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Vladimir Horowitz's Concert in Moscow

May 03, 1986

The piano recital by Vladimir Horowitz in Moscow may well be the finest byproduct of the past U.S.-Soviet summit meeting. The renowned pianist returned to his native country after vowing 61 years ago never to go back. His new status as Ambassador for Peace was enthusiastically welcomed by the Soviet Union--or was it? Let's take a good look at this.

The audience at the Moscow Conservatory Concert Hall seemed to receive Maestro Horowitz quite warmly. In fact, I thought I saw one KGB man with tears in his eyes! Why didn't the Soviets properly advertise the pianist's return? Apparently, it was only through word of mouth and small notices that a few Soviet citizens were permitted to obtain tickets to this historic recital.

Did the Soviets televise the program nationally? Maybe it was broadcast in the closed city of Gorky? Will they perhaps persuade Horowitz to play a special recital in honor of their political prisoners? (The father of Vladimir Horowitz ended up in one of their gulags!) Come to think of it--where was Mikhail Gorbachev and his charming wife? Would they really miss such a cultural opportunity of a lifetime? Well, maybe Gorbachev simply had more important matters at hand.

GEORGE VICK

Thousand Oaks

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