Rubinstein [Rubinshteyn], Anton Grigor′yevich
- Edward Garden
(b Vikhvatintsï, Ukraine [Podoliya], 16/Nov 28, 1829; d Peterhof [now Petrodvorets], 8/Nov 20, 1894). Russian pianist, composer, conductor and teacher, brother of Nikolay Rubinstein. He was one of the greatest pianists of the 19th century; his playing was compared with Liszt’s, to the disadvantage of neither. He was also an influential, if controversial, figure in Russian musical circles, and an exceptionally prolific composer.
After early piano lessons from his mother, at the age of seven Rubinstein went to a piano teacher named A.I. Villoing. He gave his first public concert in 1839 and between 1840 and 1843 Villoing took him on an extended tour of Europe. Child virtuosos were at that time fashionable; he gave concerts in Paris, where he met Chopin and Liszt, the Netherlands, where he had what was to prove a fruitful meeting with members of the Russian imperial family, and London, where he was received by Queen Victoria. They then travelled by way of Norway and Sweden to Germany, visiting Prussia, Saxony and Austria as well as many of the smaller German sovereignties. After a short stay in Russia, the Rubinsteins settled in Berlin and remained there between ...