Anton Rubinstein


Born: November 28, 1829; Vikhvatinets, Russia   Died: November 20, 1894; Peterhof, Russia  
Anton Rubinstein was more controversial in his day as a composer and educator than he was as a pianist and conductor. Consensus in the nineteenth century ranked him with Liszt and von Bülow in the keyboard realm, and even if his works stirred debate, they were more widely performed than in the twentieth century, when his reputation as a composer went into decline. Rubinstein wrote in most genres, turning out hundreds of solo piano pieces, as well Read more as several concertos for piano, violin and cello, various chamber compositions, operas, ballets, and choral and vocal works. His output in many ways parallels that of Tchaikovsky, and recent reexamination of Rubinstein's compositions augurs well for rehabilitation of many of them and a favorable reassessment of his standing. Among his more important works are his operas The Demon and Nero, his oratorios Paradise Lost and Tower of Babel, his "Ocean" Symphony and Piano Concerto No. 4.

When Rubinstein was five years old, the family moved from the village of his birth to Moscow, and by that time he was taking piano lessons from his mother. About two years later, he began study with Alexander Villoing and by the age of ten had given his first concerts. In 1840, Villoing took the youth on a successful three-year concert tour throughout Europe and England.

In 1844, young Anton, along with his sister Luba and brother Nikolai, both of whom also showed great musical talent, traveled to Berlin for advanced studies. Anton took instruction in composition from Siegfried Dehn until 1846, when his father, who had remained in Russia, died suddenly. After spending two years in near-poverty teaching in Vienna, Anton returned to Russia to join his mother and siblings.

Around 1850, Rubinstein's talents drew the attention, then the patronage, of Duchess Elena Pavlovna, sister-in-law of the Tsar. He lived in comfortable quarters at one of her palaces until 1854 and often performed for her and her guests, including the Tsar. During his years there, he composed many works, including the first three piano concertos, nearly fifty songs, and five operas, among them Stenka Razin and Tom the Fool.

In 1854, Rubinstein went on a highly successful European concert tour. Five years later, he and the duchess founded the Russian Musical Society, and, in 1862, the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Rubinstein was its director for the first five years and regularly led concerts sponsored by the Russian Musical Society. His views on a Russian nationalist style in both composition and performance led to conflicts with Balakirev and the Mighty Handful composers.

Rubinstein remained busy in composition throughout these years, though he wrote no opera between 1862 and 1869. In the period 1867-1870, he made several successful concert tours of Europe and the United States. He composed what is probably his best-known opera, The Demon, in 1871, its premiere coming four years later. This so-called "fantastic opera" was a far cry from the 1869 sacred opera, with German texts, Der Thurm zu Babel, and other similar works, possibly written by Rubinstein as if to reinforce his Christian credentials -- the Rubinstein family had converted to Christianity from Judaism some years before.

