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Nikolai Grigoryevich Rubinstein

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Nikolai Rubinstein

Born Nikolai Grigoryevich Rubinstein (2 June 183523 March 1881) was a Russian pianist and composer. He was the younger brother of Anton Rubinstein and a close friend of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Born in Moscow, where his father had just opened a small factory, he studied piano first with his mother, and later with Alexander Villoing, like his brother. He was responsible for founding the Moscow Conservatory on September 1, 1866 - he was also its director. During his lifetime he was generally regarded as one of the greatest virtuoso pianists of his time, although now his reputation is overshadowed by his brother's. While holding that post, he convinced Tchaikovsky to write for him the celebrated Piano Concerto No. 1. According to Tchaikovsky's letters, he was unimpressed with the work, and would only premier it if rewritten. Tchaikovsky refused, and the work was premier by the pianist Hans von Bülow instead. Nevertheless, Tchaikovsky wrote his Piano Trio in A minor in Rubinstein's memory after he died in Paris.

He was also a composer of some note. Among his most popular works is his Tarantella in G minor for solo piano.

References

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