Musical Museum Sponsors Memorable Concert under the Baton of Maestro Joseph Rubin. Oh my gosh. I now have a tiny place in the Ted Lewis Big Band Museum. In the featured picture, I am in the lower right corner standing with Rubinoff. What is the basis for this claim to fame? I worked with David Rubinoff and His Violin for some 15 years. My capacity was as his arranger and accompanist. Maestro Rubin read one of my Rubinoff posts. They are on DSOworks.com. He contacted me to be a part of a Rubinoff commemoration concert. The concert was June 2, 2018. Steven Greenman was the distinguished violin soloist.
The photo below of Rubinoff and myself was taken in concert in 1984. Dave was 86 years of age. Our entire concert is below the picture on youtube. Just click on it. In his heyday, Dave was a national phenomenon. This was to the tune of as much as $500,000.00 annually in the 1930’s. Serious musicians (those who only played classical) were envious. However, the point is, whatever Dave touched was superbly played. Many examples of him are now posted on youtube. Many of these show him playing at his peak. Also below is an internal link with a “Rubinoff” story.
Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984
Ted Lewis’ band was second only to the Paul Whiteman band in popularity during the 1920s. Paul Whiteman led a usually large ensemble and explored many styles of music. He blended symphonic music and jazz. An example was his debut of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Many say Ted Lewis played more real jazz than Whiteman. This is especially true with Ted’s recordings of the late 1920’s. American history at the musical museum is quite rich. Much is in the works on DSOworks.com. Keep watching.
Monstrous Pianos Replace Early Keyboard Instruments. The title of this blog poses a basic questions: How does a pianist interpret the music of composers who lived before 1850? Or, expressed another way: How do we stay true to the intentions of composers who lived in this time period? In part this will be answered by the desciption of a concert I gave as pianist for a world renowned violinist. First, how does a harpsichord produce sound? A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard which activates a row of levers that in turn trigger a mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum. The harpsichord can produce a specific louder sound. This happens when a coupler joins each key to both manuals of a two-manual harpsichord. However, it offers no dynamic or accent-based expressive control over each note.
How does a modern piano produce its sound? By strings being struck by the action of hammers. Loudness of every tone can controlled by the fingers hitting the keys that activate the hammers. The more force you employ, the louder the sound. The tones produced can be blended and amplified by a foot pedal. However, here is the primary pitfall: Unless the pianist is incredibly precise in hitting notes exactly together, the piano pedal merely amplifies his imprecision.
I worked for 15 years with a violinist whose accompanists used the pictured piano above. My capacity was as his arranger and accompanist. His stage name was Rubinoff and His Violin. He played for 5 American Presidents. I’ve played for only two up to this point. I just commemorated his memory in a concert at Circleville, Ohio this last June 2, 2018. In the 1930’s Dave made as much as $500,000.00 annually as violinist and conductor. For my own last concert, Maestro Steve Greenman was the featured violinist. Joseph Rubin is the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum. He also conducted the orchestra. As mentioned in the poster, I also gave a featured lecture about our working relationship. More concerts with Maestro Greenman are in the making. Announcements will be forthcoming.
I brought the concert into the blog because Rubinoff was very specific about the touch he wanted. Rests had to be observed. His notated rests were not to be covered by a piano pedal. Often, he required a slightly detached and lighter touch, like a harpsichord. However, at times the piano had to roar- like the monstrous pianos. Hear our most rare and lost concert below. Rubinoff and I gave it in the Catskill Mountains of New York State in 1984. He was 86 years of age, As he talks to the audience, you’ll become acquainted with a great man. Also, please read the related Rubinoff blogs on DSOworks.com. You’ll see how Will Rogers helped to shape his incredible career. Dave loved the American Indians. I believe that in turn Will, who identified with the Cherokee Nation, helped him.
