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Rubinstein, Anton
Anton Rubinstein
November 28 1829 – November 20 1894

Anton Rubinstein’s work diverted quite starkly from his Russian contemporaries. While others were pursuing a nationalist approach to composition, Rubinstein was more well rounded. He had more international experience, and his craft lent itself more to the German style.

Rubinstein was originally taught piano by his mother. The family moved to Moscow when he was eight, where he accepted formal, private instruction from Alexander Villoing, a noted teacher. He encouraged Rubinstein to tour Europe, and the family moved to Berlin, then Vienna. Shortly thereafter his father died, leaving the family penniless. Rubinstein gave lessons to make ends meet.

A return to Russia coincided with the patronage of the Grand Duchess of Pavlovna. Rubinstein’s skills grew, and he finally tasted success.

Rubinstein founded the Russian Musical Society, then, later, the St. Petersburg Conservatory, which he led for its first five years. He continued to write, and toured throughout Europe and America. It was then that he composed The Demon, one of his most popular works.

Rubinstein is known for his virtuosity as a pianist, and for striking his own compositional path at a time of surging musical nationalism.

Notable works:
The Demon
Nero
Paradise Lost
Tower of Babel
Ocean Symphony
Piano Concerto No. 4

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