Talk:Vladimir Horowitz

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It seems there is some dispute over the date of Horowitz' birth. I checked some sources: he Macmillan, Columbia and Hutchinson encyclopedias say 1904; Britannica, the Penguin Dictionary of Music and the Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music say 1903. I would say that those on the side of 1903 are more trustworthy in this area, and I suspect that 1904 is a widely-distributed innaccuracy, but those saying 1904 are not exactly useless, and it's hard to know for sure. Does anybody have an explanation for the discrepency? If not, perhaps we should say something like "1903 (1904 according to some sources)". --Camembert

I was hoping to have the answer for you, but my two most reliable sources (Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians [Nicolas Slonimsky]--and my big New Grove) have 1903 and 1904 respectively. Probably having both dates in the article is the best idea. (That may be the first case I have ever seen of a disputed date between those two sources, which is not mentioned as disputed in either!) Antandrus 00:32, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Since the centennial celebrations all appear to have been last year, I'm betting my chips on 1903, and I bet the New Grove is actually wrong (fancy that!) Antandrus 00:36, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That's exactly what convinced me as well (see his page on Sony, for instance). IMO 1904 deserves a footnote at most, and as the majority seems to agree that 1903 is probably correct, it should certainly not be parenthesized while 1904 remains the given birthdate like Marcus2 has done. :-) — Pladask 00:55, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Well, as the weight of evidence seems to be in favour of 1903, I've switched the dates so it reads "1903 (or 1904)" - I hope Marcus will be OK with that. --Camembert
The truth about 1903 has been known for over 25 years now. See my update in the article. Cheers JackofOz 7 July 2005 07:23 (UTC)
Wikipedia was referenced on the 1903/1904 controversy by this news story. Grover cleveland 18:08, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I've deleted the reference to some sources stating 1904. The only sources with 1904 I still see are old copies of encyclopedias and the like, out of date sources.THD3 12:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

An anonymous user has been changing VH's birthdate to September 18. All published references show October 1, as the birth date. Some may show September 18, based on the old style calendar. For clarification, see Old Style and New Style dates.But we use the Western calendar, and standard references show the date as October 1.THD3 (talk) 02:24, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

10:04, 6 September 2009 (UTC)ClassicalMusica (talk)


Whether in Berdichev or Kiev, Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire in 1903. These seems to be some disagreement as to whether Horowitz should be considered Ukrainian, Russian, or American. However, it should be clear that Horowitz was an American citizen from 1944 onward. In a 1986 interview, on the eve of his concerts in Russian, he specifically asked to be referred to as an American pianist. "You can just call me an American pianist, if you please. I've lived here for over 40 years, longer than in Russia. This is my home." THD3 20:22, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, there's no dispute that he was born in Ukraine. Whether that makes him Ukrainian-born or Russian-born is a moot point. Our article refers to his birth in Ukraine, yet it gives the Russian version of his name before the Ukrainian version. I can only presume his native language would have been Ukrainian, regardless of whatever his citizenship might have been. I think we should reverse the order and put his Ukrainian name before his Russian one. JackofOz 20:30, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Done. THD3 00:09, 12 October 2006 (UT
One cannot presume that his native language would be Ukrainian. I've been there and aside from the western regions, most of the country speaks Russian. Russian was the dominant language for centuries and Ukrainian was only introduced into the curriculum after their recent independence. Even still, most Ukrainians I met there were more comfortable with Russian, just like most Irish will prefer to speak English rather than Irish Gaelic. I highly doubt that Horowitz ever spoke Ukrainian. 00:03, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

You are completely incorrect for years Ukrainians have chosen to speak Ukrainian but have recently been Russified. The Ukrainian language was around centuries before, Vladimir would have wanted Ukrainian before Russia and that it that. Ukrainians don't feel more comfortable speaking Russian as it is much more intricate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daniel2213 (talkcontribs) 08:09, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Horowitz's native language is not the point. In fact, the preferred language in his home was French. Horowitz was born in Berdichev (or Kiev) both of which are in Ukraine. As for nationality, Horowitz was an American bu choice.THD3 20:11, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. I was just referring to JackofOz's remark and his emphasis on the Ukrainian version of his name. 00:07, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi. is incorrect. Ukrainian language was always in the curriculum in Ukraine, however since 1974 parents of children who were born outside of Ukraine could have their children exempted from learning the language. The cities, particularly on the left bank were primarilly Russian speaking, with Kiev being about 50% Russian and 50% Ukrainian. Berdichev was outside of Kiev and was a country town which would normally have spoken Ukrainian, however, Berdichev was known for its large Jewish population - some 70% and Horowitz would have spoken Yiddish at home. On the street to communicaste with the peasants he would have spoken Ukrainian. At the conservatory he would have spoken Russian and French.. Ethnically he was Jewish. It is interesting to note that his name is transcribed as Horowitz in English as if it were tranlitterated via Ukrainian. If it were transliterated from the Russian it would have been pronounced and written as Gorovitz. As interesting note is that his sister taught at the Kharkiv conservatory and she could speak Ukrainian. --Bandurist 19:48, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


Perhaps being of Ukranian Jewish origin he would have spoken Yiddish, however it has never been documented that Horowitz knew more than a few words of Yiddish. By his own account, Horowitz stated his father considered himself to be an "Aristocrat" and French was the language used in the house. Horowitz has even stated that he dreamed in French.THD3 20:06, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
And here we have an interesting point - Is Horowitz Ukrainian? And what relationship has he to Ukrainian culture? Ukraine is a multicultural state with some 300 ethnicities, some micro ethnic groups which do not exist outside of Ukraine. Certainly he was born in Ukraine, he was trained in Ukraine. When he lived there he was a citizen of Russia, but he was not ethnically Ukrainian. Labelling him as a Ukrainian musician is in my opinion inaccurate. Labelling him as a musician born in Ukraine is more accurate.

Regarding his knowledge of Yiddish, I believe that he had it. Ehat ever use it may have been to him I cannot say, however a third of the European Jews kived in Ukraine. Unfortunately I gave my copy of his biography to someone in Kiev so I cannot check right now. --Bandurist 21:55, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

We may not be certain as to Horowitz' knowledge of Yiddish, but we know for sure that he knew Russian well. Lazar Berman, in his article to David Dubal's book "Remembering Horowitz", writes about his Russian-spoken encounter with Horowitz, and notes that the older pianist spoke the language beautifully. MUSIKVEREIN 14:45, 30 July, 2007

Having studied at the Kiev Conservatory, he would have had command of Russian. In his youth he would have certainly had some sort of command of Ukrainian. His sister did. However, his relationship to Ukrainian culture is tenacious, despite the fact that they have a piano competition in Kiev named after him. I do remember him speaking Russian in a recording of his Moscow recital. Why he did not travel to Kiev to perform (where he studied) or to Kharkiv (where his sister taught piano) I cannot say. In my opinion ethnicity and citizenship are different things. In Horowitz's case he was ethnically Jewish and a citizen of the USA. There are people who are ethnically Russian who have Israeli citizenship who are not Jewish. --Bandurist 20:35, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Horowitz planned to visit Kiev during his 1986 tour, although he had no concerts scheduled there. He decided not to go at the last moment. It was not until he left Russia that he leared of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. It is interesting that a piano competition was named in his memory, as Horowitz specified in his will that he did not want any competition named after him.THD3 22:15, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
This is interesting i.e. the will and naming of the competition. Where can I find more information about this. I would like to send it off to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture. --Bandurist 23:45, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Horowitz's will and his desire not to have a competition in his name is mentioned in Schonberb's Biography.THD3 (talk) 12:31, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The reason I mentioned Lazar Berman's remark is that there could be some doubt as to how good Horowitz' command of Russian was, especially in light of Bandurist's note on the prevalence of the Ukrainian language in the country's curriculum. Since Horowitz was born and brought up in the Ukraine, one might think that he spoke Ukrainian and that his knowledge of Russian was inferior. That was not the case, though: according to Berman, despite having been out of daily contact with Russian for decades, Horowitz' command of that language was still impressive.MUSIKVEREIN 10:05, 1st August, 2007

Someone has once again restored the "Russian-American" as opposed to "Ukrainian-American". Apparently this has turned into a never-ending discussion... I don't know if this is possible under the Wikipedia rules, but if a certain subject is thoroughly discussed on the talk page and a conclusion is produced - as in the present case -, can such conclusion be imposed on the relevant article ?MUSIKVEREIN 20:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't the one who made the change, however I will defend it. Horowitz is described as "Russian", "Russian-American" or "Russian born American" in countless books. See this search for example. Finding a source that explicitly identifies Horowitz as a "Ukrainian" or "Ukrainian-American" is far more difficult. Using Google Books, I was only able to find this hit, where Horowitz and Milstein are described as "Ukrainian wunderkinden". So it seems that, unless we can find some more sources that actually say Horowitz was Ukrainian (hyphenated or otherwise), defining him as such might count as original reserch. Grover cleveland 03:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
One thing to note is that his first name is always the Russian "Vladimir", never the Ukrainian 'Volodymyr" (except maybe in Ukraine itself). Does that not perhaps suggest a desire to associate himself with Russia rather than Ukraine? -- JackofOz 03:30, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Very interesting. I was not aware of that. I do know that Horowitz asked friends to call him "Volodya", which is a diminutive of Vladimir (rather like calling someone Hank rather than Henry).THD3 03:35, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Grover Cleveland's point is well taken, as is JackofOz's. I don't have any particularly strong feelings for one way or another, but I think we should try and find a way of settling this once and for all, rather than having the page altered every other day over this same issue. MUSIKVEREIN 18:31, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Volodya is the diminuitive of Volodymyr. Vladik is the diminuitive of Vladimir. --Bandurist 21:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
2 points- A family friend was a classmate of VG at the conservatory and she attested that his Russian was exemplary, but never made any mention of Yiddish. However it is safe to assume that at least some knowledge of Yiddish and Ukrainian for VG, because these were the languages of the land.

