Nathan Rubin ’46

Nathan Rubin, Class of 1946

Nathan Rubin was a violinist and concertmaster in Oakland for forty years. Rubin showed an early affinity for music, giving a recital at the Claremont Hotel when he was 8, and appearing with the Oakland Symphony as a soloist at the age of 15. At Tech, Rubin was Commissioner of Publications, played in the orchestra, and served as sports editor for Scribe News.

After graduating from Oakland Tech in 1946, he went on to study at Julliard. In 1963 Rubin was appointed concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony and he remained in that position for forty years. He also performed with the Arch Street Ensemble, the San Francisco Quartet, and the Persinger String Trio. The City of Oakland declared April 8, 1993 “Nathan Rubin Day.”

During his lifetime, Rubin performed alongside Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Stacy Latisaw, Sly Stone, the Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Jerry Garcia and a host of other popular musical stars. He has also been spotted sitting among the strings of a big-name pop orchestra playing dance music for San Francisco socialites as well as in concertmaster chairs for orchestras recording soundtracks for “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” “Soapdish” and “Predator 2.” He also served as conductor and violinist for the soundtrack of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

This article in the Oakland Tribune chronicled Rubin’s life after his death in 2005.