marvelous instrument.
The piano was built in 1941 and was in Horowitz’ New York townhouse from the time it was built until his death in 1989, at which time his widow gave it back to Steinway to be shared with the world. Not wanting to adjust to a different piano every time he gave a concert, he toured with his own. He could do that. He was that big. This piano was the one that went with him to Moscow for that famous 1986 concert – his first time returning to the Soviet Union since he left in 1925.
This is the piano that a couple of my students played on tonight. It was a sound unlike any I’ve heard – clear but soft around the edges even while it was strong – warm – melting. Brent Hay, owner of Steinway Pianos in Calgary, which is where this instrument is staying while it’s in town, gave us the background and significance of the man and the piano. Most of these students didn’t have a clue what a big deal this was. Everyone was invited to linger and touch and play as much as they wanted after the recital.
Pictured are my students Sarah (left) and Kathleen (who doubles as my daughter). My other kids also came along and grabbed the chance to play it. On the way home I asked them what it was like. My youngest said, “This is how hope feels.”
Me – I have a chance to book a half-hour on it all to myself next week. You can bet a blog post will follow after that one.