Avni has chaired the department of theory and composition at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, where he founded and headed the Electronic Music Studio. Avni has also held several positions in the Israeli music and art world: director of Israel's central music library, chair of the Israeli Composers' League, chairman of the board of Youth and Music Israel and editor of the organization's magazine, Gitit.
Avni's early works were influenced by the Mediterranean style that dominated Israeli music of the forties and fifties, in which alongside the traditional forms of Western music were ancient (modal) musical traditions and both eastern and western Jewish traditions. From the 1960s onward, Avni was influenced by the European and American spirit of modernism and his works became more abstract and innovative, using the electronic medium. At the same time, he composed songs and arrangements for popular songs. He even participated in the 1961 song festival, where his song "When I dance", with lyrics by Pnina Avni, won first place. In recent years Avni's style has evidenced a return to tonality and to Jewish folklore. Many of his works are related to the plastic arts, particularly painting.
Avni's oeuvre includes orchestral works, chamber pieces for various ensembles, vocal and choral music, electronic music, and compositions for ballet, theater, film, radio, and more. Many of them have been published, and released on record or CD, and are performed frequently all over the world.
Tzvi Avni is the recipient of multiple awards, among them the Israel Prize for Music (2001), the Culture Prize of the Saarland (1998), the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for lifetime achievement (1998), the ACUM Prize for lifetime achievement (1986), the Lieberson Prize, the Engel Prize, the Küstermeier Prize and others.
The Tzvi Avni Archive (MUS 114) was donated to the National Library's Music Department in 2003. The archive includes manuscripts, sketches of works, concert programs, posters, letters, press clippings, pictures, works by his students and various other documents.
Recordings of works by Tzvi Avni are available on Music Department's sound archive website: