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Philanthropic Music Showcase to Welcome President Mahony, Commemorate Vladimir Horowitz Anniversary

Quick Facts

 The showcase will be Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in Frances May Barnes Recital Hall.
 Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance by calling the Department of Music office at 803/323-2255 or e-mailing

President Mahony
Matthew Manwarren

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — The Steinway Piano Gallery of Charlotte will help Winthrop University’s Department of Music welcome President Dan Mahony, raise money for charity and commemorate the 30th anniversary of pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s famous Moscow concert—with a special performance on Horowitz’s very own Steinway piano.

The world-traveling piano, donated by the late Horowitz’s wife, makes the final stop on its philanthropic journey at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 in Frances May Barnes Recital Hall. The gallery will also host a special event the day before on Oct. 3 for community members who want to play the piano in exchange for a small donation. To play, people must call the Department of Music at 803/323-2255.

The Department of Music Showcase will feature works by the music faculty and students. For the finale, Professor of Music Matthew Manwarren will take the stage and play compositions from Horowitz’s Moscow concert on the same piano that the famous Horowitz played.

Horowitz was part of the Golden Age of piano playing and is one of the most highly regarded pianists of the 20th century, Manwarren said.

“It’s just a tremendous opportunity get to play the piano that Horowitz played and hear it from the perspective of Horowitz as he sat there playing it,” he said. “Artists are prone to their favorite instruments; no two pianos are alike. The fact that this was Horowitz’s favorite piano in itself is remarkable.”

A good cause

Mark Love
is president of the Steinway Piano Gallery of Charlotte and called Horowitz’s piano a “very unique and historic instrument.”

The piano arrived at the gallery in late August and has toured the area on a journey to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House. That trend will continue on Oct. 3. Throughout the day, people can come on the Barnes Recital Hall stage with the piano and have 15 minutes to play it or touch it, just for a donation to the Ronald McDonald House.

“This piano, he kept in his Manhattan apartment,” Love said. “Anytime he played, it had to go with him. They would get a crane and lift it out of the apartment.”

If the piano had a passport, it would be filled with countries across the globe. Hundreds of signatures of the movers and tuners who have worked with the piano during Horowitz’s travels cover the piano’s underside.

Love said the tour and the concert are the “perfect way to celebrate the arrival of Winthrop’s president, music and music at Winthrop.”

“Not a Concert; a Political Movement”

Born in Russia, Horowitz fled the country during its revolution with money hidden in his shoes. He and his wife eventually arrived in the United States in the early 1930s. With the fall of the former Soviet Union in 1986, Horowitz finally felt safe enough to return home—for a special, one-night only concert.

“To say it was huge is an understatement,” Love said. “This wasn’t just a concert; it was a political movement.”

Not only did Horowitz meet with then-President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy, but he graced the cover of TIME Magazine. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the streets of Moscow to see a glimpse of him, and millions tuned in to their televisions worldwide to hear him play.

To this day, music enthusiasts consider the recording of Horowitz’s iconic concert one of the most classical albums of all time.

“If you like classical music, then you have this album,” Love declared.

Showcase info
Join the department and gallery in welcoming President Mahony and hear the historic instrument for yourself Oct. 3-4. Tickets to the showcase are free, but visitors must reserve them in the department's office in person, by calling 803/323/2255 or e-mailing

For more information on the Steinway Piano Gallery of Charlotte, visit the website.

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