Commemoration Concert for David Rubinoff and His Violin. Musical history is about to be made. I, David, worked with Rubinoff and His Violin for decades. He passed away in 1986. Dave felt that our arrangement of the Fiddler on the Roof was the best arrangement made in his entire life. It was a “100-proof” standing ovation elixir. On Saturday, June 2, a great virtuoso violinist will and I will perform a special dedication to David Rubinoff. He and I will perform the Rubinoff Fiddler on the Roof. Rubinoff was regular conductor and soloist at the Paramount in New York City. Rudy Vallee saw him. As a result, he signed a contract with the Cantor show. During his career, Mr. Rubinoff performed at the White House for Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Kennedy. During the Great Depression years, Mr Rubinoff made as much as $500,000.00 annually conducting and playing the violin. The American public needed music that heals. David gave them what they needed.
Here is what is particularly fun for me: Rubinoff and I worked an entire summer season on our own specical arrangement of the Fiddler on the Roof. Now, over 30 years later it will get a new life! Maestro Greenman once played a another arrangement of the work. He was violin soloist with the Energy Corridor Houston Orchestra (ECHO). This was on Friday October 21st, 2016. Steven collaborated collaborating with his good friend, the conductor/violinist Michael Fahey. For the ECHO performance he played”Theme from Schindler’s List” and “Fiddler on the Roof”, arranged by John Williams. With great anticipation, I am looking forward to seeing which arrangement the Maestro and our concert audience prefers. Also, I will give a special presentation about my association with Dave. The distingusihed orchestral conductor will be maestro Joseph Rubin. He is also the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville Ohio.
The Commemoration Concert
Tickets will be available in March. The internal links below give more information and samples Rubinoff and His Violin. This once in a lifetime concert should not be missed! It will be held at Circleville High School in the auditorium. See you at our commemoration concert. – David.
Steven Greenman was described by the Washington Post as “particularly impressive.” “Extraordinary” was the term usedby the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.Steven Greenman is a multi-talented musical artist. He is equally adept at performing stunning solo violin works with symphony orchestras. Furthermore, he performs soulful East European Jewish folk music (klezmer music). He is also at home with passionate East European Romani (Gypsy) music.
Rubinoff Experience is Wonderful and a Bit Wild. I ‘m getting ready to board the airplane for my Rubinoff lecture and concert in Circleville Ohio. Maestro Steven Grassman will perform on the violin. A 28 piece orchestra will be featured under the baton of Joseph Rubin. See my internal links immediately below. The first gives the particulars about the concert. Nothing is as wonderful for me as a Rubinoff experience revived.
Rubinoff Experience to be had in Circleville, Ohio on June 2, 2018
I thought I would share a part of my lecture on this post. Please try to be there for an unforgettable American experience. Dave was all about how wonderful America is. He also loved and gave recognition to the American Indians. His guiding light was his best friend, Will Rogers. Will identified with his Cherokee background. Please try to be there for a most wonderful experience. If you cannot make the concert; the lecture and concert will eventually be posted on youtube. Here’s an excerpt from my lecture:
In June of 1970 I set up an audition with Rubinoff. He was residing in a posh penthouse at the Leland House in downtown Detroit. Even before I rang his door bell, I knew I was about to meet a master of show business. While many are only concerned with 1st impressions, Rubinoff made a powerful 1st pre-impression. He had a hand carved wooden door with a violin surrounded by musical notes on staffs and flowers. When you rang his doorbell, it played the musical theme song from his hit 1930’s musical radio show. During that time he became an American icon. Typically, after Sunday church services, Americans went straight home. Their objective was to listen to Rubinoff and His Violin on the Eddie Cantor show, Dave conducted and played with the full NBC orchestra. His theme song, “Give Me a Moment Please”, was chimed by his doorbell.
His apartment suite was breathtaking. Dave paid homage to America with his décor. He was born in the Ukraine in 1897. What did the average Ukrainian think of American at that time? The Wild West personified America. Yes, cowboys and Indians. David was particularly taken with the Indians. He loved everything about them. In his suite were countless Indian artifacts and paintings. Many were just given to him by Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. His #1 prized possession was a portrait of himself painted as an Indian chief- feathers and all.
Please share with friends. It offers what Scott Joplin called “Solace.”