Joel Rubin (USA; clarinet, ethnomusicology)

is Assistant Professor and Director of Music Performance at the University of Virginia, where he also directs the UVA Klezmer Ensemble. He has been one of the leading figures in the international klezmer movement as performer, scholar, author and educator for over twenty-five years. Rubin studied classical clarinet with Richard Stoltzman and Kalmen Opperman. He holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from City University (London). He has led the Joel Rubin Ensemble since 1994, was a founder of Brave Old World, and performed with Josh Horowitz as Rubin & Horowitz, as well as with the Epstein Brothers, Moussa Berlin, the Klezmatics, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band, concertizing throughout Europe, North America and Asia. He has directed the clarinet studio at Ithaca College, and also taught at Cornell University, Syracuse University, and Humboldt University in Berlin. He has recorded seven CDs under his own name, most recently The Nign of Reb Mendel (Joel Rubin Ensemble, Traditional Crossroads, 2010) and Azoy tsu tsveyt with Uri Caine (Tzadik, 2011). Rubin’s fifth album, Midnight Prayer (Traditional Crossroads) was ranked one of the eight most important recordings of 2007 by George Robinson of Jewish Week. His music can be heard in several films, including the French feature-film L’arme du crime (The Army of Crime, 2009), and the award-winning documentary portrait A Tickle in the Heart (Germany/Switz./USA 1996), which is based on his research and screenplay. He has recently published chapters in the books Early Twentieth-Century Brass Idioms: Art, Jazz, and Other Popular Traditions (2009) and "I Will Sing and Make Music": Jewish Music and Musicians Throughout the Ages (2008), and is co-author of the books Klezmer-Musik (1999) and Jüdische Musiktraditionen (2001). In addition, Rubin co-curated the Trikont Klezmer Trilogy (1991-1995) and the Jewish Music Series of CDs for Schott Wergo from 1993-2008, the newest of which, Aneinu!: Hasidic-Orthodox Music from the Festival of the Torah in Jerusalem (2008), features the music of Moussa Berlin and was a German Record Critics’ Award Quarterly Critics’ Choice (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik Bestenliste) for 4/2008. As a clinician, Rubin has taught together with Kalmen Opperman and Richard Stoltzman at the Clarinet Summit (2004), at KlezKamp and KlezKanada, and has held numerous residencies, master classes and workshops, and coached ensembles in Europe, North America and Israel since the mid-1980s.

Photo: Lloyd Wolf