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AVNER FINBERG is an Israeli-American composer and violinist. Born in Tivon, Israel, he started his musical education when he took his first violin lessons with Viola Hacohen. His early Composition lessons were with Yinam Leef and Haim Permont at the Wizo High School for the Arts in Haifa. He majored in Composition and Violin Performance at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance, and later continued his education in New York City. He studied composition with Menahem Zur and Ari Ben-Shabtai at The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, with Robert Cuckson at Mannes College, and with Susan Botti at Manhattan School of Music. Other teachers include Samuel Adler, Steven Stucky, and Martin Bresnik. He received a DMA in composition from Manhattan School of Music in 2015.


 He has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades internationally and his music has been commissioned and performed by various known ensembles and soloists. He represented Israel at the 2013 ISCM New Music Days in Vienna, Austria, and attended the Composers and the Voice workshop in Brooklyn, NY. He was recently composer-inresidence at the Yaddo Artist Colony in Saratoga Springs, NY. 

As violinist, he has performed with The Israel Philharmonic, Tel-Aviv Soloists, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, and the Missouri Symphony. He currently lives in Ithaca, NY, and plays in The Ensemble of The Ithaca New Music Collective, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakesand The Binghamton Philharmonic.



“Pugaw” for Symphony Orchestra is inspired by the history of the Ifugao people starting from their descent from Kabunyan (Skyworld) to Pugaw (Earthworld) at the beginning of time. The solo melodies in the winds which appear sporadically throughout the piece are inspired by the traditional music of the Ifugao. The piece begins with a solo lyrical melody in the trumpet, representing the memory of Kabunyan. A second contrasting theme played by the entire brass
section representing the mountain landscapes of Banaue follows. The two themes are developed in a series of musical episodes alternating between grand and intimate settings. After a section in which solo melodies are played in the flutes and oboes, the theme of Banaue
emerges again, scored for the full orchestra.

Following this climactic section is a second round of solos in the woodwinds, in which the Banaue theme, increasingly fragmented, is heard from a distance in the trumpets. This section ends when a new melody is heard, played by a single viola. Suddenly, the theme of Banaue returns in a climactic final section. In the following coda the melody of Kabunyan is played again in full by the trumpet, bringing the piece to an end.