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concerts in the company of his twin brothers, Modest and Anatoly.

As Modest
later recalled in the biography of his brother:

At the house of Prince Beloselsky there was a charity concert for amateurs.
Pyotr Ilich and we, the twins, were among the audience. There, too, was Anton
Grigoryevich Rubinstein in the prime of his unique, monstrousif you can put
it like thatbeauty, as a man of genius and then at the height of his artistic fame.
Pyotr Ilich pointed him out to me for the rst time, and now, forty years later, I
can vividly remember the agitation, the delight, and the reverence with which the
future pupil gazed at his future teacher. He no longer looked at the stage, but, like a
love-crazed youth, nervously followed the unapproachable maiden at a distance
he did not tear his eyes away from his divinity, and, during the intervals, he
walked behind him unnoticed, trying to catch his voice, and envying the people
who were fortunate enough to shake his hand. . . . Indeed, Anton Grigoryevich was
the rst one who gave the budding composer the model of an artist boundlessly
devoted to the interests of his art and honest to the smallest detail in his strivings
and in his methods for attaining his goal. In this sense, incomparably more than
because of the lessons in composition and orchestration, Pyotr Ilich was his pupil.
With Pyotr Ilichs inherent talent and the thirst for study which gripped him, any
other teacher could have given him essentially that which Anton Grigoryevich gave
him, without impressing in any way his inuence on the compositions of Pyotr
Ilich. As an energetic, irreproachably pure gure, as an artist of genius, as a person
incapable of any compromise with his conscience, the indefatigable enemy of char-
latanism, majestically disdaining inated banality, and allowing no concessions to
it, and as an unceasing toilerhe was unquestionably a teacher who left a pro-
found impression on the artistic career of Pyotr Ilich.88

When the Conservatory opened in 1862 Tchaikovsky was still working as a


clerk at the Ministry of Justice, living the carefree life of a socialite and taking
his rst tentative steps toward a career in music. He nally resigned his post at
the ministry in the spring of 1863 but began receiving composition lessons from
Rubinstein only in the fall of that year; previously (186162) he had worked
through Marxs course in harmony with Zaremba, and then, during the conser-
vatorys rst year, strict counterpoint and church modes from the book by Bel-
lermann.89 Thus, in the fall of 1863, he was attending Zarembas class in form
and simultaneously Anton Rubinsteins recently opened class in orchestration.
Laroche has left us a lucid portrait of Rubinstein at this period: The mighty
personality of the director of the Conservatory inspired in us students endless
love mixed with not a small dose of fear. In reality, there was not a head more
indulgent and good-natured, but his gloomy look, quick temper, and turbulent
character, combined with the charm of a name famed throughout Europe,
nevertheless acted on people in an unusually imposing manner. It was the cher-
ished desire of all piano students to get into his large classes, Laroche tells us,
which consisted of three male students and a veritable ock of female ones.
One of the tasks he set for students was to play Czernys Tgliche Studien in all
twelve keys and with the same ngering. As a lecturer, Laroche compares him
to Zaremba. The latter, despite his Polish origins, spoke Russian perfectly with

110 Anton Rubinstein