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Варшавская семья деда, его предки.JPG

I recently developed an interest in the music of my grandfather, Israel Finkelstein. Through his music, I've discovered a world that no longer exists today. It's a unique atmosphere of the Russian and Soviet intelligentsia, with all its joys and fears, ideals and traditions, lived under conditions of repression, state anti-Semitism, brutal censorship, and war. Exploring this world through my grandfather's music, I felt a deep connection with him.

Finkelstein's circle included notable figures such as Glazunov, Gnesin, Shostakovich, Sviridov, Michoels, Fleischmann, Weinberg, Soloviev-Sedoy, and others. These individuals lived through the Soviet Empire, their lives intertwined with the country's history. At that time, as in today's Russia, they chose different survival strategies: to adapt to the system, to go into “internal emigration”, to live a double life. For my grandfather, as for many creative individuals, such a strategy was to go into music, into creativity. It was his refuge, a place where he could freely express his feelings and thoughts.


Listening to the music of that era, we not only feel the spirit of the time but also gain insight into those who have long since passed, yet with whom we share common experiences.


Israel Finkelshtein was born on February 1, 1910 in Warsaw. He graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory in two specialties: piano class with S. Savshinsky and composition class with M. Gnesin. From 1939 to 1941 Israel had been an assistant in the class of D. D. Shostakovich. During these years, among his students were such composers as G. Sviridov, O. Evlakhov, V. Fleishman, G. Ustvolskaya.


From 1941 to 1971 Israel Finkelshtein taught orchestration at the Leningrad Conservatory. Many Soviet composers and conductors passed through his class. For several years he led a seminar for young composers from different republics of the USSR. The first performers of his works were such outstanding Soviet musicians as pianist Nikolai Demidenko, violinist Viktor Lieberman, cellists Natalya Gutman, Alexei Lazko and others.


Israel Finkelshtein was a member of the Union of Composers. His main compositions are:

  • an oratorio "Northern Giant" for choir, soloists and symphony orchestra;

  • 3 symphonies;

  • concertos for violin, for piano and for cello;

  • a suite for cello and orchestra;

  • sonatas: for cello and piano;

  • a suite for flute and piano;

  • a divertimento for bassoon and piano;

  • a cycle of children's pieces for piano;

several vocal cycles to poems by F. Tyutchev, V. Shefner, A. Blok, S. Yesenin, A. Pushkin and others.

Finkelshtein Aria. Исп. Владислав Песин (скрипка) Полина Фрадкина (ф-но)
00:00 / 06:03

Composer Israel Finkelshtein, "Aria".

Performed by Vladislav Pesin (violin), Polina Fradkina (piano)

И.Финкельштейн_-соната-для-скрипки-и-ф-но.-Исп.-В.-Либерман-_скрипка__-И.-Финкельштейн-_ф-Израиль Финкельштейн
00:00 / 28:27

Composer Israel Finkelshtein.

Sonata for violin and piano.

Performed by Viktor Lieberman (violin) and Israel Finkelstein (piano). Recorded from a concert from the Small Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic 04/13/1976

Финкельштейн, Соната.Полина Фрадкина
00:00 / 16:17

Composer Israel Filkenshtein.

Sonata for piano.

Performed by Polina Fradkina

Композитор Израиль Финкельштейн, "Колыбельная на стихи Вадима Шефнера. Исп. Николай Алексеев. Запись с концерта из Малого Зала Ленинградской Филармонии, 13.04.1976Композитор Израиль Финкельштейн
00:00 / 03:33

Composer Israel Finkelshtein. "Lullaby". Lyrics by Vadim Shefner. Performed by Nikolay Alekseev. Recorded from a concert at the Small Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic, 04/13/1976

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