Rubinstein, Anton (Grigor'yevich)
(Born; Vikhvatinets, 28 Nov 1829; Died; Peterhof, 20 Nov 1894). Russian pianist, composer and teacher, brother of Nikolay Rubinstein. After a cosmopolitan childhood as a virtuoso, he enjoyed enormous international success, becoming one of the greatest 19th-century pianists, his playing being compared with Liszt's. From 1859, when he founded the Russian Musical Society with his patron the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, he was an influential if controversial figure in Russian musical life; in 1862 he founded and directed (1862-7, from 1887) the St Petersburg Conservatory to combat what he perceived to be the amateurishness of the new nationalist movement in music. But his dogmatism relaxed by the 1870s and his work in education made its mark on musical standards throughout the country. Exceptionally prolific as a composer, he worked in haste, unable to rise above the commonplace; only the Melody in F op.3 no. 1 for piano and the opera Demon (1871) achieved success. Tchaikovsky was among his pupils.
© Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK
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