top of page


Варшавская семья деда, его предки.JPG

I became interested in the music of my grandfather, Israel Finkelshtein, relatively recently. A whole world opened up for me through this music, a world which no longer exists today, the special atmosphere of the life of the Russian and Soviet intelligentsia, with all the joys, fears, with their ideals, traditions... And I, living in a completely different reality, nevertheless, deeply felt my connection to that world. The circle of teachers and students, acquaintances and friends of my grandfather included Glazunov, Gnesin, Sviridov, Mikhoels, Fleishman, Weinberg, Solovyov-Sedoy and others. The history of my family intersects and is woven into the overall history of our country. The personal becomes part of the general. And music helps to feel time on a deeper emotional level, feeling all the experiences that were once invested in it, here and now.

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)

Израиль Финкельштейн, соната для скрипки и фортепиано. Исп. Виктор Либерман (скрипка) и Израиль Финкельштейн (фортепиано). Запись с концерта из Малого Зала Ленинградской филармонии 13.04.1976Израиль Финкельштейн
00:00 / 16:17

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

bottom of page