David Finko

A Russian-American Composer

In the early 1950's, the Soviet Union started active preparations for WWIII against the USA and NATO, and young talented men were pressed into service in the national army and navy. David Finko—the only son of a naval architect and the Theory of Elasticity professor—was selected to become a submarine designing engineer. He graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Naval Architecture (Diploma in Submarine Design, 1959 and the rank of lieutenant), made two arctic patrols as a crew member, was trained at several ship yards and at the Submarine Design Bureau in Leningrad, where he was appointed as a submarine designing engineer in 1960.

But David Finko also studied piano, violin and music theory since childhood. He graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov School of the Performing Arts (Diploma in Piano Performance, 1958) and from the Leningrad Conservatory (Diploma in Music Composition, 1965). He abandoned his engineering career to become a full-time composer in 1966. He was a member of the Union of Soviet Composers, he wrote many works on commissions from the Soviet Ministry of Culture and noted performers, and served as an editor of the state music publishing house "Soviet Composer."

Since his emigration to the U.S.A. in 1979, David Finko has taught music at seven U.S. universities including Yale University and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas. He has been a U.S. citizen since 1986. David Finko has written six operas, nine concerti, three tone poems, two symphonies and a number of chamber compositions. His music has been performed and recorded in many countries and received many awards.

Selected Publications about David Finko

The Coast Magazine (2003) (in Russian)

The Music of David Finko

Polinka, one act opera after Anton Chekhov.
That Song, one act opera after Boris Polevoy.
The Klezmers, one act opera after I.L. Peretz.
The Kabbalists, one act opera after I.L. Peretz.
The Enchanted Tailor, two act opera after Sholom Aleikhem.
Abraham and Hanna, two act opera after Jack Lazebnik.
A Woman is a Devil, one act opera after Prosper Merime.
Symphony #1
Symphony #2
The Wailing Wall, tone poem.
The Holocaust, tone poem.
Russia, tone poem.
Hear, O Israel, Sabbath Eve Service, for two singers, chorus and orchestra.
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra
Concerto for Viola, Double Bass and Orchestra
Concerto for Harp and Orchestra
Concerto for Viola d'Amour, Guitar and Orchestra
Concerto for 3 Violins and Orchestra
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Concerto Grosso, for flute, oboe, bassoon, percussion and strings.
Fantasia on a Medieval Russian Theme, for piano.
Sonata for Piano #1
Sonata for Piano #2
Mourning Music, for violin, viola and cello.
Dithyramb, for viola and organ.
Lamentations of Jeremiah, for solo violin.
Fromm Septet, for oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, cello, double bass and percussion.
B-88, for piano.
Mask, for solo harp.


You may contact Prof. David Finko by email: david at davidfinko dot org.