Vladimir Horowitz’s favorite piano will be in Melville next weekend as part of an ongoing tour of North America.
The Steinway & Sons Model D Horowitz Piano, CD 503, as it is known to its makers, will be at Steinway Piano Gallery Long Island in Melville Aug. 7-11 where pianists can sign up for an opportunity to play.
The piano is a nine-foot concert grand and one of the piano maker’s most revered designs, according to a Steinway spokesman. The tour provides a rare opportunity for the public to see, hear, touch and even play the fabled instrument that accompanied the titan of classical music on tours.
Horowitz is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. His astounding performances made him a favorite of audiences for decades. In a gesture not unlike today’s celebrity endorsement deals, Steinway and Sons in 1934 presented Horowitz with a Steinway Model D as a wedding present when he married his wife Wanda. In the early 1940’s, this piano was replaced with the one now known simply as CD 503.
It was, according to Steinway & Sons, played in many recitals and recordings in the 70’s and 80’s, and the one Horowitz kept in his New York townhouse. He was so attached to the piano, he insisted it be his exclusive touring instrument, and required that it be craned out of his Manhattan apartment and delivered to the concert venue regardless of distance or cost.
The iconic Horowitz piano has inspired countless musicians, teachers, students, and fans around the world. As an added point of interest, the underside of the soundboard features the signatures of the thousands of store owners, technicians, sales representatives, and delivery men who have cared for the piano during its travels over the last eight decades.
Horowitz died in 1989 but that piano is still on the road, and soon to land at the Steinway Piano Gallery, 505 Walt Whitman Road, Melville. Pianists may sign up for a time to play the piano by calling 631-424-0525 or visiting Steinway.com/horowitz.