Arthur Rubinstein

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About Arthur Rubinstein

Rubinstein is forever associated with the music of Chopin, being one of the Polish composer’s most important interpreters of the gramophone era. Many of his recordings remain benchmarks for their supreme finesse, ravishing sonority, infusion of the vocal-inspired bel canto style essential to Chopin’s language, and their mastery of a rubato that sounds as natural as breathing. Born in Łódź, Poland, in 1887, Rubinstein had an impeccable pedigree: He was taught by Paderewski, met Ravel, and performed with Ysaÿe. He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1906 and gave his final concert at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1976. After fleeing war-torn Europe, in 1946 he became an American citizen. Over such a long career, Rubinstein’s playing inevitably evolved: recordings from the ‘30s reveal a freewheeling spirit, exhilarating joie de vivre, and occasionally an endearing touch of recklessness, whereas, after World War II, his playing was generally more polished and refined. His discography is huge, with many duplications of repertoire, extending beyond Chopin to encompass among others: Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and Schumann. Having lived a famously full life, Rubinstein died in 1982, a month short of his 96th birthday.

Lódz, Poland
January 28, 1887
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