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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 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.
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- Talking with pianist Elisha Abas
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- "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.
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- Wakin, Daniel J. (1 November 2009). "Concert Meister Makes Use of Talent in Visiting Orchestras". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2011.