David Starobin

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David Starobin
Born 1951 (age 65–66)
New York City, New York, United states
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Guitarist, record producer, composer, writer, filmmaker
Instruments Guitar

David Starobin (born September 27, 1951, New York City) is an American classical guitarist, record producer, composer, writer, and filmmaker.


Starobin started playing the guitar at the age of seven. He studied with Manuel Gayol until age 11, and Albert Valdes Blaine until age 15, whereupon he commenced lessons with the noted guitar pedagogue, Aaron Shearer. In 1973 he graduated from the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, Maryland), while directing Peabody's guitar chamber music program. During this period he coached and performed with pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher, becoming a member of Fleisher's chamber ensemble: The Theater Chamber Players.

Starobin has toured the U.S. as a guitar recitalist, chamber player and orchestral soloist performing at festivals including Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe Chamber, and Tanglewood, and with orchestras and ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He worked at Brooklyn College, Bennington College, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the Manhattan School of Music. He is currently (as of 2013), employed at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2010, along with Jason Vieaux, he started the guitar program at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he is the holder of the Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies.[citation needed]

Starobin is the only guitarist to date (as of 2013) to receive Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Career Grant, in 1988. He was honored by Peabody Conservatory with its "Distinguished Alumni Award" (1999); and was given, with his wife, Becky Starobin, in 2007, ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award for their work with Bridge Records.[citation needed]

In 2011, Starobin was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America's Hall of Fame, earning the GFA's "Artistic Achievement Award". In 1990 he made the first recording of the newly discovered "10 Etudes" by Giulio Regondi (1822–1872), a work now regarded as a landmark in romantic-period guitar repertoire.[citation needed] In 2005 he performed works of Sor and Giuliani in London on a 1923 Herman Hauser parlor guitar for a DVD released by Mel Bay, Inc. (St. Louis, Missouri). [clarification needed]

In the 1980s, he began performing and recording 19th century music on period instruments, notably by Panormo, La Cote, and Stauffer. At the same time, he was performing modern repertoire on traditional Spanish style instruments, including guitars by Herman Hauser, Daniel Friedrich and Thomas Humphrey. In 1981, David and Becky Starobin formed the record label Bridge Records, Inc., which has so far released more than 410 CDs and DVDs (October, 2013). The label has been nominated for 30 Grammy Awards and has received four Grammys to date. Starobin himself was nominated for two Grammy Awards as performer, and was nominated as "Producer of the Year (Classical)" in 2015.

In 1995, Bridge Records signed an agreement with the Library of Congress to co-produce the CD series: "Great Performances from the Library of Congress", featuring previously un-issued concert performances recorded in the LOC's Coolidge Auditorium (1937–present). Artists appearing on the first 25 volumes of the series include Nathan Milstein, George Szell, The Budapest String Quartet, Leontyne Price, Samuel Barber, Cecil Taylor, Leopold Stokowski, Jan DeGaetani, Aaron Copland, The Golden Gate Quartet, Josh White, John Barrows, Berl Senofsky, Gary Graffman, Dorothy Maynor, Artur Balsam, Henryk Szeryng, Buddy Collette, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Marcel Grandjany, Gustave Langenus, and Zino Francescatti. Starobin has given premieres of numerous contemporary works.[1][not in citation given]

Pieces written for David Starobin include[edit]

(solo guitar, unless otherwise noted)

