Remembering January 28th 1969 and the concert celebrating Arthur Rubinstein's 100th anniversary in Lodz, his hometown. For the occasion, his son, John Rubinstein, conducted the Lodz Philharmonic Orchestra. This documentary featuring family memories and archival footages is a unique occasion to rediscover the career of this legendary pianist in a more intimate way.
Noises of the factories, Gipsy musicians and merchants in the streets of Lodz constituted the first musical memories of Arthur Rubinstein. At the age of 3, the young pianist used to sit under the family piano to attend his older sisters' lessons. He soon developed a perfect pitch and an uncommon sensitivity. His father thought the piano was too popular at the time, so he offered Arthur a violin. Immediately, the young musician smashed the instrument into pieces. He was born a pianist, as he later declared. He demonstrated the same determination and enthusiasm in his manner of interpreting Chopin, which gave back to the composer his heroic dimension, while he was considered a "tubercular composer for swooning ladies" by pianists of the time.
He left Poland when he was 13 to study in Berlin and later in Paris, where he was acclaimed by the audience. He went back to Berlin after his first American tour which was not as successful as he had hoped. He was 19 years-old and had no money. He then tried to kill himself out of despair but immediately "fell in love with life" after this event. A Spanish tour established Rubinstein as a remarkable interpreter of de Falla and Albeniz. He then became a genius, internationally renowned for his talent and for his temper.
With the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Antal Doráti