Musical selection for the birthday of Anton Rubinstein

"Rubinstein's technique was monumental and all-embracing, but the distinctive and main feature of his playing,which gave the impression of something spontaneous, was not so much the brilliance and integrity as the inwardness of conveying - ingenious and independent poetic interpretation of creative works of all the epochs and peoples"

Hugo Riemann, German musicologist

Anton Rubinstein is one of the central figures in Russian musical life in the second half of the 19th century, a personality of authentic Renaissance scale. His mighty talent was manifested in many areas related to music. A prominent pianist, he gave many concerts in Russia, Europe and America; bequeathed hundreds of compositions. As the head of the Russian Musical Society (RMS), which he created, Rubinstein conducted the first symphony concerts of the society, was engaged in educational and charitable activities, taught students and lectured. On his initiative, the first Russian conservatory was founded in St. Petersburg. 

Despite world-wide fame, Rubinstein considered musical enlightenment to be his most important business duty. He stood at the dawn of professional music education in Russia, breaking the existing opinion that music is predestination of dilettantes-aristocrats. Two great achievements, two most important institutions moved forward the musical education: the Russian Musical Society (RMS), established under the patronage of the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna in 1859, and the first Russian Conservatory, founded three years later based on music classes within the framework of RMS. At the Conservatory, Rubinstein taught piano, ensemble and instrumentation, orchestral and choral classes 1)Rubinstein himself was the first to pass exams in several subjects and receive the official Conservatory diploma of "free artist" before heading the conservatory, of which he became director twice: from 1862 to 1867 and from 1887 to 1891.

Anton Rubinstein bequeathed a huge number of works, including 14 unclerical and four religious operas, six symphonies, several overtures and symphonic poems, five piano concerts, a lot of consort music, songs and romances.

Musical selection comprised of compositions by Anton Rubinstein - a talented composer, the greatest representative of piano performance of all time, the founder of professional music education in Russia, is in our Music Library.

1) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was one of the first graduates of the Petersburg Conservatory.