As to VOLODYA, it is a diminuitive for both the Russian and the Ukrainian. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Galassi (talkcontribs) 14:07, August 26, 2007 (UTC)

That is correct. Volodya doesn't help one way or the other. -- JackofOz 08:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we should revert the article to read "American pianist of Russian (or Ukrainian) birth"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by THD3 (talkcontribs) 16:22, August 30, 2007 (UTC)
It seems that there's a lot of guesswork going on here. We know he spoke Russian, French and English. Comments about him speaking Ukrainian or Yiddish are extrapolations that may or may not have any validity. (talk) 21:18, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
You are exactly correct. That is why Horowitz is currently listed as Russian-American in the article.THD3 (talk) 21:20, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Settled. Kiev was part of the Russian Empire at the time of Horowitz's birth. Thus, he is considered to be Russian born. There is no evidence that Horowitz spoke Ukrainian. Nor is there evidence he spoke Yiddish, apart from some terms commonly used like meshuga, chutzpah, etc.THD3 (talk) 17:28, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I do appreciate your re-directing me to this page.I learn this discussion carefully.It is correct that in the life-time of Vladimir Horowitz,there were repressions for Ukrainian (as well as Yiddish). About the language issue I will be grateful for any your opinion about this question:Is any nation who lived on the lands of former Roman Empire should be called as "Romans"? Does anyone who was born on the territory of Ukraine before 1991 should consider himself as Russian? I personally was born in Kiev before 1991,should I call myself as a Russian or a Soviet pianist instead of Ukrainian? Thank you for your opinion in advance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ClassicalMusica (talkcontribs) 05:27, 3 September 2009 (UTC) P.S.I would also suggest to place the full description (as He was born in Kiev,Russian Empire,now the capital of Ukraine...etc,)instead of Russian-born,in order to close this discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ClassicalMusica (talkcontribs) 05:32, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Russian born is what is supported by the sources, which you are constantly removing. This is considered to be vandalism.THD3 (talk) 13:24, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

15:32, 3 September 2009 (UTC)ClassicalMusica (talk) The point of WIKIPEDIA is a method of following self-thought one after another, make one drifts in stream of ideas which, eventually take a conic shape: what seemingly started as random thoughts will end as a tip of the cone: the ultimate idea." I asked abstract questions because the question here is 'How completely does it solve the problem?' A totally useful solution solves the problem completely--and does not create any new ones.The article is not completely about yours or mine favourite pianist,it is also responsibility about the mention the city Kiev and Ukrainian history which belongs to millions of Ukrainians,not only as a place of birth of great pianist Vladimir Horowitz. First of all genius of Horowitz belongs to the whole world and it was perfectly expressed by Master himself:"My face is my passport". That fact that there is not much information in Internet about Ukraine ,only indicates that Ukraine is a young country with 18 years of independence.The terms of Russian Empire and Russia are different in the determination.I respect Russian music and culture. Here are some links i could find in this short term for Horowitz: Renowned among the greatest pianists of all time, Vladimir Horowitz was born on October 1, 1903 in the Ukraine © All Music Guide,vladimir-horowitz search system:

P.S.I have my reasons for this discussion because i had a great luck and honour to study with his sister Reghina Horowitz,in the Kharkov Conservatiore(now The Kharkov State University of Arts)and there were a great drama in her life,when she was separated with her brother,and in private conversations she indicated Soviet regime as reasons for it ,because at her opinion,He would never express His talent and artistic value of His genius and the frames of Soviet regime(she had never meant about homosexuality,which would be panished by 25 years in prison in those times)and freedom He received with American citizenship.We should understand what inviroment and outside frames means for self-expression for an artist. (ClassicalMusica (talk) 15:27, 3 September 2009 (UTC))ClassicalMusica (talk) 15:32, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, the sources you cited are primarily fan based and not considered valid according to WP:Verifiability. Also, personal experience or research is not considered valid by Wikipedia standards. However, I propose a compromise: Since Horowitz's place of birth is mentioned in the early life and career section, I propose we drop the Russian/Ukranian reference entirely from the first paragraph, and simply list him as the American pianist. This has the additional advantage of being in accordance with Horowitz wishes, who stated "I am an American. I've lived here longer than in Russia. This is my home".THD3 (talk)

I totally agree with that. Thank you,indeed,for your work and studies about Vladimir Horowitz.It will be appreciated endless by all next generations.Thanks for connecting. Look forward to learning more about u & what u share with the world.ClassicalMusica (talk) 16:06, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the suggestion made by THD3, which is not only practical but also technically unimpeachable. And since ClassicalMusica has agreed too, I think we should implement it. If any editor should have qualms or issues in respect of this matter, we can always rediscuss it here. MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 19:28, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

From WP:MOSBIO on the opening para:
Nationality – In the normal case this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable... Ethnicity should generally not be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability.
Since Horowitz was a Russian, not Ukrainian, subject/citizen, there should be no reason to mention Ukraine in the opening para. unless Horowitz self-identified as Ukrainian. Grover cleveland (talk) 19:48, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
He most certainly did not. In interviews, VH consistently refers to his early life in Russia not Ukraine. In the interview which took place for Time Magazine's article on his return to Moscow, he was quoted: "I have never forgotten my Russia. I remember the smells when the snow melts and the spring arrives" [1].

I disagree. The mention to Ukraine should be made, becasue he was born in what is now Ukraine. He was not a Ukrainian citizen, but initially a Russian citizen, but not ethnically Russian. This would be akin to saying he was born in Wales, ethnically Scotch but a British citizen or National. Bandurist (talk) 12:01, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

It is mentioned, in the Early life and career section. It need not also be mentioned in the introduction, as it's redundant. WP:MOSBIO outlines the Wikipedia guidelines clearly. Ethnicity is generally not mentioned in the intro (unless it's of some special significance, which it's NOT here) nationality is.THD3 (talk) 12:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Well,it has been reverted to Russian again...I wouldn't come back here,but it seems this article deserves your attention,dear scholars..."Beethoven was Russian!": I can only add that a common sense should be used.If we study music with Russian teacher or play Russian music,then it shows our respect to Russian culture ,but it doesn't make us to be Russians,or Kiev -Russian city.ClassicalMusica (talk) 10:04, 6 September 2009 (UTC)P.S.For [[User:Bandurist|Bandurist]I desagree with you,because the link of enciplopedian knowledge should not be broken with reality.If a person has died as an American citizen,then He is American.For all other matters,such as musical influences,country of origin,there are parts of the article.'Nationality – In the normal case this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable... Ethnicity should generally not be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability.'ClassicalMusica (talk) 11:00, 6 September 2009 (UTC)I simply want to remand you the story about Solomon,two mothers and a baby...If you truly love that artist you should remember where it was better for him.Not just to have him."All artists dream of a silence which they must enter, as some creatures return to the sea to spawn. --Iris Murdoch ClassicalMusica (talk) 11:16, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Horowitz lived in America for most of his life, some 50 years and chose to become an American citizen. He only lived in Russia for 22 years. Describing him in the opening paragraph as anything other than Russian-American or Russian-born American or better yet American pianist of Russian birth is disingenuous. Remember also that WP:OPENPARA is not set in stone. It is an evolving guideline.MisterCSharp (talk) 21:08, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
He was a national of Russia when he became notable as a pianist. I cannot see any consensus on this page wherefore I suggest to follow the general guidelines. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 08:10, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Jaan, consensus was reached on 2 September 2009, per my edit on that date (see above). That does not prelude a new consensus being established, but until that it achieved, it's best to keep the verbiage in question as previously decided.THD3 (talk) 23:10, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Not as simple as it looks. He was born in Kiev, currently the capital of Ukraine. When he was born it was a part of the Russian Empire. This would give him Russian citizenship at the time of his birth. In 1918 you had the establishment of Ukrainian Natonal Republic with Kiev its capital. Horovitz at the age of 15 became a Ukrainian national. Then this republic was taken over by the Ukrainian Soviet State with its capital Kharkiv. For 5 years Horowitz was a Ukrainian national, indeed at the time he became an adult and got his adult passport he would have had a Ukrainian passport. In 1923 the Ukrainian Soviet State joined Russia and Belаrus to form the USSR. For 2 years of his adult life Horowitz was a Soviet national. Bandurist (talk) 17:09, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Alright, at least this demonstrates no current consensus on the matter. For all we know, he was not an American when he became notable in 1920-1922, wherefore him being American should not be emphasized in the opening statement. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 15:19, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Enclyclopedia Brittanica lists Horowitz as Russian-born American, which is how he was listed in this article for a while. FWIW, the Arthur Rubinstein article lists him as a Polish-American pianist.THD3 (talk) 00:52, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Polish-American - wow. What part of him was Polish. Was he ever in Poland. Did he speak Polish› I think that is inaccurate and demonstrates some of the inaccuracies that exist in that part of the world. He certainly was not a Polish national, nor born in Poland, nor ethnically Polish. I can't understand what is wrong with Ukrainian. Many Russians often say it is just a dialect of Russia and just a region of Russia. It would be more accurate even from this point of view. (talk) 12:27, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I can't understand what is wrong with applying the policy - 'nationality when the person became notable'. So far I have seen no argument against this. None of us will have trouble in finding reliable sources calling Horowitz Jewish, Russian, Ukrainian, Soviet, Polish, American, or something else. There is no way to tell for most of the sources what they mean by that - birth place, native tongue, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship at the moment of the editor's choice, or something else. We as Wikipedia editors have the job to standardise the articles according to Wikipedia policies. So my suggestion is stop the wild goose chase and to focus on what was Horowitz's nationality when he became notable as a pianist. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 13:32, 13 December 2011 (UTC)


