David Rubens, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, began conducting at the age of 14. Choral and instrumental ensembles were made available to him and he was encouraged by many of his teachers to continue his work even though he was competing as an operatic singer, as well as, a concert and recital artist throughout the United States. While twice becoming a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Contest, appearing on opera stages in leading roles, and concertizing with many orchestras, he was preparing choral ensembles for the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and conducting and directing opera and musical theater productions at Interlochen in Michigan. He studied conducting with William Peterman, Frank Noyes, Daniel Sternberg and Bev Henson among others.
He studied voice with Sherrill Milnes, Andrew White, Jon Spong, Richard Hughes and coached with Richard Szgodava, Robert Evans, and Valery Ryvkin. His wide ranging background in the arts brought him to assist noted opera American stage director Frank Corsaro at New York City Opera, who invited him to become a member of the Director/Playwrights Unit of the Actors Studio. There, working in session with Arthur Penn, Shelly Winters and others, he served as a dramaturge for playwrights and directed showcases for the famed author of The Perfect Monologue, Ginger Freedman.
His other work prompted him to found one of the first singer opera training programs in the United States for the St Paul Women’s Guild. To many it was a prototype forprograms instituted by regional opera companies in America. He also founded Actor’s Forum in Santa Barbara California. While in California he appeared in the award-winning independent film, King of the Wheel, as its leading character.
David has been a powerful influence on many performers, singers and instrumentalists but it was likely at some time that he would return to his first love, conducting while continuing to perform as a singer and director. He brings a singular theatricality to the music he conducts and has been lauded by his colleagues for his affinity for them as artists. Even at age 24 he was recognized by Leopold Sipe, conductor of the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, as a symphonic talent. He has been described as living the music he conducts and his performances have been called both inspired and inspiring.
His vision for this ensemble and related artists is to bring affordable multi-faceted concerts to North Shore and Chicago-land communities; a project that embraces and interconnects many artists. Musicians, composers, artists, authors, playwrights and actors will help to build programs that represent the vast reservoir of talent here and make it accessible to the community at large.
David now lives in Highland Park where he coaches both singers and actors, which has included Chicago Jeff Award winners for performances in the Chicago area and throughout the country as he prepares scores for performance. He has a grandson named Joshua and three granddaughters, Lola, Nia and Astrid, who seem to him a female rock band in the making.