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The violinist Joshua Bell performed in the subway

12 January 2007

In a social experiment initiated by the Washington Post, the world-renowned Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell stood playing his $3 million violin posing as a busker in the Washington Metro. The question posed was “In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"It was reported that 1,070 people passed him by without paying him any attention.

    Phantasmagoria - Suite from The Ghosts of Versailles


    I. Chaconne


    II. Pianissimo scherzo




Rachmaninov wrote to the New York Times voicing his opinions on communism

12 January 1931

Sergei Rachmaninov, who was by now resident in the USA, together with two other exiles wrote a letter to the New York Times, to condemn the "Communist oppressors of Russia". He mentioned the starvation, concentration camps, executions without trial, repression of dissent and "cruelties, wholesale murders and common law crimes." The letter resulted in a temporary ban on Rachmaninov's works in Russia. In his final years, Rachmaninov proclaimed how grateful he was to America, and to have become a naturalised American citizen.

    I. O come, let us Worship

    I. Après un Rêve

    VIII. The Creed

    Sicilienne, Op. 78

    XII. We sing to thee

    Élégie, Op. 24



Vladimir Horowitz's American début

12 January 1928

The Ukrainian-born pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in the United States for the first time. He performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Beecham.

    I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso

    Happy Talk

    Allegro -

    Honey Bun

    No. 5. Liebliches Kind! (arr. Y. Sudbin)

    My Girl Back Home