Alan Feinberg is a unique and versatile pianist, as comfortable with Brahms as with Cage. He has given over 200 premieres, including Mel Powell's Pulitzer Prize-winning work Duplicates, and numerous works by such composers as John Adams, Milton Babbitt, John Harbison, Steve Reich, and Charles Wuorinen. In 1985, he gave the first performance of Milton Babbitt's Piano Concerto, a work that was written for Feinberg. In 1991, he gave a critically acclaimed appearance of Shulamit Ran's concert piece with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has also championed a piano concerto by Charles Ives based on fragments of his Emerson Overture, and reconstructed by Ives scholar David G. Porter. Feinberg premiered this work in 1998 in Cleveland under the baton of Christoph von Dohnányi and they later performed it on tour in Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid. Other unusual works in his repertoire include concertos by Amy Beach, John Cage, Leo Ornstein, Oscar Levant, and Andrew Imbrie; George Gershwin's Rhapsody No. 2; and Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques. Feinberg has performed throughout the United States and Canada. His innovative recital series Discover America was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York City's Town Hall, the University of Rhode Island, and the State University of New York at Stonybrook. Feinberg also performs regularly in Europe. In addition to frequent collaborations with the London Philharmonia and the BBC Scottish Symphony, he has been featured at major international festivals, such as the BBC Musica Nova Festival, and the festivals of Edinburgh, Bath, Cambridge, Geneva, Berlin, Brescia, Bergamo, and Budapest.
An extensive discography attests to Feinberg's continuing investigations into previously unexplored repertoire for the piano. His most ambitious project is a series of recordings on Decca/Argo entitled Discover America, where classical and popular works by both famous and lesser-known composers are arranged in a program to demonstrate the diversity of American musical history. Composers featured in the series include Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Henry Cowell, Conlon Nancarrow, Jelly Roll Morton, James B. Johnson, Percy Grainger, Fats Waller, Artis Wodehouse, Scott Joplin, Charles Ives, Charles Wuorinen, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Duke Ellington, and others. He has also recorded Babbitt's Piano Concerto (New World Records); Morton Feldman's Piano and Orchestra (Decca/Argo); Beach's Piano Concerto (Decca/Argo); Ligeti's Horn Trio (Bridge Records); works by Steve Reich and John Adams (EMI/Angel and Nonesuch); and Paul Bowles' Piano Concerto (Catalyst). As of 2013, Feinberg's recordings had been nominated for five Grammy awards. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music and at alma mater, Juilliard.