Robert Levin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
comment

The late Vladimir Horowitz was fussy about his piano. For over 40 years--half of his career--he only performed on an ebony concert grand made to his specifications by Steinway. Three years after his death, the legendary piano itself is now on tour, making stops at more than 175 North American cities in two years. Much of the time it will be displayed like a relic for nostalgic adulation; at some stops, Horowitz wannabes will be encouraged to play it. The most appropriate tribute, however, is this recital by Robert Levin in Orchestra Hall, a venue that hosted a number of memorable Horowitz concerts. Levin, a Harvard-educated pianist who's also a first-rate Mozart scholar, has come up with a program that Horowitz would have approved of, excepting, of course, the Piano Sonata no. 1 by MIT prof John Harbison (Horowitz had little use for piano music since Scriabin). But Mozart's Sonata in F Major, Beethoven's maddeningly difficult Hammerklavier sonata, and Chopin's Scherzo no. 2 certainly belonged in Horowitz's rather limited repertoire. During intermission, Levin, who now teaches in Germany, will receive the title of Steinway Artist, an honor reserved for only a handful of pianists. Sunday, 3 PM; Orchestra Hall, 220 S. michigan' 435-6666.

Add a comment