Life & Career
Born in Brazil to a Polish mother and a Lithuanian father, Sonia Rubinsky began her musical studies in the Conservatory of Music of Campinas with Olga Rizzardo Normanha. A child prodigy, she gave her first recital at the age of five and a half years and, at age of 12, she performed as soloist with orchestra. From the age of 13 she studied in Israel at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, now called The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. At the age of 16, she played for Arthur Rubinstein who praised her temperament.
Among the musicians who have helped shape Rubinsky’s artistry were: Jacob Lateiner, Gina Bachauer, Claude Frank, Leon Fleisher, Benjamin Oren, William Daghlian, Irma Wolpe, Vlado Perlemuter and Murray Perahia.
Rubinsky won a full scholarship to The Juilliard School of Music in New York where she earned her Master’s and Doctor of Arts. As a recitalist she has appeared in the most prestigious concert halls in the world: Carnegie Hall (Stern/Perelman Stage, Weill Recital Hall), Alice Tully Hall, Bargemusic, Merkin Concert Hall, Miller Theater, Hertz Hall in the United States, Maison de Radio France in Paris, Sala São Paulo and Teatro Municipal de São Paulo in Brazil, Recanati Hall in and the Jerusalem Theater in Israel and AGA-Zaal in Netherlands.
Rubinsky has played concerti with orchestras in the US and her native Brazil including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and symphony orchestras throughout the United States including Richmond, Springfield, Syracuse, Jacksonville, Cheyenne, Phoenix orchestras, as well as the Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo (OSESP), the Symphony Orchestra of the University of São Paulo (OSUSP), the Orchestra of the Teatro Municipal de São Paulo and the Orchestra of the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. She has also performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in Israel and the Orchestre de Saint Etienne in France.
Sonia Rubinsky’s discography includes recordings of Bach, Debussy, Messiaen, Scarlatti, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Almeida Prado, Jorge Liderman, Gabriela Lena Frank and Villa-Lobos. For the latter composer, more than thirteen years of research, in close collaboration with the Museum Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro, and consultation of manuscripts in different countries, have made possible the recording of his entire work in eight volumes, with several world premieres. Called Madame Villa-Lobos in France, this series has received numerous awards: the first volume of this collection was selected in 1999 by Gramophone magazine to be among the “Five Best Piano Recordings” of the year and was nominated for the GRAMMY® Awards. The fifth volume was selected as Editor’s Choice by the same magazine in October 2006. The eighth and final, which concludes the series, earned her the award for the “Best Recording of the Year” at the Latin GRAMMY ® Awards 2009. Honored with the major award for classical music in Brazil: The “Carlos Gomes Prize”, Rubinsky received the “Pianist of the Year” award in 2006, the “Instrumentalist of the Year” award in 2009 and, in 2012 her award was received for her recordings of the Complete Songs Without Words of Felix Mendelssohn for Algol Records.
Rubinsky premiered Patrick Zimmerli’s concerto for piano, jazz percussion and orchestra at Sala São Paulo, with the composer as conductor. Sonia Rubinsky made her debut as a conductor in this event, having played and lead the orchestra in the second half. In addition, the pianist Murray Perahia has nominated her as Artist-in-Residence at the Edward Aldwell International Center for Piano Performance and Musicianship in Jerusalem. She has developed and taught a course, together with the Schenkerian analyst Roger Kamien, in Analysis for Performance for gifted young pianists at the Jerusalem Music Center of which Murray Perahia is president.
Rubinsky’s remarkable interpretive gift range from the Baroque to the music of today. The composer Almeida Prado dedicated several of his works to her: “Cartas Celestes XII” (2000), “Três Croquis de Israel”, “20 Flashes de Jerusalem”. His “Sonata for Cello and Piano” (2004), was commissioned and dedicated to Sonia Rubinsky and the renowned cellist Antonio Meneses. Solo recordings of works by Gabriela Lena Frank, John Adams and Jorge Liderman and Patrick Zimmerli have received rave reviews.