David Starobin

David Starobin, born in 1951 in New York City, began playing the guitar at the age of seven, studying first with Manuel Gayol and Albert Valdes Blain, and later with Aaron Shearer at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he became Shearer’s teaching assistant. At Peabody, Starobin worked closely with pianist Leon Fleisher, becoming a member of Fleisher’s Theater Chamber Players of the John F. Kennedy Center. Starobin has toured as a recitalist, chamber player, and orchestral soloist, performing at festivals including Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe Chamber, and Tanglewood, and with the New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets. Starobin is a member of the ensemble Speculum Musicae, with whom he has performed and recorded as guitarist and conductor. He has recorded and toured since 1969 with his duo partner, the baritone Patrick Mason.

A member of the guitar faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1993, David Starobin has served as chair of the guitar departments of Brooklyn College, Bennington College, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the State University of New York/College at Purchase, as well as of Manhattan School of Music, from 1993 to 2004. In September 2010, he was appointed Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is the only guitarist to have been awarded Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant (1988); was honored by Peabody Conservatory with its Distinguished Alumni Award (1999); and was given ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award (2007). In 2011, he was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America’s Hall of Fame. In 1981 Starobin founded Bridge Records, Inc., where he is currently Director of Artists and Repertoire. Bridge Records and Starobin—as performer, producer, and executive producer—have received 22 Grammy nominations.