Rubets, Oleksander

Rubets, Oleksander [Рубець, Олександер; Rubets'], b 13 October 1838 in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv gubernia, d 11 May 1913 in Starodub, Chernihiv gubernia. Musicologist, ethnographer, teacher, composer, and conductor. He studied music theory and composition with M. Zaremba at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1866, and where he later taught theory and choral singing until 1895. In 1896 Rubets lost his sight and settled in Starodub. He authored several textbooks on music theory and compiled a biographical dictionary of musicians. An enthusiastic collector of folk songs, he published several collections of Ukrainian folk songs (1870, 1872, and 1876). These were used as sources for musical themes by Peter Tchaikovsky (Symphony no. 2, Piano Concerto no. 1, and the opera Mazeppa), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and other composers. Rubets’s musical works include an orchestral overture, several choral pieces (including a ‘Hymn to Gogol’), approx 10 solo songs (such as ‘Dumy moï,’ the first musical arrangement of Taras Shevchenko’s text), and works for piano and violin. His students included A. Arensky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Aleksandr Glazunov, Yosyp Myklashevsky, and Pavlo Senytsia.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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