Nikolai Grigorevich Rubinstein

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rubinstein, Nikolai Grigor’evich


Born June 2 (14), 1835, in Moscow; died Mar. 22 (23), 1881, in Paris; buried in Moscow. Russian pianist, conductor, teacher, and public figure in music.

Rubinstein studied piano with A. I. Villoing and T. Kullak. In 1855 he graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University. As a student he gave highly acclaimed concerts. A musician and educator, he was, like his brother, A. G. Rubinstein, actively involved in professional music education in Russia. He initiated and supervised the organization of the Moscow branch of the Russian Music Society in 1860 and appeared in its symphony and chamber concerts as a conductor and soloist. In 1860 he opened the society’s music classes, which served as the foundation for the establishment of the Moscow Conservatory in 1866. Until his death Rubinstein was a professor at the conservatory and its director. S. I. Taneev and A. I. Siloti were among his students.

One of the brilliant pianists and conductors of the 19th century, Rubinstein gave the premiere performances of many piano and symphonic works by Tchaikovsky, of whose work he was both a profound interpreter and a popularizer. Under his direction, students at the Moscow Conservatory gave the premiere performance of Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. The piano trio “to the memory of a great artist” (1882) was dedicated to Rubinstein by Tchaikovsky. Rubinstein composed piano pieces and art songs.


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Dulova-Zograf, A. Iu. “Moi vospominaniia o N. G. Rubinshteine.” Muzyka, 1912, nos. 68–73, 84, 86–89, 96–97, 106.
Solovtsov, A. N. Rubinshtein. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.