Arthur Rubinstein

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The legendary RubinsteinArthur Rubinstein was seven years old in 1894, when he played the piano in public for the first time. By the time his career ended, eighty-two years later, he had performed with phenomenal success in most countries of the world.

He was born in Lodz, Poland (part of the Russian Empire at that time) to Jewish parents. By the age of 4, Rubinstein was recognised as a child prodigy. He studied piano in Warsaw, later moving to Berlin to continue his studies while playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rubinstein travelled to several countries and made his home at various times in Poland, Germany, France, England and the United States  playing at many concerts throughout.

Rubinstein lead a very exuberant lifestyle, it is said that he could have earned his living as stand up comedian. He loved entertaining the audiences at various venues and was fluent in eight languages. This joie de vivre lent a special quality to Rubinstein's music. He was pretty much unrivalled as a pianist for many years and was known as the Maestro of Chopin's works, he also counted himself as a Mozart devotee and returned to play Mozart in later life, but in a later conversation he named Brahms as his favourite composer.

His private life was equally flamboyant, he married in 1932 at the age of forty-five and had five children. At the age of 90, he left his wife for a young woman, having had numerous affairs in between.

Rubinstein was proud of his Jewish heritage and had a great affinity with his native Poland. He died in 1982 at the age of ninety-five and his ashes were buried in Jerusalem.

Beginning in 1928 until his retirement in 1976 Rubinstein made a large number of solo, concerto and chamber music recordings, some of these are available to borrow from the Music Library.


  1. Rubinstein, the HMV recordings  (Chopin)
  2. The legendary Rubinstein (Chopin)
  3. Nocturnes and Scherzi, Artur Rubinstein, piano, historical recordings 1932, 1936 and 1937 (Chopin)
  4. Artur Rubinstein, Recorded 1927-1933
  5. Preludes and Sonata No. 2 and, Barcarolle, and, Berceuse (Chopin)

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