Recently, I tweaked the recordings section. I'm not sure about the best way to clarify one matter, however: RCA and HMV. The paragraph almost makes it seem as if RCA had some special arrangement with HMV to have HMV record Horowitz due to the Great Depression. Not true. ALL RCA recording artists went through HMV when recording in Europe, which was affiliated with RCA. Those recordings were distributed in the US by RCA and Europe through HMV. Indeed, when Horowitz toured England and France in 1951, he recorded four short works for HMV.THD3 14:44, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Grammy awards[edit]

Horowitz was nominated for a number of Grammy Awrds, and won several, as I recall. He also received a Lifetime Acheivement Award from the Grammys. I don't know much about the awards, though -- does anyone know enough of the Grammys or Horowitz (or both) to be able to add a paragraph? I'd have to go around and learn about the various awards before I could write, so I thought I'd ask and see if this knowledge is out there in Wikipediland. :-) Jwrosenzweig 22:04, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This section has no discernable order. Some of the awards are presented in chronological order, some in reverse order. I'm working on it and plan to place the awards in Chronoligical order. I am also adding some non-Grammy awards such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I have a Horowitz LP titled "Horowitz Plays Rachmaninoff", with live recordings from 1967/68, which brings on the front cover the information: "2 Grammy Awards Winner - Best Instrumental Performance/Best Classical Album. However, these awards are not listed in the relevant part on the Horowitz page. Could anyone please clarify whether or not Horowitz won Grammy awards for that recording ? MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 15:00, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


I find it hard to understand why there is no mention of Horowitz' homosexuality. I feel it is important to mention that he underwent very publicly acknowledged treatment for it in the 1950s. Dveej

When did he acknowledge it? Kasyapa

This has been mentioned in the Plaskin biography which was well researched and documented. Horowitz described electroshock as a "wonderful treatment which heals the nerves." THD3

Note that he did not describe it as a "wonderful treatment to eradicate homosexuality." LeonardoCiampa (talk) 03:22, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
The electroshock treatment was for depression, not homosexuality. Conversion therapy does not necessarily mean electroshock.THD3 (talk) 14:39, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Horowitz's sexuality is now addressed, with proper sourcing, in the article under the Personal life section. Although the section has been removed from time to time by anonymous users, it winds up being reinstated.THD3 (talk) 15:47, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I have done some additional refining of the personal life section, reinstating some deleted material concerning Horowitz's consultation with psychiatrists for his sexuality and electroshock treatment for depression. I have also moved the bit about his medication use and drinking to this section. Generally, when people refer to Horowitz's "last years", they mean from his 1985 reemergence onward.THD3 (talk) 16:10, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I would also add that the weasel words being thrown into this section, like allegedly, rumored only serve to water down the article. Also, the addition of qualifying phrases, like According to gay author Glenn Plaskin are equally out of place. It implies that Plaskin only alleged that Horowitz was gay for his own agenda, which is belied by his own research - including an interview with the son of Horowitz's psychiatrist. The information is properly sourced, let's leave it at that. It doesn't need to be double-sourced by textual additions. "Horowitz denied being homosexual," is fine. (So did Liberace.) We have the man's denial. People can accept it at face value, or chalk it up as phychological denialTHD3 (talk) 19:29, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
An interview with the son of Horowitz's psychiatrist is HEARSAY (not to mention being suggestive of a massive impropriety and lack of professionalism for that "psychiatrist"...), and cannot be considered a reliable source. In addition to that: Plaskin is highly partisan on this issue.Galassi (talk) 19:38, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Galassi is, of course, exactly correct. (a) Plaskin is not impartial on this question. (b) It is highly unlikely that a licensed psychiatrist would break the doctor-patient privilege by gossiping with his son. (c) It's not enough to correctly name a source, using the ref tags correctly, etc., if said source is not trustworthy! Hearsay and gossip are not fact. LeonardoCiampa (talk) 03:22, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Read Wikipedia's sourcing guidelines, we go by those, not your personal opinion of what is or is not "fact." The homosexuality and therapy claims have been mentioned in numerous sources, including Schonberg's bio, and more recently Byron Janis' autobio.THD3 (talk) 14:39, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
The statements regarding Horowitz's sexuality and his treatment are also corroborated in Schonberg's bio. Are we now to consider Schonberg an impartial source?THD3 (talk) 02:26, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I have added a second source regarding Horowitz's attempt at conversion therapy - and I have deleted the qualifying language, which is unwarranted. The paragraphs in question far exceed Wikipedia guidelines for sourcing. If some still feel this is not enough, then arbitration is the next logical step.THD3 (talk) 02:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Read my previous comment. It says "including the son of Horowitz's psychiatrist." Others are interviewed, although I have no doubt you'll find reasons to poke holes in their assertions as well. Schonberg, certainly not one driven by a "gay agenda" also wrote flatly: "Horowitz preferred men" (page 131 of the hardcover). Again, pointing out the sexual orientation of a source is, well, WP:Pointy. No one has seriously taken issue with the accuracy of Plaskin's book since it was published 26 years ago. I am restoring the text with the original citation. Page numbers are not necessary and with different printings of the book, useless. Bottom line: This meets the criterion for WP:Verifiability. If the text is reverted or weasled again, I will submit for arbitration. THD3 (talk) 03:12, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

I have reverted Galassi's revert of my edit adding the Byron Janis source regarding Horowitz's sexuality and his efforts to change it. Certainly, no one would assert that Janis, who was part of the Horowitz inner circle for decades was either politically or otherwise motivated to spread rumors for their own sake. This more than meets Wikipedia guidelines for sourcing, and there is no need for qualifying language such as "so-and-so said that Horowitz was homosexual." Between Plaskin (who some apparently disregard), Schonberg, Janis, Dubal, and a host of others, this paragraph has been cited ad-absurdum. If it doesn't satisfy either editor, then that's their issue, not Wikipedia's, and I will contact an administrator for arbitration.THD3 (talk) 17:33, 29 January 2011 (UTC)


The article has Samoilovich, but I've read his father's name was Simeon, making Vlad's patronymic Simeonovich. Can anyone confirm either way? Cheers JackofOz 13:58, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Don't worry. I've just done a google search. Not a single hit for Simeonovich, but plenty for Samoilovich. Hmmm ... wonder where I got that idea from. JackofOz 14:17, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

A certain has just replaced Samoylovich with Brian (??!!). I've already reverted it. Vandalism really moves in strange ways... MUSIKVEREIN 16:10, 7 August, 2007

Regarding patronymic -

  • 1) This is a Russian convention which was introduced to Ukraine from Russia not always followed in Ukraine, particularly in Western Ukraine. Even today there is a tendency to avoid it in Western Ukraine where they use Pan (Mister) instead.
  • 2) TRANSLITERATION from either Ukrainian or Russian - Basically in the old days a numer of letters were written the same but pronounced differently in Ukrainian in comparison to Russian. In time the spelling began to reflect the manner in which it was pronounced. Thuis we have ich in Russian, and ych (slightly harder) in Ukrainian, You have the soft palitization to i in Ukraianian, whereas Russian went though a period where the language was softened but the reverted back thus the -iv endings in Ukrainian in comparison to the -ov endings in Russian. Same word but difference in regional pronouciation
  • 3 Simeon was his fathers name, however it is very Jewish. Many Jews in Ukraine changed their patronymic to a more Russian, Ukrainian, Christian version in order to lessen the anti-semitic sentiments which reigned uncontrolled in certain areas of Society. In recent times I have seen a tendency to reverse this, even in documents about musicians who passed away 40 years ago, although this is by no means common. It is just a tendency I have noticed. It may be worth while to include the Simenovych in Brackets. Just my pennies worth. --Bandurist 22:40, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I have seen Horowitz's middle name transliterated as Semyonovich. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 27 February 2014 (UTC)


After the quotation of his aphorism 'there are three kinds...'the text goes on to clumsily spell out what is more than covered by the adjective 'ambiguous'.In my view there is no need for this-it pratronises the reader, its less than felicitous and its redundant. Any comments? Eric A. Warbuton 02:27, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I must be one of the people for whom that (removed as of today's date) explanation is necessary: although I understand the meaning of the word "ambiguous", I fail to see any ambiguity in the oft-repeated "there are three kinds..." quote. Am I missing something? Dveej 15:36, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


To use the adjective 'horowitzian' in a description of Horowitz's art is illogical because of its self referencing. As a suggestion 'highly mannered' instead? Of course somewhere else in the entry a defintion of 'horowitzian' would be valuable. Any comments? Eric A. Warbuton 03:12, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

