Nikolai Rubinstein

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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.


Kashkin, N. D. “N. G. Rubinshtein.” Moskovskie vedomosti, 1906, no. 65.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor is a work made in memory of Russian pianist Nikolai Rubinstein.
After winning the First prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein piano competition in Paris in 1998, he started giving concerts in Europe, Russia and Japan.
Esta obra de Tchaikovsky, como sucede a menudo con las composiciones revolucionarias y que se anticipan a su tiempo, no fue bien recibida en un principio; incluso Nikolai Rubinstein (1835 1881), gran pianista y amigo intimo de Tchaikovsky, la considero imposible de tocar, horrible y sin importancia.
In Boston in 1875, he gave the world premier of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in B-flat Minor, a work Tchaikovsky re-dedicated to him after the original dedicatee, Nikolai Rubinstein verbally trashed it in front of the composer.
Tchaikovsky's monumental Piano Trio in A minor was written in memory of the great pianist Nikolai Rubinstein.
3) Considered by some to be the equal of his brother as pianist, Nikolai Rubinstein was not as controversial a figure.
Like his violin concerto, Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto was spurned by the man to whom it was dedicated, the composer's friend and mentor, Nikolai Rubinstein.