The Russian composer and one of the greatest pianists of the 19th century,Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, was born on November 16, 1829, in Vykhvatinets, Podolia province, Russia (today part of Moldova).
From 1844 to 1846, he and his brother studied music theory in Berlin.Antonhe spent two more years abroad alone, mainly in Vienna, studying piano and composition. Upon his return to Russia in 1848 he settled in Saint Petersburg, where in 1852 his first opera was produced,Dmitry Donskoy;Fomka durachokandSibirskiye okhotniki(The Siberian hunters) appeared in Saint Petersburg in 1853. The years 1854 to 1858 were spent abroad.
Under the patronage of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna,Rubinsteinhe founded the Russian Music Society in 1859 and later became the conductor of its orchestral concerts. In 1862 he founded and became director of the Imperial Conservatory (or St. Petersburg), and in 1866 his brother founded the Moscow Conservatory, where Nikolay remained as director until his death in 1881.Anton RubinsteinHe resigned as director of the Imperial Conservatory in 1867 but resumed it in 1887 and continued to hold the position until 1891. From 1871 to 1872 he directed the concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic, and in 1872 he toured the United States.
The operas ofRubensteinincludeThe demon(performed for the first time in 1875),Der Makkabäer(first performed in 1875) andKupets Kalashnikov(performed for the first time in 1880; The merchant Kalashnikov). He wrote six symphonies, the biblical operaDer Turm zu Babel(performed for the first time in 1870; The Tower of Babel), five piano concertos, songs, piano pieces, and numerous chamber works.
In 1889Rubinsteinpublished an autobiography, translated by Aline Delano asAutobiography of Anton Rubinstein(1890; reprinted in 1988).