Rubenstein, Artur

Rubenstein, Artur (or Arthur)

(1887–1982) pianist; born in Lódź, Poland. He began playing in early childhood and completed his studies in Berlin. He was already famous when he made his U.S. debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1906, but his American appearances were not at first successful. With the outbreak of World War II he settled in Hollywood, played for movie sound tracks, and appeared as himself in two films including Carnegie Hall (1947). His reputation grew through the years until by the 1950s he was universally considered one of the giants of the keyboard. A supreme interpreter of Chopin and the standard repertoire, he was also acclaimed for his playing of modern Spanish composers. He was a U.S. citizen from 1946. In 1976, as his performances were finally winding down, he was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom.