The concert piano, known in classical music circles as CD 503, was chosen specifically for Horowitz and presented in 1941. It was in his home until it was shipped to Russia when he made his triumphant return to the homeland he left in the 1920s.
Without Horowitz, the piano has traveled to from Fort Worth to Philadelphia and Florence, Ky. It’s made stops in London, Vancouver, Kansas City, Pensacola, Fla., Cleveland, Berlin and scores of other cities, large and small. There is no official estimate of how many individuals have played it, only a guess of “thousands.”
“It’s scheduled to be in our Chicago studios for just six weeks,” said Rhapsody Snyder, a Steinway employee and manager of this portion of the tour. “I’m not sure where it goes next, but don’t worry: It weighs between 700 and 800 pounds, but we move pianos every day.”
It is tuned for every performance, but there are standing orders that the piano’s “voice” will never be altered. It sounds today as it sounded when Horowitz played it.