Piano Street Magazine

Horowitz at the White House 1978

June 24th, 2012 in Top Video Picks by

In Performance at the White House has been produced since 1978 and the music series spans every administration since President Carter’s. The series began with Horowitz in the East Room and this legendary recital.
Since then, In Performance at the White House has embraced virtually every genre of American performance: pop, country, gospel, jazz, blues, theatre and dance among them. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation’s most famous home.

Horowitz at the White House is one of Horowitz’s relatively few authorized appearances on video and one of only four TV broadcasts. Recorded and Broadcast on PBS in February 26, 1978 – live from The White House, Washington. President Carter invited Horowitz to perform at the White House early in his Presidency and Horowitz agreed during his Golden Jubilee year, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his American debut.

Horowitz was invited to the White House to play for President Hoover as early as in 1931, and in 1933 he married Wanda Toscanini — the daughter of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, who would soon conduct Horowitz and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of the Beethoven piano concertos. Horowitz permanently settled in the United States in 1940 and achieved citizenship in 1944. In 1986 Horowitz was invited by President Reagan anticipating Horowitz’s return to Russia (after 61 years) and Moscow concert which politically was seen as a part of the ongoing “perestroika”.


02:23 – 05:00 President Jimmy Carter’s introduction
05:18 US National Anthem played by Horowitz

Chopin – Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35:
07:13 I Grave – Doppio movimento
14:35 II Scherzo
22:00 III Marche funèbre: Lento
31:03 IV Finale: Presto

33:21 Chopin – Waltz Op. 34 no. 2 in A minor
39:33 Chopin – Waltz Op. 64 no. 2 in C-sharp minor
43:43 Chopin – Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 “Heroic”

51:23 Schumann: Träumerei from Kinderszenen Op. 15
54:50 Rachmaninoff: Polka de W.R.
59:28 Bizet/Horowitz: Carmen Variations


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