Paul Lubin, a revered oboe maker who was one of the few leftover woodwind craftsmen to manufacture his instruments by hand – something he did in a year that customers had to wait a decade to play one – 1 He died in March at his workshop in Pikeskill, NY. He was 88 years old.
His wife, Meredith Lubin, said that Mr. Lubin During the day his workshop collapsed and the police found his body that night. He lived in Mahopac, NY
In the world of obos, his participants believe, Mr. Lobin has oboes and then everything else.
He was in his early 20s, when he began working with his father, Alfred, who founded a. Lobbin Inc. And made its first obeu in 1931. When his father passed away in 1976, Paul took over the business. His son Alex began working with him in 2003.
Major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony, have played the instruments of Mr. Lobbin, nurturing his dark, rich tone.
“It’s something that hits a deep injury in your body when you play a lobby,” Sherry Sillar, Associate Principal Obist of the New York Philharmonic. “It is an echo that does not occur with any other obe. It rings inside your body. You get addicted to that kind of voice and nothing will happen. “
In a dusty workshop near the Hudson River, in line with machines built as long ago as 1881, Mr. Lobbin crafted his oboes and English horns with almost religious precision. He wore an apron and inflated a cob pipe as he drilled and used Grenadilla and Sheesham to make his instruments. (The pipe doubled as a test device: Mr. Lubin would blow smoke through the equipment joints to detect air leaks.)
His father taught him techniques that were done centuries ago. As the decade passed and equipment manufacturers adopted computerized design and factory automation, Paul Lubin opposed the change. As far as he was concerned, it would have happened if it had taken 10 years to make a good ob.
“what’s the rush?” He Said in an interview with New York Times in 1991. “I don’t want to do anything with my name to get out of here, which I haven’t made and checked and played myself.”
Mr. Laubin will store his rare hardwood blocks for years so that they can reach the climax of the season and become more resistant to the woods that are woodwind players’ bans. He then drilled a hole, which became the bore of the tool, a piece of wood sometimes required another year to dry.
Mr. Lobbin, who was a professional observer as a young man, performed every task he had done in search of flaws. “Every key is a struggle,” he said Told News 12 Westchester in 2012.
When a Lubin Oboh was finally completed, its unveiling was a cause for celebration. A customer arrived at the Peekskill workshop with a bottle of champagne, and as he played his first few notes, Mr. Lobbin raised the toast.
Paul Edward Lobbin was born on December 14, 1932 in Hartford, Conn. His father, an obodist and music teacher, started making them because he was dissatisfied with the quality of the instruments available; He created the first Lubin obue as an experiment, which melts his wife’s silverware to make her key.. Paul’s mother, Lillian (Ellie de Breton) Lubin, was a housewife.
As a boy, Paul was mesmerized by the instruments his father was making, but Alfred did not initially want his son to pursue music. Paul kept on beating her; When he was 13, his father reluctantly gave him an obed, a reed and a fingered chart, and Paul taught himself how to play.
Mr. Laubin studied auto mechanic and music at Louisiana State University in the 1950s. Before long, he yearned to perform better and landed a spot in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Soon after, he finally joined the family business and began making oats with his father in his home garage in Scarsdale, NY.
In 1958, he moved his workshop to a clarinet factory in Long Island City, Queens, and for some time the business was churning out 100 devices per year (relatively speaking).
Mr. Lubin married Meredith Van Linnife, a flutist, in 1966. He moved the company to its current location in Peekskill in 1988. As time passed, his team became smaller, and so began his production.
By the 1990s, a. Lubin Inc. was producing about 22 devices a year. Around 2005, the average was below 15.. Over time, the lack of lobbins added to his legend. The company has rarely advertised, relying on word of mouth. A grenadilla obo cost $ 13,200; One rosewood, $ 14,000.
In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Michelle; A sister, Venet Aaron; One brother, Carl; And two grandchildren.
Mr. Lubin was well aware that selling so little equipment in a year, however good it may be, was not financially necessary. “I chose to follow my father, even though I knew I would never get rich on that,” he said Told Times in 1989. “I have to think twice about starting it today.”
The company’s fate is now undetermined. Alex Lobbin served as the office manager and helped with some aspects of production but did not learn the entire process. He often urged his father to modernize his operation – to little avail.
Meredith Lobbin said, “Now nobody sits down and gives away the keys.” “No one gets out of an oboe joint at a time. All of this is now automated, such as how robots make cars. But Paul was not supportive of any of these things. For them, the family recipe was not a cheat. “
However, Mr. Lubin knew that the old ways would cease. He found it hard to ignore the realities of being an old world artisan in the modern era.
“Paul got a part of his dream, which was being able to work with his son,” Ms. Lobbin said. “But the second part of his dream, knowing that his work would continue the way he did, he knew it wasn’t going to happen.”
Nevertheless, he carried the tradition to the end. The day he died on his work table, he was at the beginning of Lubin Oboe number 2,600.