Dr. Tal Benatar is an Israeli-American conductor, arranger and guitarist. Currently, Tal is the Conducting Fellow of the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and Co-Artistic Director of Nashville-based SONUS Choir. In August 2023, he was a semifinalist at the Kodály International Music Competition in Debrecen, Hungary. In January 2023, Tal was the competition winner the International Conductor's Workshop & Competition in Atlanta, GA. Previously, he served as the Music Director of the Life Sciences Orchestra at the University of Michigan, and as the Music Director of the Michigan Pops Orchestra. Tal made his European Debut in the summer of 2018.
Tal seeks to innovate in the world of orchestral music through creative programming and multidisciplinary collaboration. As a genre defying musician, he has performed repertoire spanning many centuries on many instruments, most recently as a singer and leader in SONUS Choir, a straight-tone a cappella choir with a focus on contemporary and sacred music. A strong advocate of new music, he has conducted world premieres by four University of Michigan composers, has been featured as a guitar soloist with University of Michigan’s Orpheus singers, and has performed new music with the U of M Contemporary Directions Ensemble for composers Nico Muhly, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang.
Conducting appearances include the Nashville Phiharmonic Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, U of M Opera Theatre, U of M Life Sciences Orchestra, Michigan Pops Orchestra, Charlottesville Symphony, Charlottesville Opera, Albemarle Sinfonia, Spectrum Orchestra, and the Oratorio Society of Virginia, with which Tal served as Assistant Conductor for the 2015-16 season.
He earned his DMA and MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan, and his BA at the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2014, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in US Constitutional Law. Tal has studied conducting with Kenneth Kiesler, Joseph Gascho, Oriol Sans, Adrian Gnam, Phillip Greenberg, Kate Tamarkin, and Michael Slon.
Tal is an avid weightlifter, cook, mixologist, and sports fan.