Elisha Abas (Hebrew: אלישע אבס; born 1971) is an Israeli
pianist, composer, and former professional soccer player.
Elisha Abas was the lifelong student of Pnina Salzman, (herself a
student of Alfred Cortot) and mentee of Arthur Rubinstein. La Roma,
National Italian Newspaper, commented on a performance in Naples,
Italy saying, "he is the most refined and interesting pianists of our
generation … his "playing is the perfect marriage of exuberant
musicality restrained with the right dose of rationalism that is rich
with colors and shades. His palette shines in all his splendor with a
captivating performance of Chopin and Schumann".
Life and Career
Abas was born into a musical family. He is the great-great-grandson
of Russian composer,
Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), via Ariadna
Scriabina (1905 – 22 July 1944), Gilbert-Elizabeth "Betty"
Knut-Lazarus (1926 - 1964), and his mother Ariane Abas (1950 - ). His
father is the Israeli children's author Shlomo Abas (1948 - ).
Abas was a child prodigy who started performing at the age of six and
has since shared the stage with Isaac Stern,
Leonard Bernstein and
Zubin Mehta. Abas achieved many accolades throughout his
career. Those most notable were achieved when he was a young
prodigy – winning first place in the America Israel Cultural
Foundation music competition for eight consecutive years and first
place in the Claremont Piano Competition.
At age 14, he felt "burned out" as a musician, and retired from the
field. He began pursuing a career as a professional soccer player. He
played left back for several Israeli teams, first in Hapoel Petah
Tikva under coach Avram Grant, then for
Hapoel Kfar Saba
Hapoel Kfar Saba and several
other teams. As a result of an injury, he retired as a soccer player
at the age of 28.
After retiring from soccer, Abas decided to try and return to playing
piano. He contacted Salzman, and began performing again. Today he
continues to perform throughout the world, most recently in North
America, Europe, Cuba, Russia, Israel, and China.
Elisha Abas is also
a composer. He rarely performs his original compositions in public;
however, in 2009, Elisha performed his original music in St.
Petersburg’s Smonlny Cathedral, United Nations Assembly Hall, and in
Teatro Amadeo Roldán in Havana, Cuba. In December 2009, Elisha
Abas performed and recorded live the Brahms First Piano Concerto in
Havana, Cuba with The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba conducted by
Yoel Gamzou. In 2010, he recorded and released a live recording of
the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 K488 with The International Mahler
Orchestra live in Berlin. He is the Co-Founder of
The Concert Meister Series in New York City.
^ "Yoel Gamzou Premieres His Version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony In
Berlin : NPR FM Berlin Blog". NPR. 13 September 2010. Retrieved
19 October 2011.
^ a b "Suono il piano per conquistare i più giovani –
Repubblica.it » Ricerca". Ricerca.repubblica.it. Retrieved 19
^ Talking with pianist Elisha Abas
Zubin Mehta Conducts Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Elisha
Abas". YouTube. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ Wakin, Daniel J. (2 November 2007). "
Elisha Abas – Music – New
York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ Franks, Tim (15 September 2008). "Middle East Jerusalem Diary:
Monday 15 September". BBC News. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ "New Music by
Elisha Abas – New York Fantasy". YouTube. Retrieved
19 October 2011.
^ "Rehearsal Footage –
Elisha Abas & Yoel Gamzou with The
National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba". YouTube. Retrieved 19 October
^ "Frédéric Chopin – Mazurka in B-Mol played by ELISHA ABAS".
YouTube. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ "International Mahler Orchestra – Mozart Klavierkonzert A-Dur
played by ELISHA ABAS (Allegro Assai)". YouTube. 26 November 2010.
Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ "FOLIPRO Berlin". Google. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ "Elisha Abas, Concert Pianist – Press". Elishaabas.com. 5
September 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
^ Wakin, Daniel J. (1 November 2009). "Concert Meister Makes Use of
Talent in Visiting Orchestras". The New York Times. Retrieved 19