"Critics claim that his performance style is overly mannered (termed Horowitzian), and often too much so to be true to the composer's intentions." This is a ludicrous statement. He was a musician's musician, almost universally revered by his peers, by performers as diverse as Sergei Rachmaninoff and Murray Perahia. Ignorant critics who didn't understand him or the depth of his art glibly dismissed his playing as mannered. But they do that for any great artist with personality -- Richter, Gould, Von Karajan, Bernstein, etc. This reveals the deafness of most critics to his interpretive powers, and their mistaken belief that an interpreter's highest art is to perform without any expression. Can you imagine an stage actor being praised for performing in a mechanical monotone? Yet this is expected by music critics.
Simply put, he was being true to the composer's intentions. Anybody who has read eyewitness or first-hand accounts of performances by composers themselves know that liberties were not only accepted but demanded. Mozart writes of his frustration with orchestras who follow his rubato too closely, rather than let him be spontaneous like a singer. Czerny describes Beethoven making enormous dramatic pauses or frequent tempo fluctuations. Musicians even debated with Chopin whether he played his mazurkas in 3/4 or 4/4. Of the major composers, only Stravinsky expected performers to be time-keepers. Everyone else expected performers to bring the notes to life, to mzke the piano sing, to move people emotionally. Even the "objective" performances of Artur Schnabel are mannered by modern standards.
Horowitz was a direct link to the Grand Romantic tradition of pianists, and one of the greatest in history. "Horowitzian" is likely meant as an insult, but I can think of no higher praise.
I think the comment should be removed entirely, especially as the Virgil Thomson quote appears later anyhow. What I shall do is combine it with the following sentence. 01:27, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Good edit. Generally "Horowitzian" has not been used to reference any mannerisms but technical and tonal attributes.THD3 04:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I've added a {{Fact}} to the "mannered" criticism. I don't doubt that he has been called mannered, but it would be nice to have a definitive citation. Personally I find that critics will use the word "mannered" when they dislike a performance but are too lazy to figure out a more precise description of what it is that they don't care for Grover cleveland 14:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Both Harold Schonberg and Harris Goldsmith used the "mannered" term from the 1970s onward. To the best of my knowledge, it was Goldsmith who coined the Horowitzian term, and it was meant as a complement. He wrote a positive review referring to another pianist's recording of the Rachmaninoff Second Sonata, and referred to the performance as Horowitzian.THD3 15:31, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
To me, Harold Schonberg epitomizes the "mannered" critic: magnanimous, bombastic, and simply not musical. He harshly criticized both Horowitz and Gould, and that is reason enough for me to disregard his opinions on musicians he just never could've bettered. --Seaface 07:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I think there is a misunderstanding as to Schonberg's position here. Throughout his life as a music critic, Schonberg was largely favourable to Horowitz, as shown in his books "The Great Pianists" and "The Glorious Ones" (later republished as "Virtuosi"). He even dedicated a whole work to the pianist ("Horowitz-His Life and Music"), in which his view, some criticism notwithstanding, is again vastly in Horowitz' favour. All considered, there is no doubt that Schonberg regarded Horowitz as one of the greatest pianists in history. MUSIKVEREIN 12:05, 4 July 2007

Wouldn't Horowitz now be termed "virtuoso style" or "virtuosic"? Romantic music is now judged on its merits and I believe that romantic virtuoso performers are now judged on their individual musical ability rather than their overall style. I saw a reference to the vanishing romantic virtuoso style in a review of Vox CD #7210 written by critic Victor Carr on the "ClassicsToday" website. Horowitz had undisputed musical ability and should fit into this category. [Beyondfan]
Agreed, (Beyondfan). Even though I strongly am aware that Wikipedia is not based on a belief system, I believe strongly that the term "Horowitzian" simply refereed to Vladimir Horowitz's virtuosity, and any stylistic or musicological approaches to his performances, and to his view on music. It would be strange to name a manner after a Musician (of highly recognized calibre). Every virtuoso would soon then have a "-ian" to their name, regardless of how distinct their style may be. Arvindan (talk) 01:35, 5 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arvindan Thekkadath (talkcontribs) 01:34, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Citations, please?[edit]

I posted this to the user page of an IP address:User:

"I was looking at your entries at Vladimir Horowitz. It would be helpful if you could cite your sources for the information you have added to that article. A web link would be preferable, but I have an extensive university library (several, in fact) where I could check print source material. If citing print, please indicate the page number(s). That would of course, save a lot of time at my end. Also, I do encourage you to establish a user account. There are many benifits, not the least of which is the opportunity to collaborate with other editors that may share your interests. I appreciate your desire to expand the sum of human knowledge, I only ask for some citations to back up an edit which could be considered inflamitory, if not properly cited. Thanks again, and please consider a user account for yourself. See you 'round!" My signature.

I will look at this article again within 24 hours. Hopefully there will be something to hang this line of reportage on by then. Peace! Hamster Sandwich 06:27, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestions.

I have made several minor edits and corrections to this page. I hope they have been formatted correctly, if not, please feel free to fix them. Most of the corrections come from Glenn Plaskin's 1983 biography which, despite being out of date, is the best researched book on Horowitz's life (particularly the early years). After returning to the stage in 1965, Horowitz never played more than about twenty concerts per season. His most active seasons were 1975-1976, and 1985-1986.

The issue of recording labels during Horowitz's early career can be confusing. Horowitz's first recordings (1928-1930) were made in America for RCA. From 1930-1936 (the year of his first retirement) he recorded for RCA's Eurpoean affiliate, HMV. The HMV catalogue has been reissued by EMI. From 1940-1959, Horowitz recorded for RCA (with the exception of four short works he recorded for HMV while touring England in 1951). From 1962-1973, he recorded for Columbia, now Sony. He returned to RCA in 1975 (he was "loaned" to Columbia for the recording of Carnegie Hall's 85th Aniversay Concert in May, 1976) and remained there until 1982. Horowitz recorded for Deutsche Grammophon from 1985-1989, until signing with Sony Classical for his last recording. THD3

The question of citations also brings up the Virgil Thompson quote. I'm pretty familiar with Thompson's writings, and I've never seen the "Horowitz may be a fascinating pianist, but never a fine musician" quote. I am familiar with Thompson's famous quote that Horowitz was a "master of distortion" which Horowitz answered with a tart "so was Michelangelo, so was El Greco."

Should not Thompson's quote also be cited?


Please discuss the section on sexuality beofore deleting it. We need references to support any claims on Horowitz's sexuality but for the time being this section should not be deleted. David618 18:16, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

On the other hand, information that has been added to the article should be properly cited at the time of its inclusion. Feel free to re-add the section on Horowitz's sexuality when you have found a suitable and verifiable source. Hamster Sandwich 19:36, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of whether there is a citation to prove anything about Horowitz's sexuality it is still necessary that we acknowledge that fact that some dispute his sexuality. David618 04:35, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I did find a book written by Mark Mitchell called Virtuosi: A Defense and a (Sometimes Erotic) Celebration of Great Pianists. Mitchell does discuss the sexuality of many virtuossi; I have not read the book but if Horowitz's sexuality is mentioned somewhere it would be in this book. An article in Foward [2] does mention does atribute the three types of pianists quote to Horowitz, which I believe is enough evidence to mention in the article that Horowitz is attributed as saying the quote. David618 05:06, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
If you need authoritative references to Horowitz's homosexuality, you can easily cite Glenn Plaskin's "Horowitz," the most extensive biography of Horowitz's early life. Many details of his sexual life in Paris and later are recounted. I believe that Harold Schonberg's "Horowitz" also mentions the pianist's homosexuality (If my memory serves me), and this from someone who was never comfortable, in all his years as a music critic and writer, with that topic in any of his subjects. 11:20, 5 April 2006 (UTC)Allen Roth
I replaced the section of Horowitz's sexuality becuase there is enough evidence to at least mention the claim. David618 21:07, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Horowitz's sexuality has been well documented in several books including the Glann Plaskin and Harold Schonberg biographies. What other documentation are the "denial" people expecting, covert photographs? (But if they're looking for some, I have a photo of Horowitz from around 1950 at a party at George Cukor's house, showing Horowitz with his arm around an attractive young blond man.)

A user under the name of LorenzoPerosi1898 has made numerous revisions to this article without citing evidence, including the assertion that Horowitz had a sexual relationship with Byron Janis. I've been studying Horowitz for 23 years and I have never heard this assertion. Now is it cited in any literature about Horowitz, even Glenn Plaskin's biography which "outed" Horowitz. Please do not make these kind of changes to articles withouth citing verifiable evidence. THD3

Once again, LorenzoPerosi1898 has inserted a paragraph mentioning a sexual relationship between Horowitz and Byron Janis. There is no evidence, to support this assertion. There is only gossip, and Schonberg's biography mentions that there was gossip, but does not support this assertion. To include this information without supporting evidence that can be independently verified is irresponsible and this paragraph has been deleted. THD3

I don't understand why this Horowitz quote is in the article, and made to insinuate that he is gay:

“ There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists. ”

