Skip to main content

Sternberg, Erich-walter


STERNBERG, ERICH-WALTER (1898–1974), composer. Sternberg was born in Berlin, where he studied law and also music (with Hugo Leichtentritt and Adolf Aber). His first compositions already incorporated material from East European Jewish folklore (the finale of the First String Quartet was based on Eliakum *Zunser'sDer Parom, "The Ferry"). After a visit to Ereẓ Israel in 1924, he settled there permanently in 1932 with the first wave of composers trained in Western Europe.

Many of his works had biblical themes: Joseph and his Brethren, a suite for string orchestra (1938); The Twelve Tribes of Israel, variations for orchestra (1942); David and Goliath, a cantata for bass-baritone and chamber orchestra (text by Mathias Claudius, transl. by J. Aḥai); and Noah's Ark, a symphony. Others are connected by their themes or texts with liturgical traditions: Yishtabbaḥ, for choir, baritone solo, and speaker, to words by Judah Halevi (1945), and Shema Yisrael, a symphonic poem. Settings of texts from European literature are more frequent in Sternberg's work than in that of other Jewish composers: a major work is The Raven (based on Edgar Allan Poe's poem in the translation by Vladimir Jabotinsky), for baritone and orchestra. Other works of note are a children's opera Dr. Dolittle (1932); a suite for his stage music to the Habimah production of Shalom Aleichem's Amkha (1935); The Resurrection of Israel, for baritone and orchestra; and various vocal, choral, chamber, and orchestral works.


Who Is Who in acum (1965); P.E. Gradenwitz, Music and Musicians in Israel (1959), 36–39, 159–60; I. Shalita, Enẓiklopedyah le-Musikah. Ishei ha-Musikah ha-Yisra'elit ve-ha-Kelalit (1959), 770–3.

[Bathja Bayer]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sternberg, Erich-walter." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 25 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Sternberg, Erich-walter." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (April 25, 2019).

"Sternberg, Erich-walter." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved April 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.