Avner Finberg is an Israeli American composer and violinist. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles, orchestras and soloists worldwide. Meitar Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, The Boston New Music Initiative, Ensemble Platypus Wien, The Ithaca New Music Collective, Cisum Percussion, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, saxophonist Wonki Lee and Cellist Kate Dillingham, among others. His music has been described by Steven Stucky as “reined, mature work of impeccable technique, original voice, and considerable ambition”, and hailed as “very funny… hits the spot beautifully” by Carole Di Tosti (at blogcritics.com). His musical inspirations stem from his Israeli roots and his current life in the US, combining without discrimination sources such as traditional Arab Music, fragments of ancient Byzantine and Greek music, and Jazz idioms, informed by cutting edge contemporary music techniques. He enjoys his career as a composer, violinist, music educator, performer of new music and occasional conductor.
Mr. Finberg’s music has been commissioned and performed by Meitar Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, Ensemble Platypus Wien, Cisum Percussion, cellist Kate Dillingham, saxophonist Wonki Lee, the Mannes Orchestra, and Manhattan School of Music Philharmonic, among others. His first opera, A Taste of Damnation (with a libretto by Edward Einhorn, based on a short story by Etgar Keret), was partially performed at the prestigious Frontiers workshop at Fort Worth Opera, and received a complete performance at Manhattan School of Music in 2015. Currently under development are a new opera, The Exagogue, written in collaboration with librettist Edward Einhorn, and The Four Seasons of Isolation, a series of works for violin and live electronics written in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
His awards and accolades include the 2017 Kirkoskammer Chamber Music Competition, Chamber Music Rochester Award, the Bard Prize, and the 2014 Kol Emet Young Composers competition. He represented Israel at the 2013 ISCM New Music Days in Vienna, Austria, and was a finalist at the 2018 Banaue International Music Composition Competition in The Philippines.
Born in Tivon, Israel, Mr. Finberg started his musical education at the age of eight when he took his first violin lessons. He started composing in High-School, and studied composition with Menahem Zur and Ari Ben-Shabtai at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance. He studied composition at Mannes College with Robert Cuckson and at Manhattan School of Music with Susan Botti. He also took lessons with Samuel Adler while at the summer program at the Freie Univestität, Berlin. Other teachers and mentors include Steven Stucky and Martin Bresnik. He earned a DMA in composition from Manhattan School of Music in 2015.
In addition to his activities as a composer he is an active professional violinist and a violin teacher. He studied violin with Hagai Shaham and Roi Shiloach at The Jerusalem Academy of Music., earning a master’s degree in violin. He performed as a violinist at The Israel Philharmonic, Tel-Aviv Soloists, The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, and the Missouri Symphony. He is the violinist of the Ithaca New Music Collective Ensemble, and he is a member of The Binghamton Philharmonic.