Nikolay Hubert

Tchaikovsky Research
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Nikolay Hubert (1840–1888)

Russian music critic, teacher and pianist (b. 7/19 March 1840 in Saint Petersburg; d. 27 September/9 October 1888 [1] in Moscow), born Nikolay Albertovich Gubert (Николай Альбертович Губерт).

Hubert studied composition with Nikolay Zaremba and harmony with Anton Rubinstein at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he formed a lifelong friendship with his fellow student Tchaikovsky. After graduating in 1869, Hubert moved to Kiev, where he was a teacher in choral singing and music theory for the local branch of the Russian Musical Society, and also worked briefly as an opera conductor in Odessa. In 1871, he was appointed professor of music theory at the Moscow Conservatory, where he once again worked alongside Tchaikovsky, and became its director after Nikolay Rubinstein's death in 1881.

During the 1870s and 1880s he was also the music critic for the journals Contemporary Chronicle (Современная летопись) and Moscow Register (Московские ведомости).

Nikolay Hubert and his wife Aleksandra were among Tchaikovsky's closest friends, and they each made piano transcriptions of many of the composer's orchestral works. Hubert left his post at the Moscow Conservatory in 1883 due to ill health, but returned to the faculty in 1885 and remained there until his death three years later.


Tchaikovsky dedicated O Sing that Song — No. 4 of the Six Romances, Op. 16 (1872–73) — to Nikolay Hubert.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

25 letters from Tchaikovsky to Nikolay Hubert have survived, dating from 1882 to 1888, of which those highlighted in bold have been translated into English on this website:

29 letters from Nikolay Hubert to the composer, dating from 1879 to 1888, are preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, Nos. 673–701).

External Links

Notes and References

  1. In many sources his date of death is given as 26 September/8 October 1888, but Aleksandra Hubert's telegram to Tchaikovsky — which is preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, No. 657) — would put this at least a day later. See also Letter 3679 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 27 September/9 October 1888, and Letter 3680 to Pyotr Jurgenson of the same date.