The Vladimir Horowitz Archives – Wikipedia – Facebook
Kiew, September 18, 1903 – New-York, November 5, 1989)
Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kiev, Russian Empire (now the capital of Ukraine). There are unsubstantiated claims that Horowitz was born in Berdychiv (a city near Zhytomyr in Ukraine), but his birth certificate unequivocally states Kiev as his birthplace.
Horowitz was the youngest of four children of Samuil Horowitz and Sophia Bodik, who were assimilated Jews. Samuil was a well-to-do electrical engineer and a distributor of electric motors for German manufacturers. Horowitz was born in 1903, but in order to make him appear too young for military service so as not to risk damaging his hands, his father took a year off his son’s age by claiming he was born in 1904. The 1904 date appeared in many reference works during the pianist’s lifetime.
Horowitz’s uncle Alexander was a pupil and close friend of Alexander Scriabin. When Horowitz was 10, it was arranged for him to play for Scriabin, who told his parents that he was extremely talented.
Horowitz received piano instruction from an early age, initially from his mother, who was herself a pianist. In 1912 he entered the Kiev Conservatory, where he was taught by Vladimir Puchalsky, Sergei Tarnowsky, and Felix Blumenfeld. His first solo recital was in Kharkiv in 1920.