Great Performances: The Magic of Horowitz

Great Performances: The Magic of Horowitz

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 10:00pm - 11:00pm

Russian Pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

Credit: Courtesy of Jean Pimentel/Kipa/Sygma via Getty Images

Experience legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s homecoming concert in Russia.

Great Performances: The Magic of Horowitz, premiering Friday, January 22 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV, delves into the story behind Horowitz’ virtuoso 1986 Moscow concert. The documentary weaves together concert footage, including intimate close-ups of Horowitz’ agile hands interspersed with the emotional audience reactions, historical context and original interviews with Horowitz’ former manager Peter Gelb (Metropolitan Opera) as well as composer Tatjana Komarova, violoncellist Alina Kudelevic and contemporary piano virtuosos Martha Argerich, Daniil Trifonov and Sophie Pacini.

Recent meetings between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev provided hope that the Cold War was coming to an end, and Horowitz’ return to Russia was seen as a way to help open the door between the two superpowers. The concerts marked the first time in years that one of the world’s leading romantic pianists performed live on stage. Horowitz put together a demanding program featuring works by leading classical composers Scarlatti, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Schubert, Liszt, and Chopin, selected for their private meaning to him. Great Performances: The Magic of Horowitz spotlights this magnificent and historic performance.