Following Footsteps of Rubinoff at the Ted Lewis Museum

Following Footsteps of Rubinoff at the Ted Lewis Museum. Joseph Rubin is the museum curator. I was greatly honored to be part of an event.  Youtube excerpts from this concert, just posted, event include  the distinguished and  magnificent 28 piece orchestra.  I proud and happy to say the interview and excerpt are now up and running on youtube.  The orchestra included leading musical university professors from top universities  in Ohio. One rehearsal, and we’re all  on.

For this concert I performed with violinist Maestro Steven Greenman. We did a special arrangement of the Fiddler on the Roof: Some 40 years earlier, I arranged over an entire summer with Rubinoff himself. .  This summer I got to perform it with Maestro Steven Greenman. The audience literally went wild with applause!

 

portrait copy 3.jpg
Ted Lewis and his trademark hat.   He added to his persona the battered silk top hat, which he won in a dice game from a cabbie named “Mississippi.” (The hat became such a familiar symbol that, reportedly, Saks Fifth Avenue borrowed it to create a display around it in one of their windows.)

Rubinoff And His Violin “Pops” Concert

“Rubinoff and his Violin” a name that brings back fond memories for anyone who remembers the golden age of radio. Before Andre Rieu, violinist and conductor, David Rubinoff captured the hearts of millions on the air and record crowds of 225,000 at live concerts.

Rubinoff was discovered by Victor Herbert at the Warsaw’s Royal Conservatory in 1911. who brought the prodigy to the US. In 1931 Rubinoff was signed by NBC to join Eddie Cantor on the Chase and Sanborn radio program, where his orchestra included Benny GoodmanTommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Inspired by his friend John Philip Sousa, Rubinoff dedicated his life to promoting a love for music in young people, performing at thousands of schools including two concerts in Circleville in 1959 and 1980. A Columbus resident for 15 years, Rubinoff was guest of honor at the Ted Lewis Museum’s opening in 1977.

Now you can experience Rubinoff’s musical memories live for the first time in 80 years, featuring violin virtuoso Steven Greenman and a 28-piece orchestra conducted by Joseph Rubin. Circleville’s own Sarah Julien and winner of the 2018 Ted Lewis Memorial Scholarship will be soprano soloist.

Hear your favorite songs of the 1930s: Smoke Gets In Your EyesCheek To CheekDancing in the DarkSt. Louis Blues and much more, all in Rubinoff’s original arrangements saved from destruction by “The Ambassador of the American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein.

FOLLOWING FOOTSTEPS WITH A PRE-SHOW LECTURE AT 6:15 PM

David Ohrenstein, Rubinoff’s accompanist for 15 years, will share Rubinoff’s fascinating history.  He learned  first hand of his friendships such musical icons as Victor Herbert, John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin and Enrico Caruso. He will help us all in following footsteps of this musical giant. Even better: Dave Rubinoff and David Ohrenstein performed a concert at Scott’s Oquaga lake House. Hear Rubinoff himself tell stories during this masterful performance at age 86. Enjoy American musical history through the life of a violinist who only spoke beautifully about our country. Please share this and support curator Joseph Rubin’s efforts. They are most worthy!

Also included:  This internal link is an introduction to the man:  Rubinoff and His Violin Archives – DSO Works. 

Only Known Complete Concert Featuring Rubinoff. He was 86 Years of Age. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jujqLu-jrN8

 Jun 22, 2015 – Uploaded by Lesley & Ohrenstein. Part of Following footsteps of Rubinoff. In one of the final years of his life, renowned violinist Dave Rubinoff plays the Stradivarius violin for an …

About the Rubinoff Concert in Circleville with Museum Curator, Maestro Joseph Rubin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7aJZlubqkc
May 30, 2018 – Uploaded by Litter Media

The music of David Rubinoff comes alive Saturday June 2, 2018 in Circleville. Conductor Joseph Rubin says …

The Ted Lewis Museum

https://www.tedlewismuseum.org/

 

Following footsteps some 45 year later at the Ted Lewis Museum
Music prolongs life and enjoyment

Music Prolongs Life of Rubinoff and His Violin

Music Prolongs Life of Rubinoff and His Violin. I used the featured picture of the Gypsy Kings because they convey the joyfulness of older musicians in general. With music, all enjoy perpetual youth.  My featured older musician is David Rubinoff.  Dave Rubinoff (September 3, 1897, GrodnoRussian Empire, now Belarus – October 6, 1986),[1] was a popular concert  violinist who was also known for his  Stradivarius violin. He purchased it in 1929 for $100,000. Now it is priceless.

Music Prolongs Life of those who engage in the art.
Dave Rubinoff, myself, and “The Clock of Life.”