Horowitz WAS jewish, therefore he is denying that he falls into the homosexual category...— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The quote itself does not imply anything about Horowitz's sexuality. That being said it does not necissarily exclude him from being in both the Jewish and homosexual groups. All the information that it gives is his view on what types of people he thinks plays the piano (including himself). The quote should be kept though I think that its introduction is a bit much, so I will make it more neutral. —David618 t 21:21, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
The remark by that the issue of Horowitz's homosexuality only appears on one biography is not only irrelevant, it is facually inaccurate. Horowitz's preference for men was mentioned in BOTH the Schonberg and Plaskin biographies. It has also been the subject in countless articles in magazines and elsewhere.THD3 21:55, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
In addition, comments suggesting Horowitz's homosexuality can be found in Artur Rubinstein's autobiography.123jascha 15:47, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I am not aware of any comments regarding Horowitz's sexuality in Rubinstein's autobiograpy, although he did comment on it during his interview with Glenn Plaskin. Can you refer to the page and which volume of Rubinstein's book the comments are in?THD3 18:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Myself, I can tell you that Rubinstein doesn't mention it, although he does say of his marriage to Wanda Toscanini that it was a surprise. Anyway, see Rubinstein's "My Many Years", p. 334. (My edition is Hamish Hamilton, 1987) Philip Howard 15:45, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Although Rubinstein did not mention Horowitz's sexuality in Rubinstein's autobiography, he did discuss it during an interview with Glenn Plaskin for Plaskin's Horowitz biography.THD3 23:41, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

After several changes after the last few days, a reference to David Dubal's book "Evenings with Horowitz" was added. The problem is that the text in the article contradicts Dubal's statement that VH was attracted to the male body - so I've placed that in the article. Also, the comment that Horowitz was not sexually during the years Dubal knew him is a bit disingeunous. Horowitz was in his 80s, after all.THD3 (talk) 17:20, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Here's a New York Times article where one Kenneth Leedom, a former Executive Director of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, claims to have been Horowitz's personal assistant for five years, traveling extensively with him, and was Horowitz's lover at the time, despite his wife and children. [3]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 8 September 2013 (UTC)


The issue of Horowitz's spoken languages is a relevant one, and I will work to upgrade this. Horowitz was fluent in Russian (of course), and proficient in English, but once commented that his dreams were in French--and that was the language he used with his wife. THD3


Came here to learn if had any children. Found neither confirmation nor denial. Could this information be added? David Colver 11:21, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Updated the information for Sonia Toscanini Horowitz. I also deleted the suicide reference. As noted in both Plaskin's and Schonberg's biography, it has never been determined whether Sonia's death--by drug overdose--was accidental or intentional. (THD)

Drug overdose? Sonia was killed when her motorcycle hit squarely into a tree. I believe that fact is mentioned in both the Schonberg and Plaskin biographies. In any case, there is no proof that it was suicide, but the article ought to state that suicide is the generally accepted opinion as to the cause of death. 15:02, 21 July 2006 (UTC) Nash's Companion
Wrong. Sonia's motor scooter accident was in 1957--shortly after her grandfather, Toscanini, died. As documented in both the Plaskina and Schonberg bios, she never fully recovered. 16:25, 15 August 2006 THD3


Revised the intro. Traditionaly, it is one's profession and/or lifetime achievement, and their place of birth that is used in the opening line. Him being Jewish, nor his American citizenship (acquired later in life) should be discussed within the body of the article, not the first line.

Hear, hear. What is this Wikipedia obsession with ethnicity? Look up Andy Garcia, and they identify him as a "Cuban-American actor." If I lived in China, France, or Thailand, I would consider him an American actor. The article, after all, can always mention that his heritage is Cuban, or birth, or whatever. This remains a mystery to me. 15:08, 21 July 2006 (UTC) Nash's Companion

I don't understand the term "Jewish-born". Does this mean he was a Jew when he was born, but later changed? To me, "X-born" refers to nationality, not religion - eg "Mel Gibson is an American-born Australian actor". If it's simply that he's Jewish, surely that should be the term? I too dislike the obsession with ethnicity. I have not changed it, though, in case it means something I'm not familiar with. --Kitty Davis 07:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand the term "Jewish-born" either. I am unsure as to who keeps adding this. Not only is it ambiguous, it's also not worthy of a mention. The opening line traditionally refers to one's place of birth (in this case Ukraine). Unless an individual's ethnicity/religious heritage was the reason behind their most noteworthy achievement, it's not worthy of an inclusion in the header. As such, I am removing the phrase. If anyone wishes to challenge this viewpoint, I am open to debate it. Gordon Freeman 19:25, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

We cannot understand much about Horowitz's life without knowing that he was Jewish. As a wunderkind taught by his mother, Horowitz's youth and family were fundamental to his life and work.

The education, residence, and professions of Jews in the Russian Empire were severely restricted by the May Laws, in effect from 1882 to 1917. The fact that Horowitz was Jewish sheds some light on the claims that he was born in Berdichev, which was then 80% Jewish, rather than Kiev, from whence the Jews had been expelled 17 years earlier.

Like all Ukrainian Jews of the early twentieth century, Horowitz was in terrible danger. His birth occurred six months after the first Kishinev pogrom. Just after his second birthday, Jews in Ukraine's largest cities were murdered by the hundreds in pogroms, including many children (most notably in Odessa and Yekaterinoslav, which is now Dnipropetrovsk). There were also many deadly anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine from 1917 to 1922. In 1940, Horowitz's resettlement in the United States was fortunate considering that nearly one million Jews in Ukraine, the majority of Ukraine's Jews, were systematically murdered by the Nazis (Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, p. 403. [4]). --Hoziron 07:14, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

In line with other Wiki bios of classical musicians, the intro paragraph now gives his name, nationality (including ethnicity if it differs from nationality) and reason(s) for notability.THD3 (talk) 20:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

"Unique in the history of the instrument..."[edit]

I take issue with the comment that Horowitz could get a tremendous volume of sound out of the piano, without banging, and that this was unique. On the contrary, exactly the same thing was said of Liszt's playing by critics of the time.

I have heard neither Liszt nor Horowitz play, so I can't make a direct comparison, but I can also say that I recently heard a fourth-year conservatorium student get a surreal amount of sound out of a piano in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. I have no doubt that Horowitz was remarkably in his ability to produce tone, but perhaps the rest of the sentence should be removed.

I agree. Uniqueness, particularly about artistic matters, is virtually unprovable. JackofOz 12:45, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Normally, I would agree with your statements. But ask virtually anyone who heard him live, and you will hear these comments. Both Schonberg and Plaskin mention this. Furthermore, look at contemporary reviews of his concerts. Everyone in the pianistic world constantly wondered and speculated about how he was able to produce volume the way he did. There were rumors of "doctored pianos," filed hammers, etc. In this case, his ability to produce volume is well documented; there was no disagreement about that, whatever else one may have thought about his musicianship. 15:05, 21 July 2006 (UTC) Nash's Companion
It may be worth noting that Schonberg mentions one elderly critic who had heard Liszt and Anton Rubinstein in his youth say that Horowitz was the greatest in history. Kasyapa
This is all fine, but in the absence of a written statement by someone who heard both Liszt and Horowitz play, you can't say that he was unique in the "history of the instrument". Ckerr 06:46, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth: I've heard Horowitz 5 times (1978 in NY, 1980 in NY, 1981 in London, 1985 in Paris, 1986 in Hamburg), as well as many other "greats" of the 20th century such as Rubinstein, Kempff, Michelangeli, Richter, Arrau, Gilels, Brendel, Pollini and so on. Among these he was indeed unique exactly in the way you all describe. A friend of mine, the outstanding German music critic Joachim Kaiser, has always felt the same way. I was told by someone who took a masterclass with Krystian Zimerman recently that Zimerman told the class he spent years trying to figure out how the old man produced the fortissimi in Scriabin's op. 8 no. 12 in the November 2, 2005, Paris recital (I remember seeing Zimerman in the audience there). But we must not forget Josef Hoffman (very much a 20th-century pianist), whom Harold Schonberg heard and ranked above Horowitz in virtuosity and raw volume. Some of this can be heard on Hoffman's extant recordings. So Horowitz is unique in his fortissimi among pianists of the 70 years or so. But he is not superior to Hoffman in this regard. What's worse, reliable sources rank Anton Rubinstein above Hoffman in this regard, and yet other and again reliable sources say very clearly that Liszt was immeasurably above Anton Rubinstein in every regard. I love Horowitz, and he stands firmly among the great piano virtuosi of all tme, but he is not superior to the greatest among them in volume and power. 123jascha 15:40, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I beg to differ. Schonberg never ranked Hofmann above Horowitz in virtuosity and raw volume (though he certainly considered the Pole an overall superior pianist). As to technique, he said that Horowitz had "the most brilliant technique of his day and possibly in pianistic history". And on raw volume, he wrote of Horowitz' "thunderous sonority, achieved without banging, that is unique in the annals of piano playing" (quotes from Schonberg's book The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present). Therefore, in terms of sound production, maybe Horowitz was unique after all. MUSIKVEREIN 16:45, 10 August, 2007

Horowitz's burial[edit]

There have recently been some edits regarding Horowitz's burial. The anecdotal story that he was buried with a copy of Hanon's excercises has been disputed. I have researched the issue and there is no evidence whatsoever that Horowitz was buried with the excercises, or, indeed, any musical score. I have therefore removed the reference to it. THD3

Tank you. A wise choice. Hanon, of all things? Highly implausible. I understand that as a teenager he slept with the score of Goetterdaemmerung. It would be quite a descent musically to go from that to Hanon. I have follow Horowitzian matters closely for over 30 years, and I've never heard a reliable confirmation of this somewhat silly rumor. 123jascha 15:45, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Names of composers' works[edit]

This isn't particular to Horowitz, but is relevant to the most recent edits by User:Emerson7. I prefer to say, eg. "Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1", but Emerson has changed this to "the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1". There is no such piece of music as "the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1". There is a Piano Concerto No 1, written by Tchaikovsky. The word "Tchaikovsky" is not an adjective, it's a person's name, and a noun. I know that in colloquial spoken language it's common to say "the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1", but imo it's not appropriate for an encyclopedia. What do others think? JackofOz 04:40, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

indeed, there is no the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 it should be--and what i've corrected the references to--is the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. --emerson7 | Talk 05:52, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with JackofOz. Leaving out the apostrophe s is wrong. It's like saying "I hand" or "me hand" instead of "my hand". "Tchaikovsky's" is correct, in my opinion. Unfree (talk) 06:10, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Early 1980s Medication[edit]

I have removed the citation needed tag for Horowitz use of prescribed medication from 1981-1983. This is fully documented in numerous places, including Harold Schonberg's biography. THD3 01:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Please add inline citations to these places in the article. I've reinserted the tags.Grover cleveland 18:10, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
OK. DoneTHD3 18:45, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Transliteration of Patronymic[edit]

  • The Ukrainian patronymic Самійлович apparently transliterates to Samiilovych. (I don't profess to know Ukrainian).
  • The Russian one Самойлович transliterates to Samoylovich.

