Eitan Steinberg & Etty BenZaken

About Eitan Steinberg

About Etty BenZaken


"The Israeli composer has a unique musical voice... The music is hypnotic." - Boston Classical Review

Eitan Steinberg is the recipient of Israel’s ACUM Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2014), ACUM prize for "Achievement of the Year" (2012), Landau Prize (2010) and Israel's Prime Minister's Composition Award (2007, 2018). His chamber operas and music-theater works, and his orchestral, chamber, choral and solo pieces, are widely performed by Israel's major orchestras, ensembles and soloists, as well as by prominent musicians in Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Portugal and throughout the USA. Alongside composing original works, he has created, as a life-long project, numerous arrangements of folk songs from Israel’s ethnic communities as well as from other cultures. His collaboration with his wife Etty BenZaken has yielded more than thirty works composed for her voice, with wide lingual and cultural references, and with original uses of voice and language. Together they have founded the multi-stylistic and inter-cultural Modalius Ensemble in which Steinberg is active as artistic director, conductor, composer and arranger. Steinberg is a full professor at the Music Department of the University of Haifa, Israel, where he draws inspiration and hope from teaching Jewish and Arab students. During 2005-10 he was the department's Chair, and today he is Head of the department’s MA program. His own education includes composition studies at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy (BA), the Chigiana Academy in Italy (Diploma) and the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D.). Among his teachers are composers Mark Kopytman, Luciano Berio, Peter Maxwell-Davis and Richard Felciano.

interdisciplinary artist

"A surprising inventiveness that combines singing and speaking, sound and whisper, Arabic and Hebrew, and a totally authentic emotional expression."  - Haaretz 

Etty BenZaken is the recipient of Rosenblum Prize for Outstanding Artists (2018). As a concert singer she has won audiences' and critics' acclaim for performing on prominent stages in her native country of Israel as well as in Europe and the USA. She focused on contemporary works, most of which were composed especially for her voice, but is equally known for her performances of ethnic music from her own Sephardic heritage and from other communities in Israel, in more than 15 languages. Her singing has been widely recorded on CDs, radio, television and documentaries. In December 2019 she announced har last full concert as a soloist, in order to concentrate on recordings and creative work. 

As a multidisciplinary artist, BenZaken is active in several artistic areas: she is the author of three published books; She is the writer, director and designer of Music-Theater shows, some of them created in collaboration with her husband composer Eitan Steinberg; Her original sound-works accompany video-art works and artists' exhibitions, and her visual art-works include large-scale fabric works, exhibited in Israel and Europe.

For 11 years (2004-2015) she taught at the Theater Department of the University of Haifa. Her own education includes music studies at the Jerusalem Music Academy, theater studies at the Jerusalem School of Visual Theater, Bachelor's and a Master's degree in literature at the University of Haifa (both with distinction). Folklore research is a major source of inspiration for her. Alongside her artistic activity she gives lectures and publishes articles.

© Eitan Steinberg & Etty BenZaken | Last updated: April 2021 | Site design: Dina Konson