Izhar Elias, Holland - Israel
Izhar Elias was born in Amsterdam in 1977. He won the prestigious Dutch Music Prize in 2011, the highest musical award given by the Dutch government. His performance of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra was praised as both ‘virtuoso and sincere’ (Dutch newspaper NRC) and ‘The strength of his clear and compelling subtleties prevailed’ (Dutch newspaper Telegraaf).
With concerts, masterclasses and lectures in Europe, Russia, south-east Asia and Australia Elias is one of the most sought-after guitarists of his generation. Izhar Elias´ poetic sense of style and his innovative approach to the instrument and its repertoire have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. 'Izhar Elias is a musician of outstanding ability, whose whole approach to his art displays a maturity beyond his years' was the conclusion of Classical Guitar Magazine's review of Elias's debut album Omaggio a Guadagnini. The Dutch newspaper Trouw wrote: 'Elias links unbelievable technique with great musicality: he transcends his instrument with a feeling for style, timing, colour and depth. The lyrical Elias is symphonic and you seldom encounter that with guitarists.' In June 2009 Elias released the world premiere recording of themes from Rossini’s opera Semiramide, as transcribed by Mauro Giuliani (Brilliant Classics).
He has studied with Ton Terra, the Groningen Guitar Duo, Zoran Dukic and Kees Hendrikse. He studied performance practice of 19th-century music at the Accademia di Studi Superiori l´Ottocento with Carlo Barone in Italy.
Early music performance practice (the Baroque and the early 19th century) as well as chamber music and new music incorporating theatre and new media are the fields which have Elias's special attention. Through extensive research, Elias has been able to recreate a musical language of the Baroque, Classic and Romantic periods using original instruments and historical methods. Elias has revived works which had remained unperformed for more than 200 years. He owns a unique original Guadagnini guitar from 1812. The Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation made the purchase of the instrument possible.
Elias is member of Cordevento. Founded in 2006 by Erik Bosgraaf, Alessandro Pianu and Izhar Elias to revive the virtuoso music of the 17th century—a repertoire often on the border of art and popular music—Cordevento seeks to transcend the literal sense of their musical texts towards the lifeblood and spirit of the music. Cordevento has performed in many of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and early music festivals, such as the Konzerthaus (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Concertgebouw (Bruges), and the Utrecht Early Music Festival.
Elias has premiered over 30 works. In addition he mixes different artistic disciplines in his collaborations with choreographers, experimental film makers and theatre directors. His CD/DVD 'Big Eye', including contemporary music for film, was hailed as 'wacky, irreverent and thought-provoking' (Gramophone).