But what we have is Samoylovych, which is neither. It looks like the Russian patronymic spelt in a kind of Ukrainian way. Did Horowitz use this spelling himself, or is there any other authority for its use? If neither, we'd need to decide on either the Ukrainian or Russian version. JackofOz 00:54, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Given the lack of response, I've changed it to Samoylovich. -- JackofOz 02:31, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
And also in the infobox. -- JackofOz 06:22, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
The use of the Patronymic is specifically russian. It was not used in Western Ukraine an even in eastern Ukraine was avoided in many cases. It was introduced to Ukraine from Russia. I'm ethnically Ukrainian, born in Australia however I studied at the Kiev conservatory. Despite being spoken to with my patronymic my diploma does not have it because it was not in my passport.

Horowitz was an American citizen. the use of a patronymic is of a secondary nature as he did not live most of his life in Russia. --Bandurist 13:31, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

He became an American citizen, but his life did not start only then. At birth, his name included a patronymic. If we're going to show what it was, as any decent encyclopedia would for any Russian-born person, we should show it accurately. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:22, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
This cannot be settled apart from his nationality in the WP:OPENPARA. If he was American, then this civilisation does not use the patronymic. If he was Russian or Ukrainian, then the it should be used accordingly. Russian American is not a nationality but rather an ethnicity. Why would anyone get away with edit warring to violate this policy is beyond me. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 21:51, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Who's edit warring? Not sure what your point is, but Horowitz was not just one thing all his life. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 22:18, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
The page history is there for everyone to check whether anyone's edit warring. So is the policy. I don't think anyone ever said Horowitz had the same nationality for his whole career. If you read the policy, you see it is beside the point anyhow. My point is: the policy is to attribute the nationality when the person became notable. This will solve some other problems such as the patronymic. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 22:36, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
It's most unhelpful to make vague references to edit warring without ever getting to the point of identifying particular instances of it that have caused you some concern. Unless you're prepared to do that, please don't bring this in here as an issue. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 22:59, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Here are the diffs: [5], [6], and [7]. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 23:24, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

This was his name: Vladimir Semyonovich Horowitz ... dki, New Yoru — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:35, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Emotional Impact[edit]

I seem to recall that Horowitz's performance in Moscow in the late 80s was not only of international political significance, but was, indeed, of tremendous emotional significance to Horowitz himself, who (as I recall) was overcome at the conclusion of his concert. Does this deserve mentioning whatsoever? -EarthRise33 04:16, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I have a DVD of the concert, and while there are several shots of audience members openly weeping, I was unable to find a shot of Horowitz in a similar state. Nevertheless, Horowitz did state in interviews that his return to Russia was an emotional event for him.THD3 16:29, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I remember reading about that concert at the time. It was very emotional for the audience as well. I don't have a reference, but I remember reading that the initial concert went unpublicized, but the news spread by word of mouth and the concert sold out. Artists who had defected had never before been allowed back in before, so this was a big deal. The article could make more of Horowitz' defection. (It could, for example, actually use the word "defection" for what Horowitz did.) Horowitz in 1920s Russia had the appeal of a modern-day rock star. (Russians love their classical pianists far more than we do in the west.) For the Soviet government to break from its threat to arrest a returning defector and allow Horowitz to return and perform was very moving to everyone at the time. If I had references, I would add all this to the article. --MiguelMunoz (talk) 23:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
There was only one concert on the outside of the Moscow Conservatory advertising his concert. Of course, that same approach got him sold out in Boston where I heard him. As for his defection, Ronald Reagan had personally guaranteed his safety for the trip (Horowitz became concerned when Vladimir Feltsman's piano had been vandalized during a concert). As an American citizen, the Soviets could not have legally arrested him for having left. And in the new era of openness heralded by Mikhail Gorbachev, they would not have even risked it.THD3 (talk) 00:46, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
A piano was vandalized during a concert!? I find that astonishing, and it isn't mentioned in the "Vladimir Feltsman" article. I wonder what happened, and how the audience reacted. Unfree (talk) 06:21, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


It's an excellent article! Any editors are interested in a good article nomination? --Yury Petrachenko (talk) 19:40, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I just wanted to drop in and say that I enjoyed reading this article, especially the Repertoire and technique section. (talk) 09:44, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

How to Horowitz a piano[edit]

As much as I enjoyed reading this article, I must confess I'm disappointed to find it devoid of any mention of Horowitz as a master of piano technology. It is very rare for anybody, especially people who aren't piano technicians, to grasp the intricacies of how piano actions behave, and how they respond to variations of regulation, that is, all the adjustments piano technicians make, anciently by trimming felts and leathers or building them up, and nowadays by turning screws or bending springs, etc. Piano regulation is a fine art, often taken for granted. Horowitz, above all pianists, understood these intricacies clearly, more clearly than most technicians, and developed his own customized methodology for regulating his piano, known to technicians as "Horowitzing" it.

Personally, I've never understood exactly what was involved. Each adjustment has a name, and in each piano, a measurement prescribed by the piano manufacturer, but measurements are not important. What is, is the performance, encompassing everything from the composition of the music, to the manufacturing, voicing, regulation, and tuning of the piano through the skills and artistry of the pianist and the acoustics of the environment, to the conditioning of the air, and to the physiological and psychological impact of the music on each listener-appreciater. What Horowitz did to his piano is a legend among piano technicians, and of special interest to me, as a (retired) piano technician here in Miami, while his instrument is on exhibit in our local Steinway and Sons dealership (along with Van Cliburn's) until the end of December.

So, will somebody please explain what Horowitzing a piano is all about, and what to look for in Vladimir's own beloved Steinway, PLEASE? (Incidentally, his relatives live here still, and I had the great honor of tuning their piano. What a thrill!) Unfree (talk) 05:31, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

The talk page of this article is not the place to seek advice on Horowitz's piano, it's for discussing how to improve the article. That said, Franz Mohr's book, My Life with the Great Pianists, contains quite a bit of information on the five pianos Horowitz used in the last 25 years of his life.THD3 (talk) 19:55, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View[edit]

The following, even if sourced, is highly unencyclopedic and does not follow NPOV: 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. These comments should be removed, however, If an editor feels very strongly about them, should indicate reliable and verifiable 3rd party sources. Cheers. --Karljoos (talk) 15:34, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Several sources already indicated in the article itself, e.g. the books by Harold Schonberg, David Dubal and Glenn Plaskin, amply bear out this opening statement. Moreover, important as the adherence to NPOV is, one should not overdo it, since there are remarks that have become world-wide common knowledge - like saying, for example, that Mozart was a child prodigy or that Einstein was a brilliant physicist - and therefore do not need citations to support them. I believe that to be the case of the mentioned comment on Horowitz's technique and reputation, and think it should be maintained in the article. MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 19:30, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. The statements are already adequately cited elsewhere. The article need not collapse under an avalanche of citations.THD3 (talk) 19:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


Large sections of this article are lifted directly from the Grove article on Horowitz. Suggestions for what to do about this? -Random Pipings —Preceding undated comment added 14:05, 7 August 2009 (UTC).

Please specify which sections, so they can be properly attributed and/or rewritten.THD3 (talk) 15:36, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Red Links[edit]

I removed all the red links from this article. They are dead links that serve no purpose. They are nothing more than a distraction to the reader. I did not change or remove any facts. Juri Koll (talk) 20:16, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Kiev or Berdichev[edit]

"Some sources have erroneously given Berdichev as his birthplace, however his municipal birth record (#725) was recently found in the Kiev city archive." This sentence is no longer relevant to the article, since the question seems to have definitively been answered in Kiev's favor. I am deleting it from the article.

