Anton Rubinstein

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Rubinstein (1887)

Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S. November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory.


  • I think that with the death of Schumann and Chopin—‘finis musicae'.'’
    • Quoted in A Conversation on Music (1892)

Quotes about Anton Rubinstein

  • ... He could, at will, move you to tears, thrill you with emotion, or make you shiver with excitement. It was no longer a piano he played on, but an entire orchestra, in which power, sweetness, and great execution vied with each other to produce effects totally unlike the efforts of any other single instrumentalist I have ever heard. ... The magnetism he exercised over his audiences was quite extraordinary, and I have seen them roused got such a pitch of excitement and enthusiasm that they could not sit still, but had perforce to rise from their seats to watch as well as listen to him. No one could help being absorbed in his performances; indeed, he was so himself, though perhaps not to the same extent, for any extraneous sound or movement would easily upset him and break the thread of his inspiration,
  • I can recall one memorable afternoon at one of his recitals in the old St. James's Hall, when just as he had begun to play Chopin's Funeral March—no over ever played it like him—a post horn from a coach in Piccadilly suddenly sounded. This so disturbed him (and no wonder) that he took his hands off the piano and dashed them down again pell-mell on the keys in a fit of rage and disgust. After a while he commenced the piece again, but the spirit of the music had left him, and for that day at least we were deprived of the beauty of his rendering.
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