Exhibition: David ‘Jose’ Rubio (1934–2000)
A unique exhibition of the most representative instrument of David ‘Jose’ Rubio: Britain’s Most Illustrious Musical Instrument-maker. The English luthier David Rubio embodies the link between flamenco art and Julian Bream.
A unique exhibition of the most representative instrument of David ‘Jose’ Rubio: Britain’s Most Illustrious Musical Instrument-maker.
The English luthier David Rubio embodies the link between flamenco art and Julian Bream. He devoted himself to lutherie in the first ‘60s after a long experience as a flamenco guitarist that earned him the nickname “Rubio” which he then chose as his last name. He was inspired for this choice by the historical Madrid workshop of Faustino Condé where Rubio used to perform his daily playing practice, and which belonged to the most renowned Domingo Esteso.
Travelling to the US for his activity as a guitarist, he settled in New York where he started his new career as a guitar maker with a copy of the Esteso flamenco guitar he used to play.
A meeting with Julian Bream was decisive for his future: Bream actually asked him to make instruments following the style of Robert Bouchet, whose guitars the virtuoso loved. However, the real building reference point for David Rubio was Francisco Simplicio whose lutherie inspired his best instruments, which Bream played for years. The maestro indeed recorded the Nocturnal by Benjamin Britten with a 1965 Rubio, in a performance that became the symbol of the evolution of the guitar language.
At the end of the ‘60s Rubio went back to his native England where he also devoted himself to the production of ancient instruments (luthe, bass viol, baroque violin, harpsichord), and in the last part of his life the string quartet. In Cambridge, where he last established his workshop, he collaborated with the university to test particular treatments in order to reproduce the sound of ancient instruments, especially the violin.
The aim of this festival is to deal personally with the last period of the author’s activity. His collaboration with the Italian guitarist Stefano Grondona and the Scottish guitarist Paul Galbraith – welcome guests in this edition – nurtured anew Rubio’s interest in the production of guitars and seemingly defined a second era for the luthier, just as it happened to Antonio De Torres.