I worked with Dave over a 15 year period. This was in the capacity of arranging and piano accompanying. This blog story has an air of mysticism. It doesn’t seem possible. It raises a question: Can music bring someone back from the edge of death’s door? First, I must explain the pocket watch Dave Rubinoff is holding in the above picture. I am standing next to him. Will Rogers and he were best of friends. Will gave him the pocket watch. Will had a poetry excerpt by Robert H. Smith engraved on back. It is called The Clock of Life. Dave read the poem at every concert to an appreciative audience.

The Clock of Life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.”

Music Prolongs Life of Rubinoff for our Pittsburgh Concert

Darlene Rubinoff, documented her husbands life in the book, Dance of the Russian Peasant. He dictated the book in general to her. She gave it the finishing touches. I now quote: “I was 88 years old. Don Baretti book me on a concert. It was sponsored by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. I had just been released from the hospital after suffering from pneumonia.”  Darlene told me (David Ohrenstein) “I’m afraid you’ll have to do this concert by yourself.”

Music prolongs life at our Pittsburgh Concert
Out concert in Pittsburgh was a proud moment for me.

The rest of the story goes: I had flown in to Columbus, Ohio so we could practice the concert. Rubinoff stated: “”I summoned all my strength, got out of bed, dressed and was standing, violin in hand when Dave and Darlene arrived from the airport.” Here’s he’s enthusiasm: He said to me- We”ll start with Fiddler on the Roof not waiting for him (me) to remove his jacket. He smiled shook my hand, and we began to practice.”

” Darlene made me sit down for the rest of our practice. I was just out of the hospital three days, suffering from pneumonia. I was still spitting blood.”

How did  the concert at Pittsburgh Wintergarden Plaza end? Literally, the audience went wild with applause. Rubinoff lived. We gave many more concerts together. Yes, music prolongs life!  Learn to play. By the way,  I have room for 1 or 2 piano students in Sarasota.

 

 

piano accompanying of a singer is quite different than an oboist

Piano Accompanying from Singers to Oboe Players

Piano Accompanying from Singers to Oboe Players. Talk about maximum contrast. A competent accompanist needs to be like a chameleon. Chameleons or chamaeleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards with 202 species described as of June 2015.[1] These species come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change color. Likewise, a good accompanist must have the ability to change styles like a chameleon changes color. This, of course, depends on who he’s accompanying. I have been fortunate to work with oboist Edmund DeMattia.  He is an incredible oboe player and conductor. He is also  into his 80’s. I have been receiving a wealth of much needed knowledge from him. Among his accomplishments:

Oboj.jpg piano accompanying
This humble, quiet looking instrument can be quite powerful,Much more than most singers.

 

  • The idea for a “national concert band” began in 1973 with discussions among retired and former members of the four major military service bands in the Washington, DC area. The organization’s two main purposes were to provide a way for area military musicians to continue to play after retirement, and to preserve the  concert band tradition of music in the United States, so prominent in the first half of the twentieth century.It was during conductor DeMattia’s tenure the Band participated in making the epic series of historic recordings of “The Heritage of the March,” produced by Robert Hoe of Poughkeepsie, NY.
  • The first conductor chosen was Edmund DeMattia, formerly principal oboist with the United States Navy Band. He was one of the founding members of the American Concert Band Association (ACB) and the National Concert Band became a member of this professional organization.

Ed and I are rehearsing regularly for an upcoming concert. We will do well known and established works for oboe.  My wife,  Sharon Ohrenstein, will also sing. Much of our music is original. I write the music. Shes does the lyrics. However, I must mention, Ed will also be performing also be playing one of my original works. It is called the Iguana Farm. Audiences go wild over it.

I will be piano accompanying for my oboe music called Iguana Farm
An real, genuine Iguana farm

Now here’s the difference between the voice and the oboe:

Piano Accompanying for Singers

  • Singers need  more of a background accompaniment. It is essential that lyrics be heard. Use the soft pedal on the piano. When music is marked forte, bring it down to mezz0 piano. If something is marked mezzo piano, bring it down to pianissimo, etc.
  • When the singer is tacit in  a piano solo section, then release your soft pedal. Play it full out.

Piano Accompanying for Oboe Players

Ed tells me “I need a full sound.” There is no concert band with us. We do not have 50 players. You are the only one. Contrary to the singer,  when the music is marked mezzo forte, play it full forte. When it is full forte, play it doubly loud. The bass must always be strong and solid, even with syncopated passages in the treble. Without these directions, the music can easily turn to chaos.

I have been so fortunate to work with experienced older musicians. (1) Piano lessons with Mischa Kottler (2) Accompanist to world renowned violinist, David Rubinoff (3) Work with Edmund DeMattia. I’ve continually built on my Master of Music degree from Wayne State University. Since I myself am becoming older, I wish to keep the tradition going.  I offer piano lessons in Sarasota; but for those who are interested the possibility of a career. Our concert date and place will be announced shortly.