Layth Al-Rubaye

Violinist
Class of 
2014
Alumni

Born in Baghdad and raised in Amman, Jordan, Layth Al‑Rubaye is a leading Middle Eastern violinist on the world music stage. Raised in a musical family, Al‑Rubaye started playing the violin at the age of four and quickly began performing as a young soloist.

Trained classically under Timur Ibrahimov at the National Music Conservatory in Amman, he went on to study with Adrian Levine at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, England. Al‑Rubaye continued his violin studies alongside acclaimed Arab musician Simon Shaheen at Berklee. Graduating with the highest honors, Al‑Rubaye left Berklee with a wealth of collaborators.

A soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist, Al‑Rubaye has worked on numerous projects with Spanish producer Javier Limón, a Grammy Award-winning and seven-time Latin Grammy Award-winning artist. Al‑Rubaye is featured on the Grammy-nominated album The Voices of Afghanistan with Farida Mahwash and Humayoun Sakhi, on José Merce’s Mi Unica Llave and on Javier Limón's album Promesas de Tierra.

With a voice that combines refined classical and middle‑eastern lyricism, Al‑Rubaye has earned a reputation for elegance in the performance of world music styles. He has performanced alongside Simon Shaheen, Ron Carter, Lalah Hathaway, Jack DeJohnette, Jorge Drexler, Ivan Lins, Lutfi Boushnaq, Raul Midon, Eric Whitacre, and Mario Frangoulis. He also performanced with Alejandro Sanz at the 2013 Latin Grammy Awards Gala. Al‑Rubaye continues to perform in festivals throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East.

Watch Layth Al-Rubaye perform with Naseem Alatrash:

He currently leads the Four Corners Quartet, a string quartet formed by musicians from Jordan, Palestine, the U.S., and the U.K. Performing a diverse repertoire, the quartet draws musical inspiration from the cultures they represent.

Watch the Four Corners Quartet here:

Currently based in the U.S., Al-­Rubaye continues his work as an exceptional violinist, actively recording, performing, and holding workshops. When asked to share his motto on life and music, he quoted violinist Ivry Gitlis: "To be alive, to  be aware, to hear, to know, to feel, to see, to love—and to be loved a little bit sometimes."