Artur Rubinstein

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Jan 28, 1887 – Dec 20, 1982

Born – Poland
Artur Rubinstein
Artur RubinsteinArtur Rubinstein’s career as a concert pianist lasted for more than 80 years. Throughout his career he performed both as a soloist and chamber musician, most notably with “The Million Dollar Trio” which included the famous violinist Jascha Heifetz and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. He was a favorite of the concert stage throughout the world due both to the passion and joy that he brought to the music as well as his highly charismatic and charming personality. He was a daring performer on stage, taking chances that sometimes didn’t quite work out, However, his passion and personality always carried his music and the audience.

Rubinstein fell in love with the piano and the music at a very early age and early on showed great promise as a musician. At the age of 4, the famed violinist Joseph Joachim noticed him and for about the next 15 years supervised his musical development. Artur made his debut at the age of 13 with the Berlin Philhamonic playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major K. 488. He stayed in Berlin and studied piano with the revered Karl Heirich Barth; later, after WW II, he would refuse to play in Germany due to the Nazi’s extermination of his family.

While Rubinstein was considered the authority on Chopin and Brahms, he championed music from Spain, South America and France, particularly the music of Villa-Lobos, Albeniz, Debussy and Ravel.

At the age of 45, he became unsatisfied with his playing and stopped performing to work on it, particularly his technique which he hadn’t taken very seriously prior. He came back to the stage with immediate success.

Rubinstein recorded extensively, his career spanning 1927-1976. Notably, he recorded all 5 Beethoven Piano Concertos and many of Chopin’s works. He won several Grammy Awards for both his solo and chamber recordings and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

As a note, Artur Rubinstein is related neither to Anton or his brother Nikolai Rubinstein.

Suggested Listening

youtube Chopin – Nocturne in F-sharp major, Opus 15 No. 2

youtube Liszt – Mephisto Waltz No.1

youtube Brahms Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 in A major

Posted in Classical Pianists