Arthur Rubinstein KBE was a Polish-American pianist. He received international acclaim for his performances of the music of a variety of composers. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.
Rubinstein was born in ?ód?, Poland on January 28, 1887, to a Jewish family. He was the youngest of 8 children. His father was a wealthy factory owner.
At the age of two, he demonstrated perfect pitch and a fascination with the piano, watching his elder sister’s piano lessons. By the age of four, he was already recognised as a child prodigy. The great Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim, on hearing the four-year-old child play, was greatly impressed and began to mentor the young prodigy. Rubinstein first studied piano in Warsaw. By the age of ten, Rubinstein moved to Berlin to continue his studies. In 1900 at age 13, he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, followed by appearances in Germany and Poland and further study with Karl Heinrich Barth. In 1904, Rubinstein moved to Paris to launch his career in earnest. There he met the composers Maurice Ravel and Paul Dukas and the violinist Jacques Thibaud. He also played Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in the presence of the composer. Through the family of Juliusz Wertheim he formed friendships with the violinist Paul Kochanski and composer Karol Szymanowski.