Eitan Steinberg & 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 orchestral and chamber pieces, Music-Theater works, choral and solo works 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 with Etty BenZaken he founded the multi-stylistic and inter-cultural ensemble Modalius in which he is active as artistic director, conductor, composer and arranger. Eitan 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 the Chair of the department’s MA program. His own music 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 composition teachers are composers Mark Kopytman, Luciano Berio, Peter Maxwell-Davis and Richard Felciano.
"A surprising inventiveness that combines singing and speaking, sound and whisper, Arabic and Hebrew, and a totally authentic emotional expression." - Haaretz
Vocalist Etty BenZaken, the recipient of Rosenblum Prize for Outstanding Artists (2018), wins audiences' and critics' acclaim for performing contemporary works, many of which are written especially for her voice. Well-versed in today's extended vocal techniques, she feels equally at home performing ethnic music from her own Sephardic heritage and from other communities in Israel, in more than 15 different languages. Her singing has been widely recorded on CDs, radio, television and documentaries. Alongside her concerts activity, Etty BenZaken is a prolific multidisciplinary creative artist: she is the author of two published novels, and her third book - an assays collection about her multi-disciplinary activity - was published in Israel on January 2019; 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 vocal works accompany video-art works and artists' exhibitions. Her visual works include large-scale fabric works, which were exhibited in Israel and Europe. Her education includes music studies at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy, theater studies at the Jerusalem School of Visual Theater, Bachelor's and a Master's degree in literature (both with distinction) at the University of Haifa. During 2004-2015 she taught at the Theater Department of the University of Haifa, Israel. She is an active lecturer and directs workshops for Jewish and Arab students. Folklore research is a major source of inspiration for her, and she brings to stage her multi-cultural and multi-lingual background, along with the bridging and humanist attitude in which she believes.