David Rubio (1934 – 2000) originally studied medicine, but an eye handicap prevented him from working as a surgeon. He moved to Spain, where he came into contact with flamenco music. He derived his name from this period: Rubio, “red-beard” – his real name was David Spink. After tours of the United States, where he met his wife, Nest (who wove splendid Oriental carpets), they returned to England in 1967. Through his contact with Julian Bream, David started to build guitars, lutes and harpsichords in Duns Tew. In 1979 they moved to a magnificent medieval home in Cambridge, where besides building violins and harpsichords David did research in the ancient Italian art of violin making.
Johan Brouwer about his Rubio instruments
I met David for the first time at the Festival of Flanders in 1979, where he made a striking impression with his copies of historical instruments. We became friends, which resulted in my exceptional collection of Rubio instruments. I also owe great gratitude to Ann and Peter MacTaggert, who have done so much beautiful cabinet-maker’s work on my instruments, as well as the decorative painting.