I cannot find a source that confirms the existence of a "Municipal Birth Record" anywhere other than this page - or sources that trace back to this article. Given the various sources that indicate Berdichev as Horowitz's birthplace - including the source already cited in the article - I am changing the text to reflect that there is still uncertainty on this issue.THD3 (talk) 13:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Ukr-wiki makes no mention of Berdychiv, and Ru-wiki bluntly states that B is an error.--Galassi (talk) 13:31, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Trans-wiki sources are not considered valid sourcing.THD3 (talk) 13:37, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
That daft error is discussed in the Ю. Зильберман, Ю. Смилянскaя «Киевская симфония Владимира Горовица». The B. claim is just too marginal for inclusion.--Galassi (talk) 14:15, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Berdichev is hardly marginal - it's sourced by Schonberg, Plaskin, and was even aknowledged by Wanda Toscanini in a documentary. What source for Kiev other than wiki-tpye claims? Statements that Horowitz's family was too well off to live in a ghetto like Berdichev are suppositional - they are not proof. I'll leave Kiev up for now, with a citation request, but we need something that satisfies WP:Verifiability. Otherwise, the Kiev claim is hearsay at best, at worst an attempt to sanitize Horowitz from the stigma of being born in a "less-desireable" town than Kiev.THD3 (talk) 14:30, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
You might wand to read up on the meaning of 1st Guild. Members thereof were exempt from residing in the Pale.--Galassi (talk) 15:09, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Galassi, I see you've added a source. The title translates as "The Kiev Symphony of Vladimir Horowitz" if babelfish is to be trusted. Is that a book? Magazine article? Can you provide some more detail, an ISBN, and an online link if there is one? Thanks.THD3 (talk) 15:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Wanda Toscanini Horowitz clearly stated he was born in Berdichev. In any case, the Pale of Settlement doesn't prove anything one way or the other since both Kiev and Berdichev lie within it. In fact, Kiev always had a large Jewish community going back to the Middle Ages.Gillartsny (talk) 17:59, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
The Draconian behavior of one editor here is oppressive. When it's sexuality, Schonberg is trustworthy -- when it's birthplace, suddenly he's not. This is emotionality, not scholarship. One editor is taking his personal opinions, based on personal emotion, and arguing against any other editor who disagrees, regardless of the scholarship that's out there. There are clear, strongly worded Wiki guidelines against this behavior. I'm going to ask for some neutral Wiki editors to step in and take a look at this. LeonardoCiampa (talk) 16:52, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, Schonberg gives credence to the Berdichev theory. His theory (that Horowitz was born in Berdichev, but his family moved there while he was an infant - thus, the pianist would have no memory of Berdichev) seems plausible. On this matter, I asked Galassi for a source for Kiev as the birthplace and he provided one - albeit one that's difficult to check without going to Ukraine.THD3 (talk) 17:26, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The citation now contains FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPTION of the certificate. CAse closed.--Galassi (talk) 18:06, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Galassi.THD3 (talk) 18:19, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm wondering if we should move the whole Berdichev bit (currently in parentheses) to the reference section. On the one hand, since Horowitz is dead and the matter has been closed, it amounts to a blip on the radar of his life - out of scope for the article proper. On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet a cheeseburger that a well meaning editor will try to change it back to Berdichev, unaware of all the work that went into finding the proper sourcing. Your thoughts, Galassi?THD3 (talk) 18:36, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I have respectfully reverted User:Galassi's minor edit in which he shortened "Some sources, including Harold C. Schonberg's biography" to just "Some sources." Galassi said, "Why single out one source?" I feel it is worth singling out, because it is quite simply the most important -- or at least most widely read -- biography of Mr. Horowitz. HS was the chief music critic for the New York Times and one of the most famous writers on classical music in the world. If there were 2, 3, or 5 biographies of VH, that would be a different story. But there is only HS and Plaskin, and the latter has been out-of-print for eons. It's a minor point, but again -- as with the Berdychev article -- I feel it is better scholarship to mention a major source and say that it is incorrect, rather than to omit it altogether. LeonardoCiampa (talk) 16:04, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

LeonardoCiampa is right. Schonberg was one of the foremost authorities on piano music of the last century, as well as an expert on Horowitz and his music. He should be singled out as a particularly relevant source. MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 01:40, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

It's a common conundrum - some sources say X, others say Y. Which is correct, and why? This often affects years or dates of birth. Many people would be aware of Horowitz's birthplace issue, and if we simply become yet another reference that asserts a particular place, it goes nowhere at all to settling the matter. It would be doing a great service to our readers to acknowledge the disagreement about the birthplace, and then state that it was in fact in Kiev and not Berdichev, and why. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:45, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
There is no conundrum - HS bio was written before Horowitz's birth certificate was available, and the latter rendered it obsolete. Case closed.--Galassi (talk) 03:19, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Minor Composer[edit]

The article is looking great now! Good job! I am a bit concerned about the "minor composer" thing. I think if we just say that he was a composer (did he actually compose anything original?) is OK. What is a minor composer anyway? If a composer is a person who writes music that is later performed, then Horowitz fits the definition of composer even though he only wrote only few small pieces. On the other hand his transcriptions / arrangements / parahprases are not original compositions and maybe he could be called arranger rather than composer.--Karljoos (talk) 03:12, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Horowitz did write several original compositions which are performed and recorded on occasion, including the Danse Excentrique (Moment Exotique), the Waltz in F Minor (lovely piece, played it myself), and an Etude in E-flat Major "Les Vagues." But since his fame stems from piano playing, I think the minor designation is appropriate.THD3 (talk) 12:30, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

The Last Romantic[edit]

I feel that The Last Romantic should be mentioned in the last years section.--Etincelles ♬♬(talk) 18:54, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Done. With link to the Last Romantic article.THD3 (talk) 15:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

New Image[edit]


Could this image be included in the article?

Etincelles ♬♬(talk) 21:24, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I think the article is getting a little image heavy, but I have no problem with this as a replacement image for the photo of Horowitz currently in the lead section (as long as that image remains at Wikimedia commons).THD3 (talk) 21:27, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I think that the original image in the lead section is better than this image. I just thought it might be able to go further down but if you think that there are already too many images then it's probably best to leave it.

Etincelles ♬♬(talk) 21:41, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Why not put it on the Carmen Variations page?THD3 (talk) 17:16, 4 December 2009 (UTC)


I removed the line that Rachmaninoff supposedly said about Horowitz's hand position. Verification was asked for in 2007. None was given. The line was added into the article at 14:36, 26 October 2005 by an anonymous user "Although such hand position has been a rather common occurrence with many Russian pianists, even Rachmaninoff once commented upon it, saying that Horowitz plays contrary to what they had been taught, yet somehow it works." This material evolved into, "Sergei Rachmaninoff himself commented that Horowitz played contrary to how they had been taught, yet somehow with Horowitz it worked." Until there is a source, this is just non-encyclopedic conjecture. Juri Koll (talk) 17:15, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree. There's no need to comment on someone else's reaction to Horowitz's hand position.THD3 (talk) 19:33, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

What's Rachmaninoff to Horowitz, anyway? shouldn't a word or to be said about their relationship? Alphapeta (talk) 13:06, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

I have done a little rearranging of the external links. Previously, Christian Johannson's website (with the telia address), which contained a treasure trove of Horowitz material, was listed. Johannson's site, which had not been updated since 2003, went offline and was replaced by a google site which mostly an unauthorized copy of Johannson's site. Bernie Horowitz (no relation to Vladimir) has been in contact with Christian Johannson, who no longer has time to maintain his site. As is explained on the new site ( Johannson has authorized the use of his material on this site. Since both the google site and this one have basically the same material, I have removed the google link. Despite being listed as a fansite (I think of Trekkies and bobby soxers when I hear that word), it's the best and most comprehensive online resource about Horowitz I've seen. THD3 (talk) 18:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Late Moscow Concert crashers?[edit]

Just wondering if there was actually music students willing to crash the concert, because i do not hear anything special on the recordings (both DVD and CD) of the moscowconcert. Which "track" is it refering to? —Preceding unsigned comment added by NighthawkAlex (talkcontribs) 00:14, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

The incident with students crashing the concert is referred to in the liner notes for the Horowitz in Moscow CD. However, the Scarlatti Sonata heard on the CD is not from the concert, but from the dress rehearsal recorded two days previous. The noise created by both the students, and audience members "shushing" them is clearly audible during the Scarlatti Sonata in B minor, K. 87, on the VHS and DVD version.THD3 (talk) 12:34, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated claims[edit]

As several of us have been trying to patiently point out, the paragraph beginning "In the 1940s" is unfounded hearsay. If one or two or a million sources publish the hearsay, that doesn't make it fact. One editor keeps reverting anyone who tries to improve the paragraph. This compulsive "protecting" of the paragraph and the article in general constitutes vandalism. If it continues, perhaps the editor in question should be given a warning. With 5000+ edits, he knows better. LeonardoCiampa (talk) 02:16, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

The definition of unsubstantiated claims is open to interpretation. Wikipedia guidelines for sourcing are not. They do not require a hidden camera videotape of Horowitz in flagrante delicto. As mentioned before, both Schonberg and Janis back up Plaskin's claim that Horowitz was a closeted homosexual. Both Schonberg and Janis also state that Horowitz in the 1940s sought psychotherapy - Schonberg is ambiguous as to why Horowitz was in treatment, Janis makes clear that this was due to Horowitz's sexuality. (Janis goes into some detail, stating that Horowitz told him he became interested in men after being rejected by a ballerina during his early Russian years.) Thus, there are three independent sources that corroborate pretty much the same thing. Also as mentioned before: Horowitz's denial of being homosexual is irrelevant to the question, just as it would be for Liberace or Rock Hudson.THD3 (talk) 13:14, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
You are blatantly misrepresenting Schonberg. He speaks of Horowitz's homosexuality only in one place, saying merely that there were persistent rumors that Horowitz was gay. That's all he said. This, in your mind, is scholarship? You seem to be more interested in defending Horowitz's alleged sexuality than in writing about his musical career. Why your vehemence on the topic? LeonardoCiampa (talk) 16:47, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't call Schonberg's writing as merely repeating a rumor. "If ever a man seemed destined for bachelorhood, it was Vladimir Horowitz. He had always lived a carefree life, relishing his freedom. And, of course, his sexual preferences were no secret to the musical world. Horowitz preferred men." Janis, does not merely "repeat the rumor", but recounts a discussion he had with Horowitz where the pianist admitted his sexual orientation - and that he was trying to change it.THD3 (talk) 17:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Hearsay is defined as "information gathered by one person from another concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience." Several editors have denounced the use of Glenn Plaskin's biography of Horowitz as a source on the grounds that the information presented on Horowitz's sexuality is hearsay. Not true. Plaskin interviewed several people, including Lowell Benedict, who was Horowiz's travelling companion during the 1940s. Benedict related conversations he himself had with Horowitz (not third-party accounts of conversations) which directly related to Horowitz's sexual orientation, and the efforts being made to change it. Byron Janis, in his recent autobiography, also related a direct conversation with Horowitz on the same subject. These are not, by definition, hearsay. It's obvious that the naysaying editors are continually trying to raise the bar of evidence to the point that nothing short of a videotape of the subject in flagrante delicto will satisfy their standards - and even then they would probably claim the video was faked.THD3 (talk) 17:49, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that LeonardoCiampa's own vehemence on the topic - to use his words - is the odd element here. Why is he so hell-bent on questioning something the musical world has known for decades ? MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 19:33, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

