Avraham Sternklar’s spectacular concert career began in Israel where his early studies took place. Concerts followed both as recitalist and soloist with the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony, including broadcasts of some of his solo and symphonic compositions. When Leonard Bernstein met young Sternklar, he was truly impressed with his talent. Together with the help of the then USA Ambassador to Israel, the Hon. James McDonald (who attended all of Sternklar’s concerts), he urged that he come to the USA for advanced studies. Upon his arrival to this country he was awarded scholarships for study at the Juilliard School of Music, an honor he maintained for five consecutive years. He also competed for and won a special scholarship for study at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, thus pursuing studies at two major musical institutions. Numerous concerts followed which took him from coast to coast, as well as abroad, often appearing in the triple role of pianist, composer and lecturer. He was commissioned to write music for Ballet, modern dance, educational literature and as a supplement to computer software programs. His compositions are published, recorded and performed by soloists and ensembles on an international level in such remote places as Japan and Peru. One of his works entitled, A PROMISE FULFILLED is based on paintings by his mother, the noted artist TEA STERNKLAR. Mr. Sternklar often performs this work while exhibiting the paintings and discussing the magnificent scenes they represent. Recently a performance was held outdoor at Heckscher Park in Huntington, New York, during which a modern dance company danced to this set of pieces as the paintings were displayed on a giant screen. Following the war with Iraq, Mr. Sternklar composed a march in honor of Gen. Schwarzkopf appropriately entitled The General Schwarzkopf March. The General himself has written to Mr. Sternklar expressing his delight in hearing the work. Sternklar held the office of Co-Director of The Long Island Composers Alliance for six years and in that capacity he played a major role in performing new music and introducing budding young composers to a curious public.
Some of the artists and ensembles Mr. Sternklar performed with represent the cream of the musical world, a brief list follows: MISCHA ELMAN, RUGGIERO RICCI, OSCAR SHUMSKY, ZVI ZEITLIN, TOSSY SPIVAKOVSKY, BARBARA MALLOW, LEONID HAMBRO, LEONARD LEHRMAN, ANNE YARROW, LOUIS ALCURI, MARGA RICHTER, HERBERT FELDMAN, JASCHA HORENSTEIN, PAUL RUDOFF, ROBERT MANN, THE HOFSTRA STRING QUARTET, SEYMOUR BENSTOCK, THE DAVINCI PLAYERS, THE CANTILENA TRIO, AVRON COLEMAN, SEYMOUR RUBINSTEIN, THE BAYVIEW CHAMBER PLAYERS, DANIEL STERNKLAR and hundreds more. He has served as Associate Professor of Piano Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and at present continues to teach privately at his Plainview, New York studio. Over the years he has been instrumental in launching the careers of hundreds of talented young musicians. In the past he also served on the faculties of the Training Orchestra Chamber Music Workshop, the 92nd Street YMHA and the Brandeis Institute of the West in California. Sternklar has appeared in concert in most major halls including Town Hall, Carnegie and Lincoln Center in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, also on screen in Documentaries about the well known Siena Pianoforte, on Television, written musical analysis for The Voice Of America, given master classes in music education and performance, lectures about chamber music, contemporary music, music from Israel, duo piano ensemble presentations and recitals, conducted workshops, seminars, was a special guest performer at the Stratford Festival in Canada.
Mr. Sternklar is the recipient of many awards, grants and honors amongst them MEET THE COMPOSER (more than 17 awards to date), New York State Council on the Arts, three BEST OF THE YEAR awards by the Piano Quarterly Magazine, National Endowment for the Arts, The Helena Rubinstein Foundation, Men of Achievement Award. His biography appears in 18 WHO IS WHO’S including the INTERNATIONAL WHO IS WHO IN MUSIC where he serves on the Board of Advisors.
Dozens of reviews and articles have been published about his performances and compositions. Here is what The NEW YORK TIMES wrote about Mr. Sternklar’s playing, following a performance at Carnegie: “He makes the accents and phrasing of Romantic style seem as natural as breathing….” And in Montreal, Canada the STAR wrote: “he can command the admiration and astonishment of any audience….”
The Piano Quarterly in reviewing a newly released piano work wrote: “Sophistication of treatment….., a piece that sings simply through many refinements of rhythm, texture, and counterpoint. It seems lovingly crafted.”
Additionally hundreds of letters of appreciation and notes were written over the years about Mr. Sternklar’s art, many by leading musical personalities, individuals at high institutions of learning, etc. A few brief excerpts follow:
“Your presence in the Town of Oyster Bay and your outstanding compositions enhance our cultural environment.” (Lois Manning, Superintendent, Town of Oyster Bay.)
“I have seldom come across a young man with so much talent…..” (Mischa Elman)
“…we thank you for the time, patience, expertise, love, discipline and all the other qualities which have had such an important impact on your students. You do the work from which we all benefit…..”(Director of Admissions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)
“ To Avraham Sternklar, not only for the joy your art brings to so many but also its example to the younger generation. Greetings from Marian Anderson”.