Arthur Rubinstein (January 28, 1887 – December 20, 1982) was a famous
Polish-American pianist, best known for his performances of Chopin and his
championing of Spanish music.
Rubinstein was born in Łódź to a Jewish family, and studied in Warsaw. He
made his debut in Berlin in 1900, followed by appearances in Germany and
Poland and further study with Paderewski. In 1904, he went to Paris, where
he met the composers Ravel, Dukas, and Saint-Saëns, and the violinist
Rubinstein made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1906, and
thereafter toured the United States, Austria, Italy, and Russia. In 1912, he
made his London debut.
During World War I Rubinstein lived mainly in London, accompanying the
violinst Eugčne Ysa˙e. From 1916 to 1917, he toured Spain and South America,
developing an enthusiasm for the music of Granados, Albéniz, Villa-Lobos,
and de Falla. In 1932 he withdrew from concert life for several years to
work on his technique and repertory.
During World War II, Rubinstein lived in the United States and became a
naturalized citizen in 1946. He retired from the stage in 1976, as his
eyesight was rapidly deteriorating.
Although best known as a soloist, Rubinstein was also an outstanding
chamber musician, partnering with Szeryng, Heifetz, Piatigorsky, the
Guarneri Quartet. In addition to Chopin, he also recorded the music of
Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and Dvorak.
Rubinstein died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1982 at age 95.