  • William Anderson - "Scherzo" (2001)
  • Theodore Antoniou - "Danza" (1997)
  • Milton BabbittComposition for Guitar (1984); Danci (1996); Soli e Duettini (1989) for flute and guitar
  • Simon BainbridgeGuitar Concerto (1998); Dances for Moon Animals (1999)
  • William Bland — "Between Moments I" (1969); "Home, After Years Away" (1970) for guitar and percussion; "The Point Stops" (1971) for 9 guitars and two mandolins; "Four Songs on poems of Laurence d'A.M. Glass" (1973) soprano and guitar; "An Impression by Arp" (1974) for guitar and 5 instruments; "An Impression by Crumb" (1975) for guitar and chamber ensemble; "Song for David" (1974); "Song on a text by Rick Meyers" (1976) soprano and guitar; "A Fantasy-Homage to Tomas Luis de Victoria" (1977); "Fantasy for Oscar Dominguez 'Nostalgia of Space'" (1975); "An Hommage to Picasso - 'for Guernica'" (1976); "An Impression by Lorca" (1978); "A series of short untitled compositions for guitar (1980)" "Song, for Ricardo Medina" (1981); "Welcome Dance, with peace pipe" (1991); The Baltimore Fast Step" (1991), "True and Authentic Gymnopedie" (1991); "Rag Nouveau" (1991); "Sarabande" (1991); "Twist" in the Studio of Velazquez" (1991); "Dr. Bland's Jig" (1991); "Da Da (Dada) Dance" (1991); "Gentle Charleston" (1991); "Variation on a Salsa Rhythm" (1991); "Carioca and Finale" (1991) "A Little Cloud Floating By" for 3 scordatura guitars (1987); "Guitar Concerto" (1976) for guitar and orchestra; ; "Variations on a Theme by Carl Nielsen" (2010) for guitar and piano; "Preludes 25-48" (2012); "Preludes 61-72" (2014); Sonata for Guitar and Piano "Fantasia and Rag" (2015); Sonata No. 2 for Guitar and Piano, in F sharp minor (2015) "Sonata No. 3 in G Major" for guitar and piano (2016), "Sonata No. 4" (2016) for guitar and piano, "Sonata No. 6" (2017) for guitar and piano
  • Harold Blumenfeld "Rilke" (1975) for soprano and guitar
  • Dusan Bogdanovic "Psychic Engines" (1998)
  • Michael Calvert "Suma" (1989)
  • Elliott Carter — "Changes" (1983); "Shard" (1997)
  • Paul Chihara - "The Girl from Yerevan" (2013) for violin, viola and guitar
  • David Colson - "Medusa's Eye" (2005) for guitar and vibraphone
  • George Crumb — "Quest" (1988–94) for guitar and 5 instruments; Mundus Canis" (A Dog's World)(1998) for guitar and percussion; "The Ghosts of Alhambra" (2008) baritone, guitar, percussion
  • Robert Cucinotta - "Threnody (In Memoriam: John Lennon)" (1983)
  • Mario DavidovskySynchronisms No. 10 (1992) for guitar and electronic sounds; "Festino" (1994) for guitar, viola, cello and contrabass
  • Stephen Dembski "Le Monde Merengue" (1998)
  • David Del Tredici -- "Acrostic Song" from 'Final Alice' arr. by Stephen Mercurio, rev. by David Del Tredici and David Starobin
  • John W. Duarte — "Valse en Rondeau" (1997)
  • David Dzubay _-- "Scherzo" (1997); "Lullaby" (1997)
  • Brian Fennelly - "Maverick Tango" (2003)
  • Tom Flaherty -- "Timeflies" (1996) for cello and guitar; "A Heckuva Job" (2006) for baritone, guitar, percussion
  • Lukas Foss -- "Chaconne" (1987) for guitar and pre-recorded guitar
  • David Glaser -- "Journey" (2001)
  • Daniel Goritz -- "decadance IV" (1998)
  • Lars Graugaard -- "Itch" 1998
  • Edward Green -- "Genesis Variations" (1974)
  • Calvin Hampton -- "Laura" (1974) for soprano and guitar
  • David A.Jaffe -- "May All Your Children Be Acrobats" (1980) for soprano, 8 guitars and computer-generated electronics
  • Stephen Jaffe -- "Spinoff" (1997)
  • Bryan Johanson -- "Open Up Your Ears" (1997); "Think Fast" (2000)
  • Jonathan Harvey -- "Sufi Dance" (1997)
  • Louis Karchin—Saraband/Variation (1999)
  • Barbara Kolb — "Looking for Claudio" (1975) for guitar and pre-recorded tape; "Songs Before an Adieu" (1976–78) for voice, flute and guitar; "Three Lullabies (1980); Umbrian Colors (1986) for violin and guitar; "Molto Allegra" (1988)
  • Meyer Kupferman "The Invisible Timepiece" (1974) for guitar and pre-recorded tape; "Echoes from Barcelona" (1975); "Premeditation" (1975) for clarinet and guitar; "Icarus" (1976) for guitar, viola and cello; "Skywriters" (1976) for oboe, guitar and contrabass; "Fantasy Duo" for guitar and harp (1978) "The Lament von Orfeo" (1979) soprano and guitar; "Poetics" (1981) for guitar and vibraphone; "Phantom Rhapsody" (Concerto for guitar and orchestra) (1980); Three Dances (2002);
