Anton Rubinstein (1829–94) was a central figure in the growth of Russian music in the second half of the 19th century. He was famous across Europe as a virtuoso pianist, but in Russia he was also well known as a composer, conductor and educator. In 1862, Rubinstein founded the St Petersburg Conservatory, where he would later teach Tchaikovsky. In 1866, Rubinstein’s older brother, Nikolai, also an important pianist and composer, founded the Moscow Conservatory, and the two brothers played an important role in the consolidation of musical education in Russia. The cello concertos presented here demonstrate the two sides of Rubinstein’s musical personality, combining aspects of the German techniques he had learned with distinctively Russian elements, especially in the folk-inspired melodies of their faster sections.