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Press release

Dedicated to Anton Rubinstein

Photo of A. G. Rubinstein
The 2010 “Art-November” Festival is dedicated the unique personality of Russian culture – Anton Grigorievich Rubinstein.

The participants are a group of outstanding Russian pianists, heirs to the great tradition of concert performance rightly ranked as top stars of contemporary music: Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Ghindin, Konstantin Lifshits, Alexei Volodin, Peter Laul, Andrei Korobeinikov and others. The concert programmes prepared by longstanding participants of “Art November” such as Tatiana Grindenko, Alexander Knyazev, the Shostakovich String Quartet, the Moscow Piano Trio, the Brahms Trio and other famed performers and ensembles are tied to Rubinstein’s artistic legacy, his predilections as a pianist, the programmes of the celebrated Historical Recitals, and the art of his friends, students and followers.

The list of international participants of the festival includes the legendary American Piano Quartet, who will perform the pieces created by Anton Rubinstein during his grand concert tour in the USA. Michael Sussmann, the renowned violin player from Norway and the artistic director of the Grieg Festival in Bergen, will present a programme consisting solely of the work of Edvard Grieg, a composer who was catapulted to fame by Anton Rubinstein. One of the most brilliant Spanish pianists of today, Alba Ventura, will perform at the festival pieces by Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz – a composer and virtuoso pianist who laid the foundation of contemporary Spanish professional music, and was called by his contemporaries and admirers of his piano talent “a Spanish Rubinstein”.

The opening at the Institute of Art Sciences of the monographic exhibition “Anton Rubinstein. Chronicle of the Epoch”, featuring documentary materials and photographs spanning Anton Rubinstein’s life from his early years onwards will mark the beginning of the Festival’s visual arts programme. The loans from the unique collection of artefacts of the Moscow collector and Rubinstein devotee Tatyana Bolycheva make it possible to present a vivid life picture of this great musician. Some of Rubinstein’s personal belongings from Bolycheva’s collection will be shown at the Marina Tsvetaeva Memorial Museum alongside the exhibition of paintings and graphic works “The World of Anton Rubinstein” of the well-known Moscow artist Alla Bedina, who creates in her artworks the atmosphere of 19th-century Moscow, St. Petersburg and many European cities in which Anton Rubinstein performed his triumphant “Historical Recitals”. The Institute of Art Sciences will house the concluding exhibition of the festival “Improvisations” – a painterly paraphrase of Rubinstein’s brilliant improvisational style by the renowned French artist Emmanuel Flipo, on loan from Eugene Morozov’s collection.

The scope of Rubinstein’s activity – he was the founder of the Imperial Russian Musical Society and the first Russian conservatory, as well as an outstanding pianist, teacher, composer, and conductor – brings to mind the ancient myths about giants. All that forms the backbone of professional life of musicians in Russia today – music education, the organization of philharmonic concerts, international competitions, public music libraries and many other things – was conceived, created and first put into practice by Anton Rubinstein. It was Rubinstein who first introduced the occupation of musician into the Table of Ranks, a formal list of public service positions and ranks of Imperial Russia. It was Rubinstein who became the first official “Steinway Artist” – it is believed that the idea of such an endorsement was conceived by Rubinstein, who suggested it to the company’s owner. Rubinstein introduced these grand pianos at his performances across the world, and his exceptional performing talent contributed greatly both to the improvement of the piano’s mechanics and the popularization of the instrument, which is an uncontestable leader in the world of music today.

The 17th “Art-November” festival dedicated to Anton Rubinstein will open on November 1 with a “Steinway Parade”, with ten of the best Russian, American and European pianists performing in the Svetlanov Hall of the Moscow International Performing Arts Centre.
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