Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Rubinstein, Donald (Allen)
Rubinstein, Donald (Allen),composer, guitar, piano, vocal; b. Brooklyn, NY, 19 February 1952. He grew up on Long Island (West Hempstead) from 1961 and moved to St Louis, MO, 1971, New York City, 1984, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1989 and Los Angeles, 1990-present.
Rubinstein received a Bachelor of Music from Washington University, St. Louis (1970-1973). He attended Berklee College of Music for two semesters, 1974-5, studying guitar with J. Michael Kelly. Madame Margaret Chaloff gave him private piano lessons and was his most informative and influential teacher (1975-76). Rubinstein has composed five feature film scores, including George A. Romero's Martin (voted "One Of The 100 Coolest Movie Soundtracks Of All Time," Mojo, 2002). His work has been commissioned or performed by members of both The Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic Orchestras. He co-wrote with Erica Lindsay, the main title music for television's syndicated series, Tales From The Darkside. Mr. Rubinstein also wrote and performed the main title and episodic music for the television series, Monsters. Donald Allan Rubinstein has worked with artists as varied as Terry Allen, George Romero, Kiki Smith, Bill Frisell, Ed Harris and Robin Holcomb. His critically acclaimed theatrical production, Strum Road, was filmed by The Canadian Bravo Company, 1997 'Fringe Festival,' San Francisco. Donald received the 1998 ASCAP Special Award for achievement in theater arts. He composed and performed the music for National Public Radio's The Greatest Blues Singer That Ever Lived, with Brother Blue. In 1997 Donald Allan Rubinstein and Bill Frisell collaborated on a CD of Donald's songs produced by Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell, Time Again. Donald followed with two more CD's of songs and instrumental music, Scars And Dreams & Music For Ocean Travel.
In 1988 Donald completed his first book of poetry and drawings, Haunt From An Early Island. He followed with The Lithium Journals (Desert Link Press, 1997). He has collaborated with numerous visual artists including Kiki Smith. Donald Allan Rubinstein has composed and performed music for dance artists Anna Halprin, Nina Wise and others. Composer Richard St. Clair set to music, Donald's poetry cycle, Hallucinations, premiered by Boston's 'Composers in Red Sneakers,' (1997). In August, 1998 Donald completed a CD collaboration with Knitting Factory recording artists, Wayne Horvitz and Zony Mash (executive producer Ed Harris), A Man Without Love. He received a ten week composer's residency at The Banff Centre for the Arts, where he completed his CD release, Maya. In 1999 his Martin soundtrack was re-released from the original vinyl (Varese Sarabande) on Level Green Records. Rubinstein was commissioned by L.A. dance company LWK-Bodytalk to record his musical work Acceptance, for choir and purple instruments (2000). He was awarded a music composition residency from the UCROSS Foundation in November, 2000. In 2001 Donald scored The Summer Of My Deflowering for German television, directed by Susan Streitfeld (screened at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, 2001.) He received a residency fellowship in music composition from the Dorland Arts Colony in 2002. Rhombus Records released his CD, Time Again and he completed his newest CD of songs, The Painted Stranger. Fingers a duet by Donald Rubinstein and Bill Frisell (from TIME AGAIN), was included in JAZZIZ magazine's 2003 limited-edition collectors CD, "A celebration of the modern era." Also included were Charlie Haden, Tony Bennet with K.D. Lang, Natalie Cole, Miles Davis with Charlie Parker and others. Rhombus Records is set to release two more of Donald's CD's, Maya and The Painted Stranger in March, 2003. He is currently working on a new set of songs as well as a number of collaborations.