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Artistic Achievement Award 2011 - David Starobin
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David Starobin (b. 1951, New York City), is a classical guitarist, educator, composer, record producer, and film director. Starobin started playing the guitar at the age of seven, studying first with Manuel Gayol, then Albert Valdes Blain, and at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) with Aaron Shearer.  While at Peabody he became Shearer's assistant, directing Peabody's chamber music program for guitarists (1971–73). During this period Starobin worked closely with pianist Leon Fleisher, becoming a member of Fleisher's Theater Chamber Players of The John F. Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.).

David Starobin has toured as a recitalist, chamber player and orchestral soloist performing at festivals including Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe Chamber, and Tanglewood, and with orchestras and ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  Starobin is a member of the new music ensemble Speculum Musicae, with whom he has performed and recorded as guitarist and conductor. He also recorded and toured since 1969 with the baritone, Patrick Mason.

After graduation from Peabody, Starobin chaired guitar departments at Brooklyn College, Bennington College, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the State University of New York/College at Purchase, and, from 1993 to 2004, the Manhattan School of Music, where he remains on the guitar faculty.  In September 2010, Starobin was appointed to the newly created "Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies" at the Curtis Institute of Music.  Starobin was the first (and thus far, only) guitarist to have been awarded Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Career Grant (1988); was honored by Peabody Conservatory with its "Distinguished Alumni Award" (1999); and was given ASCAP's 'Deems Taylor Award' for his work with Bridge Records (2007).

In 1981, Starobin and wife Becky, formed the record label Bridge Records, Inc., a company that has issued more than 400 CDs and DVDs. Bridge Records has been nominated for twenty-two Grammy Awards and has been the winner of three.  Starobin's own guitar recordings have presented first performances of dozens of new compositions, as well as a broad range of repertoire from the 19th and 20th century. In 1990 he made the first recording of Giulio Regondi's (1822–1872) "10 Etudes", a work now regarded as a landmark in romantic-period guitar repertoire.

Starobin's major projects as record producer include Bridge's complete George Crumb Edition, begun in 1982 in collaboration with the composer, and now standing at 15 volumes. The Crumb series culminated with the release of the film 'George Crumb, "Bad Dog!"' (2009), directed by Starobin.  Another of Starobin's major projects is the co-production of the CD series, "Great Performances from the Library of Congress", featuring previously un-issued concert performances recorded (1937–present).  Artists appearing on the first 24 volumes of the series include Nathan Milstein, George Szell, The Budapest String Quartet, Leontyne Price, Samuel Barber, Leopold Stokowski, Jan DeGaetani, Aaron Copland, Henryk Szeryng, and Zino Francescatti.

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