Erich Walter Sternberg (Berlin, 1891 – Tel-Aviv 1974, immigrated in 1932) was the first local composer performed by the Palestine Orchestra (1937). His style was mostly conservative, post-Romantic, fluent and rich. His works were later often related as “non-local,” or “more Jewish than Israeli” because of that Zeitgeist favoring East-West syntheses, and hence under-appreciated – as was his major work, The Twelve Tribes of Israel — symphonic variations that he wrote in 1938.
Born in Tel Aviv, Michal Smoira-Cohn studied at the Palestine Academy of Music (graduated 1947), and later at Uppsala University in Sweden (1956-1958). Among her many activities in Israel's music scene are, to name a few: Editor of Bat Kol magazine; director of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra; music critic for Ha'aretz newspaper; and lecturer at Tel Aviv University and at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. Her writings discuss subjects such as Israeli folksongs, and various phases in the history of Jewish music.