Tal Benatar is an Israeli-American conductor, arranger and guitarist. 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. He 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.

Tal has made conducting appearances with 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 he served as Assistant Conductor for the 2015-16 season. He was the music director of the Rapidan Orchestra, a community orchestra in Central Virginia focused on bringing Western Art Music to more remote audiences.


As a genre defying musician, Tal has performed repertoire spanning many centuries on many instruments, including basso continuo on organ, harpsichord, and guitar. A strong advocate of new music, Tal 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. Tal also collaborates regularly with students and faculty, conducting in many recitals within the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.


In his free time, Tal is an avid cook and foodie, fitness enthusiast, and enjoys any chance to play soccer.


Tal earned his DMA and MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan, and completed his B.A. at the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2014, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in US Constitutional Law. Tal's conducting teachers include Kenneth Kiesler, Kate Tamarkin, and Michael Slon.