DAVID FINKO was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), in the former Soviet Union, to the family of a famous mathematician and a submarine designer. In the early 1950s, talented young men were pressed into military service. Finko was selected to follow in his father’s footsteps, and became a submarine engineer. He graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Naval Architecture in 1959. He was appointed as a submarine design engineer in 1960 at the Submarine Design Bureau in Leningrad.
Finko had also studied piano, violin, and music theory since childhood. He graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov School the Performing Arts in 1958, and while working at the Submarine Design Bureau, graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory in 1965. That same year, Finko’s Sonata for Piano #1 was awarded the first prize in the Conservatory New Compositions Contest. He left his engineering career to become a full-time composer in 1966. He was a member of the Union of Soviet Composers, wrote many works on commission from the Soviet Ministry of Culture, and served as an editor of the state music publishing house Soviet Composer until 1979.
David Finko has been a US citizen 1986. Since his emigration to the USA in 1979, he has taught music at numerous universities including Yale University and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas. Finko has written eleven operas, seventeen concerti, three tone poems, two symphonies and a number chamber compositions. His music has been performed and recorded in Europe, the USA, South America, Israel, and Russia, and has received awards from the Fromm and Fels Foundations, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts,
ASCAP, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and others.
David Finko’s music is very emotional, expressive, often disturbing and soul-shuttering. His double, triple and quadruple concerti in which solo instruments “act” as humans are unique. His one act operas are based on exciting and striking plots, and are easy to stage.