David Starobin is an icon and composers’ muse in the classical guitar world. Aside from being regarded as one of the finest classical guitarists in the world, Starobin is also the founder of and the director of artists and repertoire at Bridge Records.
Starobin was born in New York on September 9, 1951. He began studying the guitar at age seven with Manuel Gayol. He later studied under Aaron Shearer at the Peabody Conservatory. While at Peabody, Starobin developed a friendship with Leon Fleisher, with whom he would go on to perform. Starobinhas performed with many ensembles throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Emerson String Quartet.
For many years, Starobin has been the focus of new compositions featuring the guitar; over 300 compositions have been dedicated to him. Among the composers dedicating works to him are George Crumb, Elliott Carter, and Gunther Schuller.
Starobin, aside from performing and producing, also teaches guitar. He joined the Manhattan School of Music in 1993, where he held the Andres Segovia Chair from 1993 until 2004. Though no longer the chair, he remains on faculty at the school. In 2011, he and Jason Vieaux co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he holds the Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies.
In 1981, Starobin founded Bridge Records, and was soon joined by his wife, Becky, who serves as president. More than just a vehicle for releasing his own recordings, Bridge focuses on works by 20th and 21st century composers. They have also made efforts to release historic performances. Included in these efforts, is a partnership with the Library of Congress to release recordings of concerts performed at the Library, in a series entitled Great Performances from the Library of Congress.
Starobin conducts the Odense Symfoniorkester on the album Poul Ruders: The Thirteenth Child, released in 2019, which features a libretto co-written by David and Becky Starobin.