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Great Performances: The Magic of Horowitz

Premieres Friday, Jan. 22 at 10 p.m.

Vladimir Horowitz

Great Performances: The Magic of Horowitz, premiering Friday, January 22 at 10 p.m. on Southern Oregon PBS, 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 contemporary piano virtuosos Martha Argerich and Daniil Trifonov.

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.