BOGO: Add two ebooks to your cart, go to checkout and use code #bogo in the box on the right

Artur Rubinstein Was A Vampire

Artur Rubinstein Was A Vampire

Artur Rubinstein, one of the most famous pianists of the twentieth century, was a vampire.

That's what famed composer Igor Stravinsky called him, accusing him of drinking the lifeblood of composers. They were having a heated argument over Stravinsky's music.

Rubinstein loved Stravinsky and championed his music to many audiences, far ahead of his time in terms of piano recital programming.

Piano Is Easy

But that was what made Igor so angry. He hated the fact that most concerts were constructed entirely of dead composer's music.

Even today, that is the case. Orchestras and soloists in those days (circa 1930) made careers and sold records on the strength of the tried and true war-horses, like Beethoven and Chopin.

They left the adventurous new pieces to a few brave souls like Artur Rubinstein, and various specialists. In fact Rubinstein played Stravinsky's crazy-sounding music around the world, making up his own arrangements of Stravinsky's orchestral pieces to create unique programs. He helped to popularize the thorny Stravinsky.

Rubinstein Championed Stravinsky's Music

Igor was a modern composer, a genius difficult to digest fully in post World War I times. People were longing for fun and brightness. It took decades after his initial success around 1900 for Stravinsky to penetrate the popular consciousness.

Audiences loved Stravinsky's orchestral works, which were all unique and haunting. Eventually he did prove himself a success as a modern composer, an event even more rare than flying pigs.

 Stravinsky Accuses Rubinstein

But back in that heated moment in 1930 when Igor spoke with the injured venom of the penniless composer, this is what Stravinsky said, more or less, to the vastly successful concert pianist Artur Rubinstein: "You pianists become millionaires playing the music of the starving Mozart and Schubert and the poor mad Schumann, the tubercular Chopin and the sick Beethoven. Pianists are like a vampire, living off the blood of these great geniuses."

But now it's a hundred years later, and Stravinsky is one of the geniuses on which we vampires feed.


Music History

What Killed the Golden Age of the Piano

Carl Tausig Cooks His Cat

I Meet Aaron Copland

George Sand Killed Chopin

Why Brahms Must Have Been Fat

Igor Stravinsky Loses His Cool

Vladimir Horowitz Goes To The Racetrack

Beethoven Was No Beauty

The World’s Largest Blue Danube Waltz

Was Mozart Murdered?

Beethoven’s Rage Over A Lost Penny

Franz Schubert, The First Bohemian

Chopin’s Singing Piano Tone

Stravinsky’s Good Luck

Tchaikovsky’s Greatest Fan

Hector Berlioz and the Orchestral Train Wreck

Piano Lessons with Papa Bach

Piano Lessons with Frederic Chopin

The Great Piano Craze of 1910

The American Piano Wars

Why Hugo Wolf Went Insane

Rachmaninoff and the Evolution of Pop Songs

Musical Feuds

Piano In The Past Was Better

The Master’s Hands

Einstein’s Piano

Einstein’s Violin Improvisations In Gypsy Style

A History of Piano and Numbers

Ryan Seacrest’s Piano Concerto #2

Leave a comment


We've turned notes into numbers for happy beginners at the piano!

Play Along Songs Are Fun!


Turn that big piano into a toy! Play fun piano games with your child today! We help take the confusion out of beginning music theory.

Downloads Sent Worldwide!


International orders are welcome on ebooks! If requested we will send free pre-printed stickers worldwide! No shipping charges on downloads!



eBooks include a sticker template. You can use the sticker template and/or request FREE pre-printed stickers sent via surface mail.

Shop eBooks