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Russell Steinberg


About this Artist

Composer RUSSELL STEINBERG writes music that reviewers describe as “freshly lyrical, pulsating, edgy, infectious” and “shimmering with great beauty and energy.” Trio Accento presented his piano trio Paleface: The Mythology Underlying the American Narrative last December at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall, with video projection of paintings by acclaimed New York “psychological pop” artist Jerry Kearns. At this same concert, soprano Hila Plitmann performed the world premiere of Lights of Amethyst, a song cycle based on poems from James Joyce’s Chamber Music.  

Steinberg’s orchestra tone poem Cosmic Dust was featured in the Science News magazine issue marking the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope and premiered by three orchestras: the New West Symphony, the Bay Atlantic Symphony, and the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra. The Los Angeles contemporary ensemble Brightwork newmusic recently performed Rucksack, a monodrama based on Holocaust survivor Juliane Heyman’s memoir, featuring mezzo-soprano Geeta Novotny. Steinberg’s tribute to journalist Daniel Pearl – Stories from My Favorite Planet – has received numerous performances, including one narrated by Theodore Bikel. The Bay Atlantic Symphony in New Jersey regularly programs Steinberg’s Hanukkah fantasy, Lights On!  

Steinberg is a popular pre-concert speaker for both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Santa Monica Symphony. An enthusiastic fan base attends his annual winter lecture series on various musical topics and composers. This season’s topics are “Classical Vienna: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven” and “Stravinsky vs. Schoenberg.” Steinberg is also the conductor and founder of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, a widely praised ensemble that includes 120 students from over 60 schools. The orchestra has performed at Carnegie Hall and toured in Vienna, Prague, and Italy.  

Steinberg received a Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University, studying with Leon Kirchner; an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, studying with Arthur Berger; and a B.A. from UCLA, studying with Elaine Barkin. His early instrumental and composition teachers were Dorothy Compinsky (piano, classical guitar, violin), Kenneth Klauss (composition), Earle C. Voorhies (piano), Ron Purcell (classical guitar), and Salome Arkatov (piano).

Information about Steinberg’s music and lectures is available at