  • Paul Lansky -- "Semi-Suite" (1997); "Songs of Parting" (2006), for baritone, guitar, percussion; "Six Preludes" (2007), "Guitar Concerto: With the Grain" (2009); "Partita" (2010) for guitar and percussion; "Talking Guitars" (2014) for two guitars.
  • Mario Lavista "Natarayah" (1997)
  • Fred Lerdahl "Three Bagatelles" (2016) for violin and guitar
  • Tania Leon "Bailarin" (1998)
  • David Leisner "Three James Tate Songs" (2007) baritone and guitar
  • Gerald Levenson "Here of amazing most now" (1999) for guitar, saxophone, and six instruments
  • David Liptak "Forlane" (1999)
  • John Anthony LennonAnother's Fandango (1981), Gigolo (1996), Guitar Concerto Zingari (1991)
  • David Loeb - Three Fantasias (1981)
  • Elisabeth LutyensRomanza (1977)
  • Steve Mackey -- "San Francisco Shuffle" (1997)
  • Tod Machover -- "Four Songs" (1973); "Guitar Concerto" (1978); "Deplacements" (1979) for guitar and computer-generated tape; "Bug-Mudra" (1989–90) for 2 guitars, percussion and live computer electronics;
  • Colin Matthews "Introduction, Chaconne and Corrente" (1999)
  • Jorge Morel -- "Reflexiones Latinas" (1997)
  • John Musto -- "Songs" (2010) baritone and guitar
  • Akemi Naito -- "The Idea of Order at Key West" (2007) baritone, guitar, percussion
  • Per Nørgård -- "Serenita" (1996)
  • Frank Oteri -- "Manipulacao" (2004)
  • Apostolos Paraskevas -- "Chase Dance" (1996)
  • Mel Powell -- "Setting" (1986)
  • James Primosch -- "Dancing with Mondrian"
  • Karl Aage Rasmussen "Invisible Mirrors" (1999) concerto for guitar and chamber orchestra
  • Jay Reise -- "Dragonflies Sing Near" (1999)
  • Roger Reynolds -- "The Behaviour of Mirrors" (1986)
  • Ronald Roxbury - "Quasimodo at Wit's End" (1968/9) for flute, guitar and bass; "Le Sofa de Solfege" (1974) for soprano and guitar; "Four Driscoll Songs" for baritone, guitar and water instruments; "Joe" (1975); "Lullaby for R.J.S." (1980); "There is No Void..." (1985); "Two Last Songs" (1986) for baritone, flute and guitar
  • Poul RudersEtude and Ricercare (1994), Chaconne (1997), Pages 1–10 (2008); "Pages" 11-13" (2010),"Guitar Concerto No. 1 "Psalmodies"" for guitar and nine instruments (1986), "Solo Suite from Psalmodies" (1987); "Guitar Concerto No. 2 "Paganini Variations"" for guitar and orchestra (2000); Solo version of "Paganini Variations" (2002); New Rochelle Suite (2005) for guitar and percussion; Schrödinger's Cat (12 Canons for Violin and Guitar) (2012); Occam's Razor (2013) for oboe and guitar; "Cantus Firmus I" (2016) for violin and guitar; "Cantus Firmus II" (2016) for violin and guitar; "Cantus Firmus III" (2016) for violin and guitar
  • Robert SaxtonNight Dance (1987); "Miniature Dance for a Marionette Rabbi" (1999)
  • Ruth Schonthal - "Fantasia ina Nostalgic Mood" (1978)
  • Gunther SchullerFantasy Suite (1994)
  • Leo Smit - "I reckon when I count at all" (1994) "Extol thee- could I" (1994); "That such have died enabled us" (1992); "I went to Heaven" (1993); baritone and guitar
  • Gregg Smith "Steps" (1975) for soprano and guitar
  • Stephen Sondheim "Sunday Song Set" (1984) for baritone and guitar (arr. Michael Starobin, rev. Stephen Sondheim; from the show "Sunday in the Park with George")
  • Bent SørensenAngelus Waltz (1996)
  • David Starobin - "The Rapidity of Sleep" (1972); "Sensations musicales" (1973); "Trio" for flute, guitar/mandolin, piano (1974); "Three Places in New Rochelle" (2002) guitar and percussion; "Variations on a Theme by Carl Nielsen" (2010); Berceuse bas de gamme (2010) for cheap electric guitar. "From Tchaikovsky's Letters" (2014) for baritone voice and guitar;
  • Michael Starobin "Short Piece" (1976); "V" (1979) for 9 guitars; "Chase" (1987) for guitar and electronics; "The Snoid Trucks Up Broadway" (1997); "Joshua Variations" (1992); "Four Stevens" (1992) for baritone and guitar; "Wedding Song" (2005) for voice and guitar; "Anniversary Song" for voice and guitar (2007)
  • Melinda WagnerArabesque (1999)
  • Anna Weesner - "An August Rhythm" (1999)
  • Richard Wernick — "Da'ase" (1996); "Trochaic Trot" (2000); "The Name of the Game" (2002) (Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Ensemble); "Tristram Redux" (2006) for baritone, guitar, percussion
  • Charles Wuorinen - Psalm 39 (1979) for baritone and guitar
  • Yehudi Wyner - "West of the Moon" (2013) for flute, oboe, mandolin, guitar, violin, cello


  1. ^ Sheer Pluck - Database of Contemporary Guitar Music - Premieres by David Starobin

Sound files from recordings[edit]

External links[edit]