Francois Rabbath was born on March 12, 1931 in Aleppo, Syria
. Most of his family were musicians including four of his sisters, and five of his brothers. in 1944, he first played a Double Bass
that one of his brothers had brought home and allowed him to experiment on. Rabbath immediately fell in love with the large instrument, and set out to see what he could do with it.
Aided with a method book by Edouard Nanny, a Frenchman, Rabbath learned the book inside and out, and was eager to show Nanny what he could do. Rabbath saved his money until he could afford a trip to the Paris Conservatory to meet with Nanny. Rabbath found out, however, that Nanny had died several years earlier in 1947. Determined to stay, Rabbath learned that the auditions were to be held in three days, and he had not yet even seen the music! Rabbath, despite his being told that he could never manage to learn the peices well enough, practiced during those three days, and ended up taking first. It soon became apparent that Rabbath would not benefit much from the Paris Conservatory, as he was obviously far ahead of even his bass professors!
During that period of time, Rabbath played accompaniment for various other artists. During that time, Rabbath's tastes grew to more include Jazz and other ethnic musical forms, which he stroved to include more and more into his playing. In 1963, Rabbath released his first solo album, Bass Ball, a widely popular success. Rabbath then went on to become a soloist in his own right, and debuted in the United States at Carnegie Hall in 1975.
Starting in 1978, Rabbath and an American bassist Frank Proto began working together to compose concertos for the bass. Together, they easily doubled (hah. get it?) the amount of double bass material. Their union produced Concerto No. 2 for Double Bass and Orchestra, Four Scenes after Picasso - Concerto No. 3 for Double Bass and Orchestra, as well as Fantasy for Double Bass and Orchestra. Rabbath also did sequals to his album Bass Ball. Multi Bass '70, and Live Around the World.
Rabbath also wrote a three volumne technique for the Double Bass titled "A New Technique for the Double Bass", which many consider to be one of the best techniques for playing the bass.