Thursday, March 31, 2011


Rubinstein, Anton born Nov 28, 1829 died Nov 20, 1894 Rubinstein was one of the greatest pianists of the nineteenth century, often said to be second only to Liszt. He was also an exceptional composer and teacher, and an influential though somewhat controversial figure in Russian musical circles. In his early years he was considered a child virtuoso and gave many performances in an extended tour of Europe. There he was exposed to many influential people such as Chopin, Liszt, members of the Russian Imperial Family and Queen Victoria. In 1846 he returned to Russia and the Tsars' sister-in-law the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna took him under her wing. In Nice in 1856 he and the Duchess made sweeping plans to improve musical education in Russia,

founding in 1859 the Russian Musical Society and in 1862 the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1872 he toured the USA and for the next fifteen years was one of the most sought after pianists in the world. Rubinstein managed to alienate many of his Russian contemporaries (ie; Balakirev) by publicly stating that " was not possible to create nationalistic operas, and that even the greatest of Russian composers ( Glinka ) in his operas 'suffered disaster' ". He softened his views after the liberation of the serfs several years later. Aside from his many piano works he also left behind many illegitimate children as he is alleged to have said "...if I had to educate and provide for all my children, the fortune of two Rothchilds would scarcely suffice....". Rubinstein's most lasting piano effort is frequently said to be Melody in F op. 3 no. 1 for solo piano.

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