Artur Rubinstein

Biography

Born: January 28, 1887; Poland   Died: December 20, 1982; Switzerland  
Warm, lyrical, and aristocratic in his interpretations, Artur Rubinstein performed impressively into extremely old age, and he was a keyboard prodigy almost from the time he could climb onto a piano bench. He came from a mercantile rather than a musical family, but fixated on the piano as soon as he heard it. At age three he impressed Joseph Joachim, and by the age of seven he was playing Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn at a charity concert in Read more his hometown. In Warsaw, he had piano lessons with Alexander Róóycki; then in 1897 he was sent to Berlin to study piano with Heinrich Barth and theory with Robert Kahn and Max Bruch, all under Joachim's general supervision. In 1899 came his first notable concerto appearance in Potsdam. Soon thereafter, just barely a teenager, he began touring Germany and Poland.

After brief studies with Paderewski in Switzerland in 1903, Rubinstein moved to Paris, where he met Ravel, Dukas, and Jacques Thibaud, and played Saint-Saëns' G minor Concerto to the composer's approval. That work would remain a flashy Rubinstein vehicle for six decades, and it was the concerto he offered in his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1906. His under-prepared American tour was not especially well-received, though, so he withdrew to Europe for further study. Rubinstein became an adept and sensitive chamber musician and accompanist; his 1912 London debut was accompanying Pablo Casals, and during World War I he toured with Eugčne Ysa˙e.

He gave several successful recitals in Spain during the 1916-1917 season, and soon toured Latin America. Along the way he developed a great flair for Hispanic music; Heitor Villa-Lobos went so far as to dedicate to Rubinstein his Rudepoema, one of the toughest works in the repertory. Although Rubinstein would later be somewhat typecast as a Chopin authority, his readings of Falla, Granados, and Albéniz would always be equally idiomatic.

Rubinstein's international reputation grew quickly, although he was by his own account a sloppy technician. In the mid-1930s he withdrew again and drilled himself in technique. By 1937 he reemerged as a musician of great discipline, poise, and polish -- qualities he would mostly retain until his farewell recital in London in 1976, at the age of 89. Rubinstein's temperament had sufficient fire for Beethoven but enough poetry for Chopin; his tempos and dynamics were always flexible, but never distorted. His 1960s recordings for RCA of nearly all Chopin's solo piano music have been considered basic to any record collection since their release, and his version of Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain is another classic, as are his various late collaborations with the Guarneri Quartet.

Rubinstein became a naturalized American citizen in 1946, but he maintained residences in California, New York, Paris, and Geneva; two of his children were born in the United States, one in Warsaw, and one in Buenos Aires. He had married Aniela Mlynarska in 1932, but womanizing remained integral to his reputation as an irrepressible bon vivant. He maintained that the slogan "wine, women, and song" as applied to him meant 80 percent women and only 20 percent wine and song.

Still, there was a serious side to his life. After World War II, he refused ever again to perform in Germany, in response to the Nazi extermination of his Polish family. Rubinstein became a strong supporter of Israel; in gratitude, an international piano competition in his name was instituted in Jerusalem in 1974. His honors included the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society of London, the U.S. Medal of Freedom (1976), and membership in the French Legion of Honor. Read less

Browse 1-25 of 168 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Debussy - Le Compositeur Et Ses Interpretes
    Label: Aeon   Catalog: 1215 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Claire Croiza,  George Reeves,  Ninon Vallin,  Gustav Cloëz  ... 
    Conductor:  Camille Chevillard,  Pierre Monteux,  Walther Straram,  Arturo Toscanini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Des Concerts Lamoureux,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre Des Concerts Straram  ... 
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  • 2.
    Chopin - Solo Piano Vol 1
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 1150 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Alfred Cortot,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Ignaz Friedman,  Artur Rubinstein  ... 
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  • 3.
    Artur Rubinstein Plays Brahms And Schumann
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 43081 Release Date: 06/09/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Franco Caracciolo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Naples
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  • 4.
    Beethoven, Chopin, Villa-lobos, Etc / Rubinstein
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4216 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Rudolf Schwarz,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Brahms, Mozart: Piano Concertos / Rubinstein
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4187 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky, Schumann: Piano Concertos / Rubinstein, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4152 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Rudolf Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Carnegie Hall
    Label: Bel Canto Society   Catalog: 791 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Ezio Pinza,  Jan Peerce,  Artur Rubinstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Artur Rodzinski,  Bruno Walter,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 8.
    A Tribute To Spain / Ansermet, Rubinstein, Suisse Romande
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 3134 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Maurice Ravel - Son Oeuvre Et Son Temps Vol 2 - 1910-1925
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 3048 Release Date: 09/03/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Jascha Heifetz,  Artur Rubinstein
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  • 10.
    Masters Of The Piano Roll - The Great Pianists Vol 8 - Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, Etc / Rubinstein
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
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  • 11.
    The Original Piano Roll Recordings - Brahms, Mendelssohn / Artur Rubinstein, Myra Hess, Vladimir De Pachmann
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: 36 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Myra Hess,  Artur Rubinstein,  Vladimir de Pachmann
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Capriccio Italien
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 414 Release Date: 02/03/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Ilya Stupel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artur Rubinstein State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Piano Masterworks - The World's Favourite Piano Classics - Bach, Debussy, Etc / Argerich, Arrau, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B001206502 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Friedrich Gulda,  Wilhelm Kempff  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal,  Horst Stein,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Artur Rubinstein In Concert
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001121809 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Grieg, Chopin, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos / Rubinstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000673109 Release Date: 09/12/2006  
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Best Chopin 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58513 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson,  Danielle Laval,  Teresa Llacuna,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Charles Dutoit,  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra,  Society of the Conservatory Concerts Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Icon - Artur Rubinstein - The Chopin Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55334 Release Date: 03/23/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Legendary Rubinstein! - Chopin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 302502 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Rubinstein, Heifetz, Piatigorsky
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 92841 Release Date: 05/06/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Claude Debussy,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Jascha Heifetz,  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Donald Voorhees,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    The Legendary Artur Rubinstein
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67007 Release Date: 02/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
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  • 21.
    The Legendary Jascha Heifetz
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67005 Release Date: 02/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Scott,  César Franck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Emanuel Bay,  Artur Rubinstein,  Arpád Sándor
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  • 22.
    The Very Best Of Jascha Heifetz
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 164862 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jean Sibelius,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Artur Rubinstein,  Arok Sandor,  Emanuel Bay
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Thomas Beecham
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  • 23.
    Arthur Rubinstein - Chopin
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 64933 Release Date: 03/15/1994   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $53.99
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  • 24.
    Chopin: Mazurkas, Polonaises, Scherzi / Arthur Rubinstein
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 64697 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 25.
    Jascha Heifetz - Recital
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 64929 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Cyril Scott,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Karol Szymanowski,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Emanuel Bay,  Jascha Heifetz,  Arpád Sándor,  Artur Rubinstein  ... 
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