Unearthing a Lost Concert of “Rubinoff and His Violin” After 30 Years

commemorative concert to be given in Circleville, Ohio


Unearthing a Lost Concert of “Rubinoff and His Violin”

Unearthing a Lost Concert of “Rubinoff and His Violin”After 30 Years. The year 1984 is not so far past; but the man playing the Stradivarius violin, David Rubinoff, was born in 1897. How I came to be his arranger and accompanist is quite a story.

In begins in 1911  when Victor Herbert, famed conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and writer of operettas, was on a Sabbatical and touring Europe. It was at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music that Herbert heard a young Rubinoff playing his composition: Dance of the Russian Peasant. Without hesitation Herbert said: “Son, you belong to America.” And so, Victor Herbert brought him and his entire family back to the United States. Rubinoff  lived with Herbert who then placed him in the center of American cultural life. He was introduced to such notables as John Phillip Sousa,  the great tenor, Caruso, and others at the Sunday brunches held in his home.  I have had the honor of working with the Maestro Rubinoff since 1970.


To transition to this concert given at Scott’s Hotel in Deposit, New York; my wife, Sharon Lesley, and I have had quite a history concert touring together. We have been at Scotts during the summer months since 1983. I asked Ray Scott if I could invite Rubinoff and his wife to the hotel, and he jumped at the chance. Some 30 years later the Scotts have just now found the recording of our concert. Now you can hear, through youtube, why Victor Herbert insisted that Rubinoff belonged to America. At an actual performance at age 86 he will play the Dance of the Russian Peasant  and also with me, a beautiful approximately 45 minute concert of some of our arrangements. If you feel about the music as I do, you will believe you are witnessing a miracle.




Over time I will share many of my Rubinoff stories, but I would like to begin with two:  First, about the thunderstorm you hear in the background.  Second, the story of the great harmonica virtuosos, The Sgro Brothers.

(1) During our concert a tremendous storm blew in which is audible on the video. When I worked with Mr Rubinoff in downtown Detroit on the 14th floor of Leland House, similarly, a storm blew in.  I commented on it to him, he became furious: “It just proves you are not paying attention to the music!” In this video, despite the storm,  you will see him totally absorbed in his playing as he becomes one with his art.

(2) Story two involves the Sgro Brothers who attended the concert. For years, Ray Scott had been trying unsuccessfully to get the Sgros come to his resort to perform.  The moment “Scotty” called and told them of Rubinoff’s concert, they jumped in their car and drove from Elmira, New York as fast as they could. They have been coming to Scotts ever since.

Unearthing a Lost Concert of “Rubinoff and His Violin”.  After 30 Years Now, I ask my reader to sit back, relax and enjoy the concert by Rubinoff and His Violin. When you hear him play his Dance of the Russian Peasant,  see if you agree with Victor Herbert’s opinion. If you do, kindly share this incredible concert with your friends.

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