Until 1887, Rubinstein maintained a fairly active concert schedule, both as pianist and conductor. He took up the directorship of the St. Petersburg Conservatory once again, that year. From 1891 to 1894 he lived in Dresden and briefly taught Josef Hofmann. He returned to Russia in January, 1894, gravely ill with heart disease. Later that year he died in Peterhof, a summer retreat where Rubinstein owned a dacha. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 205 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Leonard Pennario: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075899272 Release Date: 02/08/2019   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Henry Charles Litolff,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario,  Jascha Heifetz,  Gregor Piatigorsky
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  André Previn,  René Leibowitz,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 4 & Caprice Russe / Jarvi, Shelest, The Orchestra Now
    Label: The Sorel Organization   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 07/06/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  Anna Shelest
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Orchestra Now
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  • 3.
    Russian Piano Concertos / Various
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95520 Release Date: 04/27/2018   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Sergei Lyapunov,  Anton Rubinstein,  Nikolai Medtner,  Mily Balakirev  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Ponti,  Felicja Blumental,  In-Ju Bang,  Oxana Yablonskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky,  Othmar M. F. Mága,  Helmuth Froschauer,  Pierre Cao  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Julian Lloyd Webber - A Span of Time
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8504053 Release Date: 04/13/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  John Ireland,  Sir Edward Elgar,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  John Lenehan,  Jiaxin Lloyd Webber,  Guy Johnston  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans-Peter Hofmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  European Union Chamber Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Renee Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky in St. Petersburg
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 0743383 Release Date: 02/09/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Medtner  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Ivari Ilja,  Olga Kern
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  State Hermitage Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Decca Sound: The Piano Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832243 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Julius Katchen,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 7.
    Brahms & Rubinstein / Hatch
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3565 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  David Glen Hatch
    Conductor:  Kenneth Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ Church Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Arias & Scenes from Operas / Mazurok, Ermler, State Academic Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002393 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Yuri Mazurok
    Conductor:  Mark Ermler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  State Academy Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Rubinstein: Symphony No. 2 & Cello Concerto / Gerhardt, Hanson
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 2320162 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  Alban Gerhardt
    Conductor:  George Hanson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Short Stories / Schumann, Klett
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 17458 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Karl Davidov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Schumann,  Martin Klett
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  • 11.
    Stunden, Tage, Ewigkeiten / Bailieu, Appl
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 112 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Anton Rubinstein,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Appl,  James Baillieu
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  • 12.
    The American Recordings / Paderewski
    Label: Apr   Catalog: 2047276 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
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  • 13.
    The Complete RCA Recordings / Isserlis
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88985312572 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Woldemar Bargiel  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis,  Matthew Wilkie,  Marieke Blankestijn,  Douglas Boyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Rubinstein: Collected Songs, Pt. 1 / Shkirtil, Lukonin, Serov
    Label: Northern Flowers   Catalog: 9960 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  Mikhail Lukonin,  Yury Serov,  Mila Shkirtil
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  • 15.
    Dmitri Hvorostovsky Sings of War, Peace, Love & Sorrow
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3517 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Asmik Grigorian,  Irina Shishkova,  Mikhail Guzhov  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra,  Helikon Opera Chorus
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  • 16.
    Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Don Quixote / Zamparas, Mitchell
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3462 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  Grigorios Zamparas
    Conductor:  Jon Ceander Mitchell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Romantic Piano Concertos
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95300 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Baptist Cramer,  Carl Czerny,  Ferdinand Ries,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Akiko Sagara,  Michael Ponti,  Maria Littauer,  Felicja Blumental  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Cao,  Paul Angerer,  Alois Springer,  Alberto Zedda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Southwest German Chamber Orchestra,  Hamburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503227 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Roy Harris,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Bruno Walter,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
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  • 19.
    Clair de Lune & Liebestraum - Piano Music To Dream By
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88697757892 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn,  Vladimir Horowitz,  Artur Rubinstein,  Glenn Gould  ... 
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  • 20.
    Poeme: The Artistry of Lydia Mordkovitch
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10866 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Richard Wagner,  Ernest Chausson,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Gusak-Grin,  Lydia Mordkovitch,  Clifford Benson,  Julian Milford
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  • 21.
    A Gramophone Tribute To Erling Blondal Bengtsson
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 738 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Erling Blondal Bengtsson,  Victor Schiøler,  Georg Vásárhelyi,  Herman D. Koppel
    Conductor:  Henrik Sachsenskjold
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  • 22.
    Vassily Sapellnikoff, Xaver Scharwenka: The Complete Recordings
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6016 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mily Balakirev,  Anton Rubinstein,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Performer:  Vassily Sapellnikoff,  Franz Xaver Scharwenka
    Conductor:  Stanley Chapple
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Russian Romances
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002319 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  César Cui,  Anton Rubinstein,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Elena Zaremba,  Antonina Kadobnova
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  • 24.
    Rubinstein: Music For Piano Four Hands, Vol. 1 / Duo Pianistico Di Firenze
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95016 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein
    Performer:  Sara Bartolucci,  Rodolfo Alessandrini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Pianistico Di Firenze
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  • 25.
    Les Choeurs De L'armee Rouge, Vol. 5
    Label: Fremeaux & Associes   Catalog: 5459 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vasily Solov'yov-Sedoy,  Traditional,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein  ... 
    Performer:  I. Savchuk,  Nikolai Abramov,  Alexei Sergeyev,  Barbra Streisand / Marvin Hamlisch  ... 
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