Sternberg, Erich Walter

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Sternberg, Erich Walter

Sternberg, Erich Walter , German-born Israelicomposer; b. Berlin, May 31, 1891; d. Tel Aviv, Dec. 15, 1974. He studied law at the Univ. of Kiel (graduated, 1918), and then received training in composition from Leichtentritt and in piano from Praetorius in Berlin. In 1932 he emigrated to Palestine. In 1936 he was a co-founder of the Palestine Orch. (later the Israel Phil.). Many of his works were inspired by biblical subjects.


DRAMATIC: Dr. Dolittle, children’s opera (1937; orch. suite, 1941); Pacificia, the friendly Island, opera for “children and others” (1972−74). ORCH.: Overture to a Comedy (1932); Quodlibet (1935); Amcha (Thy People), suite (1936); Joseph and His Brothers, suite for Strings (1937); The 12 Tribes of Israel, variations (Tel Aviv, May 3, 1942); Shetna Israel (Hear, O Israel; 1947); Höre Israel (1948); Contrapuntal Study (1955); Tewat Noah (Noah’s Ark; 1960). CHAMBER : 2 string quartets (1924, 1926); Violin Sonata (1955); Piano Trio; Wind Quintet. VOCAL: The Story of David and Goliath for Baritone and Orch. (1927); Kol nidrei for Baritone and Orch. (1927); Halochem ha’amilz (The Garland Soldier) for Baritone and Orch. (1930); Ami (My People) for Soprano and Orch. (1945); Shirim mukdamim (Early Songs) for Soprano and Orch. (1946); Ha’orev (The Raven) for Baritone and Orch. (1949); Sichot haruach (Dialogues with the Wind) for Alto and Orch. (1955); Hachalil bamerchakim (The Distant Flute) for Alto and Flute (1958); Shirei nezirüt (Songs of Resignation) for Baritone and Orch. (1958); Songs of Hafis for Voice and Orch. (1959); Techiat Israel (The Resurrection of Israel), oratorio (1959); Tefilot (Prayers of Humility) for Contralto and Chamber Orch. (1962); The Sacrifice of Isaac for Soprano and Orch. (1965); Love Songs for Chorus and Orch. (1968); The Wretched for Baritone and String Orch. (1969); My Brother Jonathan for Chorus and String Orch. (1969); about 100 solo songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire