Israeli born concert pianist Elisha Abas, the great great grandson of legendary composer Alexander Scriabin, has been described as “one of a kind” and “a poetic genius.” His illustrious career began at an early age with performances on stage at age six. His first full solo recital was broadcast live on Israeli radio when he was eight years old. As a child he entered and won first place in the America Israel Cultural Foundation music competition for eight consecutive years. His childhood fame grew such that he was invited to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488 with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic on National TV at the age of 12.
When Abas was ten years old he met Arthur Rubinstein, who was so enamored by the young Abas’ playing that he wanted to mentor the boy. Among Abas’ prized possessions is a signed photo “To Elisha, who enchanted me by his playing. Especially of Chopin. Hope you will fulfill the great future that you so deserve.” At their last meeting Rubinstein gave Abas a Rolex watch inscribed “For Elisha. Arthur Rubinstein. Good luck.” After Rubinstein’s death, Abas performed at his memorial in Carnegie Hall where he was embraced by Leonard Bernstein.
Having achieved at age 14 such a level of success and fame, Abas took a break from the piano to pursue other interests. During this time away from the instrument he played soccer professionally, earned a law degree, and started a family. In 2004, Abas resumed his piano career with renewed vigor. His busy performing schedule has taken him to venues throughout the world, most recently in the United States, Germany, Cuba, Russia, Israel, and China. Wherever he plays he is received with great acclaim. The Italian newspaper La Roma called him “one of the most refined and interesting pianist of our generation.” In Israel, famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel was so impressed by Abas’ playing that he immediately invited Abas for a future performance together. Another conductor, the rising star Yoel Gamzou, called Abas “One of the most extraordinary musicians I have ever encountered, a combination of indescribable musical genius and utter human and artistic simplicity.”
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 DVD recording of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488 with The International Mahler Orchestra live in Berlin. He also has recorded a solo piano CD of works by Frederic Chopin and Ronn Yedidia.
Elisha Abas is the type of musician that only comes around once in a generation.