POV problems in general[edit]

In general, this article suffers from too much POV, too much personal taste expressed by the editors (of which this article has far too few). To talk about the "greatest recording" of such-and-such piece, "even after the hundreds of other recordings made since" -- that sort of talk should not be passed off as empirical, encyclopedic "truth." If not eliminated, such passages should be reworked and reworded into a form that is more becoming for a Wiki article. The editing -- and revision undoings -- of this article should be carried out by a wider group of contributors. LeonardoCiampa (talk) 12:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Here, I agree with you. Some of the sections in question appear to have been written by fans - nothing wrong with that in general (why would a non-fan or disinterested person bother to edit the article?), but it needs to be written in a neutral manner. Given the huge number of recordings of the Liszt Sonata (more than 100, if memory serves), it seems a bit of a stretch to claim Horowitz's is the best - especially with those two bass-note clunkers near the beginning. Praise and criticism of Horowitz's playing needs to be balanced - which can be tricky but is worth striving for. By the way, this issue is hardly unique to this page. The Sviatoslav Richter article was swimming with hyperbole, as was Arthur Rubinstein and (ugh) David Helfgott.THD3 (talk) 14:40, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
By the way, despite all the disagreements and issues with this article, it's worth noting that it's currently rated as "B-class" as is Richter's. Rubinstein's is rated as "C-class", and Helfgott's is "start-class". So, we're almost there!THD3 (talk) 15:23, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
We won't ever be there unless a more varied group of editors is allowed to contribute to this article.LeonardoCiampa (talk) 16:55, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


In the introduction there are a couple of statements which made me cringe. First that he was a 'minor composer'. By what criterion his compositional significance was measured? By a number of his compositions? Alban Berg composed even less music than Horowitz, so shall we consider him a 'minor composer' too? Or maybe the quality of his music is not satisfactory for some? Anyway this phrase in my opinion is completely absurd - the person is ether composer or not. My second point is that he is considered as 'one of the best pianists of the 20th century'. This 'one of the best' in our day and age of total mishmash of standards doesn’t have any significance any more and lost all its meaning. By the end of 20th century literary thousands pianists were named as 'one of the best pianist of the 20th century'. Maybe we should be more realistic and ether get rid of the whole formula all together or write that Horowitz is considered by many as 'the best pianist of 20th century', which is off cause would be a truthful statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:59, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


The unique circumstances regarding the six students Horowitz taught between 1944 and 1962 is explained in Plaskin's biography. Horowitz's misrepresentations of the facts regarding his students was presented in a distorted manned in the former version of this article. I have removed the inaccurate facts and provided detailed references. Fiorino didn't study with him for thirteen years. The quote snippet: "...had played for him..." was presented out of context. The full quote is now the references: "Many young people say they have been pupils of Horowitz, but there were only three, Janis, Turini, who I brought to the stage, and Graffman. If someone else claims it. it's not true. I had some who played for me for four months. Once a week. I stopped work with them, because they did not progress." Horowitz did teach a seventh student during that period. Plaskin says he dropped that student after a few months. Horowitz's quote is only true if it is applied to the seventh student (who isn't even mentioned in this article). It doesn't apply to any of the other students. His refusal to acknowledge eight years of weekly lessons he taught to three students is now thoroughly explained in this educational article. Plaskin concluded that Horowitz's misrepresentations about his students said something about the erratic nature of his personality during that period. Juri Koll (talk) 19:53, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Opening paragraph[edit]

Please note the Manual of Style when editing the opening paragraph: The opening paragraph should have:

  1. Name(s) and title(s), if any (see, for instance, also Wikipedia:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility));
  2. Dates of birth and death, if known (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Dates of birth and death);
  3. Context (location, nationality, or ethnicity);
    1. In most modern-day cases this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national (according to each nationality law of the countries), or was a citizen when the person became notable.
    2. Ethnicity or sexuality should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability. Similarly, previous nationalities or the country of birth should not be mentioned in the opening sentence unless they are relevant to the subject's notability.
  4. What the person did;
  5. Why the person is significant.

The fact that Horowitz was Jewish is already in the article in the appropriate place, which is not the opening paragraph.THD3 (talk) 20:07, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

facts belong in encyclopedia's[edit]

is someone stating that a person looked sexually frustrated throughout his life worthy of being a part of any encyclopedia? it does not give you a better picture of someone. Markthemac (talk) 23:58, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

not trying to deny the truth, it just seems irrelevant. Markthemac (talk) 00:00, 4 August 2011 (UTC)


Is it right to describe Horowitz as an 'American classical pianist and composer' in the introduction, with complete disregard shown to where he was born and lived throughout his youth? Going by other articles (for example, Arthur Rubinstein), it seems like we should use 'a Russian born, American....' or 'a Russian-American...' or 'an American..., born in Russia', or something else similar to these. I just feel that it gives the wrong impression if it is asserted that he is American with no further explanation until later in the article. Of course, we would also have to determine whether we should use 'Russian' above or 'Ukrainian', because this has been a source of dispute above. Either way, I really do feel that some more information should be given here. (talk) 14:37, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

See WP:OPENPARA. Toccata quarta (talk) 15:03, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your link: that explains why the introduction does not mention his place of birth. My suggestion can be rescinded! I only mentioned it because it felt rather strange to be describing him as an American pianist with no further information, but perhaps that is just because I associate him very much with the Russian school of pianists. (talk) 15:28, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that a rule with an arbitrary interpretation such as WP:OPENPARA applies in the case here since he immigrated in the United States in the 1940s at the time when he was already one of the most revered pianists of his generation. I also find a strong US-centric bias, as the problem always emerges when the article documents a biography of a person who immigrated to the United States and attained a US citizenship during his life. On the contrary, a person born in the United States with no association to that country in the rest of his life is always considered American-born 'something' or American-'something'.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 21:13, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I have now changed it to exactly what Encyclopaedia Britannica states. Everyone should be happy as both countries are mentioned. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 07:27, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm OK with your change Jaan, although it potentially opens up a small conundrum. When precisely did Horowitz become famous? 1920? 1925? 1930?, etc. Strictly speaking, the designation would then be Soviet, not Russian. I don't think you can realistically say Horowitz was famous before the Russian Revolution, when he would have been not more than 14. (Let's not even get into the current events in Ukraine, which even involved Horowitz's alma matter - the Kiev Conservatory.) But I think "Russian-born American" is a good compromise. As you said, it matches Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is hardly an America touting source. MisterCSharp (talk) 14:02, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The sources say the following:

  • Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound: "Russian/American pianist, born in Berdichev."[8]
  • Russian Immigrants, 1860–1915: "Other Russian Americans... Horowitz..."[9]
  • Understanding Toscanini: A Social History of American Concert Life: "Vladimir Horowitz, the sallow, thin-faced Russian who first astounded the U.S. 20 years ago with his mastery of piano technique." (Speaking in 1948 of 1928.)[10]
  • Evenings with Horowitz: A Personal Portrait: Horowitz is described as Russian at his 1928 New York debut, and "the young Russian" during his UK tour in the early 1930s. By 1943 "Horowitz proudly became an American citizen and displayed his patriotism musically in many ways." (Page 31.) Horowitz played his transcription of Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" in 1944 in front of 100k people in Central Park, a featured performance at the celebration called "I Am an American Day". (Page 31.)
I'm satisfied with calling him Russian-American. He was both Russian and American in his life. Binksternet (talk) 18:47, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Let's say Marie Curie was a {Russian-born/Russian-French} physicist and chemist! Referring to WP:OPENPARA, his previous nationality should not be placed at the opening paragraph as it is insignificant. It is short-term, and it is not directly related to his ethnicity. He was a French-speaking Jew. Even if it is, just look at Isaac Asimov. It is still insignificant. --SoftFeta (talk) 11:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)


Please add a summary box (beneath the picture). AtheistIranian (talk) 20:00, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia:WikiProject Classical music#Biographical infoboxes, Classical musician biographies generally do not have infoboxes.MisterCSharp (talk) 14:42, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Could you please tell me about this "no infobox on classical musicians" thing? What's the purpose of it? Why is it that Western classical music has to be differentiated from ALL other music styles? Also, I'd prefer if you explained it to me directly, as I think it would take too much time to read the huge discussion on it here in Wikipedia. Lonious (talk) 08:23, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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