Russell Steinberg received a Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University, an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, and a B.A. from UCLA. He studied composition most notably with Leon Kirchner, Arthur Berger, Elaine Barkin, and Kenneth Klauss. His works include solo, chamber, orchestra, and film music, and are performed worldwide. He conducts the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra and performs on both piano and classical guitar. He inspires audiences to deepen their passion for classical music through engaging preconcert talks for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, an annual lecture series,and several online musical subjects.
Russell Steinberg’s music orchestrates the cosmos depicted by the Hubble Space Telescope, dances tangos to Wall St. Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s story of a missing Stradivarius violin (whose finder refuses to return because it lets her play in tune), and resonates to the waters of idyllic Blue Pool on the island of Maui. Reviewers describe an emotional style infusing Romanticism with the pulse and colors of contemporary aesthetics as “freshly lyrical, pulsating, edgy, infectious” and “shimmering with great beauty and energy.”
Three orchestras— the New West Symphony, the Bay Atlantic Symphony, and the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra—commissioned and premiered Cosmic Dust, a work that Science News Magazine featured in its issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. A Daniel Pearl Foundation commission, Stories From My Favorite Planet, tells the story of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl alternating music with Pearl’s own brilliant tragic-comic articles. Readers Theodore Bikel , John Schneider, Josh Cox, LA Philharmonic violinist Mitchell Newman, and violinist Limor Toren-Immerman, are among many who have performed the work. The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony premiered Canopy of Peace, a song cycle on meditations by noted scholar and philosopher Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis. The SAN BERNARDINO CARES benefit for the families of the victims of the 2015 terrorist attack performed Aria for a Calmer World for solo violin and orchestra. Steinberg’s two award-winning string quartets were premiered by the New World String Quartet in Boston and the Lyris Quartet in Los Angeles.
Recent commissions include Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano with Sierra Ensemble, Whack-A-Mole USA with Viennese double bassist James Rapport, and Paleface for piano trio plus video projection of paintings by acclaimed New York “psychological pop” artist Jerry Kearns.
Steinberg also performs both piano and classical guitar. He studied piano with Earle Voorhies and Salome Arkatov (both students of famed Juilliard teacher Rosina Lhevinne) and studied classical guitar with Dorothy Compinsky and Ronald Purcell, a student of Andrés Segovia. He performs solo concerts on both instruments. In spring 2016, Steinberg released Blue Pool, a CD collection of solo guitar pieces influenced by Hawaiian Slack Key.
In addition to composing and performing, Steinberg is active in music education. He conducts the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, a widely-praised ensemble that includes 120 students from over 60 schools. In Summer 2017 the orchestra embarks to Italy for its second international tour. Steinberg is also a popular speaker for pre-concert talks with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and offers an annual Winter Lecture Series on a wide range of topics open to all curious listeners. Steinberg is the creator of AudioMaps®, an innovative approach to music listening intended for beginners as well as connoisseurs. His books AudioMaps® To The Beethoven Symphonies, vol. 1 and 2 were published in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Available recordings of Steinberg’s music include Drones and Resonances and Blue Pool produced by Blown To Bits, Stories From My Favorite Planet, produced by the Daniel Pearl Foundation and performed by violinist Mitchell Newman, Flute Sonata recorded by Michelle Stanley and produced by Centaur Records, Sacred Transitions, a song cycle with Diana Tash mezzo-soprano commissioned by the Harold M. Schulweis Institute, Fantasy for Flute and Piano on the CD Ascend recorded by Elizabeth Erenberg, and Desert Stars, a recording of Steinberg’s music for piano and classical guitar, performed by the composer.