Music Composers

Anton G. Rubinstein-Part 9

This giant of tonal art, this Russian patriot, philanthropist and musician, wielded a mighty influence in the musical world of both Europe and the United States. To this day students of the piano owe him a great debt of gratitude. The value of the impulse he gave to music in Russia cannot be estimated.

When he returned to the homeland, in 1849, after his several years of association with music-makers and performers abroad, he found so little conception of the worth of musical art that his music manuscripts, the fruits of long and conscientious toil, were confiscated at the frontier for fear that what purported to be notes might contain some dangerous secret code. Here and there he encountered groups of excellent musical amateurs, but music as a profession held so low a status that even Glinka, considered at the time Russia's greatest musical genius, owed his standing in his native country to being a member of the nobility and a public office-holder, rather than as a musician.

Young as Rubinstein then was, he resolved to employ his best powers in effecting a change. By the season of 1858-1859, having continually enlarged his knowledge and experience at home and abroad, he had succeeded, with the aid of the Grand Duchess Helena and a few other enlightened people, in establishing the Russian Music Society, which resulted n having music schools established in St. Peteresburg, Moscow and Kiev.

By 1852 the music school at St. Petersburg had developed into a full-fledged conservatory of music. Rubinstein was appointed its first director, and held the office for five consecutive years, resuming it again, for a time, after a long period of absence devoted to concerts.

The Etude Magazine December 1920





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