Horowitz: A Biography of Vladimir Horowitz

Plaskin, Glenn

William Morrow, 1983

pp. 34, 92, 406

Around 1979. On tour, Horowitz’s requirements were detailed. Fresh grey sole flown down from MA, a limo, lavish accommodations with a nine-foot Steinway in the living room, his own water purifier, personal omelette pans and special thick black-velvet drapes for his bedroom. Shaw management wrote ahead to get specific window measurements so that Horowitz’s special “spring-type curtain rods could be inserted” for the black-out drapes. “Local managers found themselves on their hands and knees helping tape the windows with three preparatory layers of brown paper that Horowitz insisted be in place before the curtains were hung. His bedroom also had to be equipped with twelve wooden hangers, a firm double bed, a nightstand for his pajamas, a straight-backed chair, etc” . Already as a child, Horowitz was treated as a prima donna by his parents. For weeks before his conservatory recitals he would hurl dishes or break whatever he wanted at home. “His family refused to reprimand Volodya for these tantrums.” One of his early patrons in Paris was “Madame Panowsky,” a Russian emigre who had escaped the Revolution with diamonds inserted in her molars. Madame P’ would help Horowitz and two other young pianists: “every time they were desperate for money she would simply go to the dentist and have a gem removed.”