Zeev Steinberg

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Ze'ev (Wolfgang) Steinberg was born on Nov. 27. 1918 in Duesseldorf, Germany. His parents were physicians, practicing in Trier/Mosel, where he grew up the first 15 years of his life. His father had studied violin at the Music Academy in Koeln, and played chamber music until his last days in 1967. Thus he heard chamber music at home from early childhood and started playing violin at age of 5. The Nazis rudely interrupted these studies and he went to Palestine with the first group of 'Aliyat-Hanoar' (Youth Immigration}, and in March 1934 came to Klbbuz Ein-Harod. After 3 years of agricultural work, during which time he did play chamber music, mostly as a violist, he went with his future wife to Tel Aviv and became a taxi-driver, continuing to make music with amateurs and taking part in an amateur orchestra. ln 1939 he started to take lessons in viola, chamber music and composition with Prof. Oedoen Partos and Prof. Lorand Fenyves, both leading members of the "Palestine Orchastra" which became the Israel Philharmonic. In October 1942 he was accepted (as a substitute violist) by the Orchestra and a year later became a full member. In 1970 he was appointed assistant principal viola player. In 1985 he went into 'pension' (retirement at 65 is obligatory), but continued to play for another 10 years. In 1990 he joined the Israel Chamber Orchestra Ramat Gan as principal viola and musical advisor to the conductor, a position he still holds today. Shortly after he entered the Israel Philharmonic he began playing in string quartets: 1943-49 "The Israel Mozarteum Quartet"; 1949-1957 "The Polishuk Quartet" (Mr. Polishuk was a front-desk violinist of the IPO); 1957-59 "The Tel-Aviv Quartet", and 1959-1993 "The Israel String Quartet". The Quartet had to their credit more than 50 premiers of Israeli and other contemporary works. To this day Mr. Steinberg is a member of "Musica. Nova Consort" which he helped founding some 20 years ago. As a soloist he played with all Israeli orchestras, incl. his own Viola-Concerto, his arrangements for viola and ChO and of the standart and modern repertoire works. From 1952 on Mr. Steinberg was a teacher of viola at the Academy of Music (Tel-Aviv University) and became a Senior Lecturer there from 1956. After his official 'retirement' from the Orchestra he also thaught several years chamber music at the Jerusalem Academy ot Music and Dance. Ze'ev Steinberg died in May 22, 2011.