David Starobin (born September 27, 1951, New York City) is an American classical guitarist, record producer, composer, writer and film maker.
Called "arguably the most influential American classical guitarist of the 20th Century" (Soundboard), Starobin was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America's "Hall of Fame" in 2011.
He is the only guitarist to have been awarded Lincoln Center's "Avery Fisher Career Award" (1988), and is the dedicatee of more than three hundred new compositions including music by composers Elliott CarterGeorge Crumb, and Gunther Schuller.


Starobin started playing the guitar at the age of seven. He studied with Manuel Gayol until age 11, and Albert Valdes Blaine until age 15, whereupon he commenced lessons with the noted guitar pedagogue, Aaron Shearer. In 1973 he graduated from the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, Maryland), while directing Peabody's guitar chamber music program. During this period he coached and performed with pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher, becoming a member of Fleisher's chamber ensemble: The Theater Chamber Players.

Starobin has toured the U.S. as a guitar recitalist, chamber player and orchestral soloist performing at festivals including Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe Chamber, and Tanglewood, and with orchestras and ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He worked at Brooklyn College, Bennington College, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the Manhattan School of Music. He is currently (as of 2013), employed at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2010, along with Jason Vieaux, he started the guitar program at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he is the holder of the Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies.

Starobin is the only guitarist to date (as of 2013) to receive Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Career Grant, in 1988. He was honored by Peabody Conservatory with its "Distinguished Alumni Award" (1999); and was given, with his wife, Becky Starobin, in 2007, ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award for their work with Bridge Records.

In 2011, Starobin was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America's Hall of Fame, earning the GFA's "Artistic Achievement Award". In 1990 he made the first recording of the newly discovered "10 Etudes" by Giulio Regondi (1822–1872), a work now regarded as a landmark in romantic-period guitar repertoire. In 2005 he performed works of Sor and Giuliani in London on a 1923 Herman Hauser parlor guitar for a DVD released by Mel Bay, Inc. (St. Louis, Missouri).

In the 1980s, he began performing and recording 19th century music on period instruments, notably by Panormo, La Cote, and Stauffer. At the same time, he was performing modern repertoire on traditional Spanish style instruments, including guitars by Herman Hauser, Daniel Friedrich and Thomas Humphrey. In 1981, David and Becky Starobin formed the record label Bridge Records, Inc., which has so far released around 547 CDs and DVDs (August 2020). The label has been nominated for 36 Grammy Awards and has received four Grammys to date. Starobin himself was nominated for two Grammy Awards as performer, and was nominated as "Producer of the Year (Classical)" in 2015.

In 1995, Bridge Records signed an agreement with the Library of Congress to co-produce the CD series: "Great Performances from the Library of Congress", featuring previously un-issued concert performances recorded in the LOC's Coolidge Auditorium (1937–present). Artists appearing on the first 25 volumes of the series include Nathan MilsteinGeorge Szell, The Budapest String Quartet, Leontyne PriceSamuel BarberCecil TaylorLeopold StokowskiJan DeGaetaniAaron Copland, The Golden Gate Quartet, Josh White, John Barrows, Berl SenofskyGary GraffmanDorothy MaynorArtur BalsamHenryk SzeryngBuddy ColletteMieczyslaw HorszowskiMarcel GrandjanyGustave Langenus, and Zino Francescatti. Starobin has given premieres of numerous contemporary works.