Local Pianist Takes on Masters, Introduces Original Work


Local pianophiles will want to keep their this Sunday. The reason: Local pianist David Rubinstein will be performing a recital of music by Beethoven, Chopin, Albéniz, Ravel, as well as his own works that afternoon.

The Bronx native, who was born into a musical family, studied with George Kochevitsky, a noted Russian pedagogue who arrived in the United States after serving a term as a political prisoner during the Stalin regime in the former Soviet Union. In the 1980s, Rubinstein moved to the Los Angeles area, where he worked as a pianist and keyboardist for various film scores. Recently he has turned his attentions on concertizing once again, playing at Zipper Hall, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., among other venues.

“The reason I choose to play anything is because I love it and relate to it,” Rubinstein explained. “The music has to move me.”

At the heart of the program is “Le Tombeau de Couperin” by Ravel, a work that fascinates Rubinstein. He called it “the pinnacle” of Ravel’s pianistic output.

“[Musically], he wasn’t just giving homage to Couperin specifically, but also to older keyboard music. Partly the French and partly the German. You have movements titled ‘Forlane’ and ‘Rigaudon,’ which sit well in the French keyboard tradition. But then you have the ‘Fugue,’ which is more Bach than anything.”

All the works on Sunday’s program are ones that Rubinstein has known and played for many years, he said. He then added that his approach to performing these scores was influenced by his pianistic idols.

“All of them played a wide repertoire. Like them, I aspire to continually learn different composers and to perfect my understanding of their music.”

David Rubinstein will be playing at the Church of the Good Shepherd (400 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia) on Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. A donation of $20 is suggested. For more information, please go online to the pianist’s website at www.davidrubinstein.net or call Good Shepherd at (626) 447-2181.