(Amsterdam, 1977) is one of the most sought-after specialists in early music, chamber music and new music for guitar. He has given concerts, lectures, and masterclasses, and been the soloist in concertos with renowned orchestras, in Europe, Russia, south-east Asia and Australia. Izhar has won many national and international competitions. In 2011 he won the prestigious Dutch Music Prize
, the highest musical award given by the Dutch government. 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 album Omaggio a Guadagnini.
Izhar Elias has studied with Ton Terra, the Groningen Guitar Duo, Zoran Dukic and Kees Hendrikse.
Through extensive research, he has been able to recreate a musical language of the Baroque, Classic and Romantic periods using original instruments and historical methods. Izhar has revived works which had remained unperformed for more than 200 years. Amongst other instruments he owns a unique original Guadagnini guitar from 1812. The Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation made the purchase of the instrument possible.
In June 2009 Izhar released the world premiere recording of themes from Rossini’s opera Semiramide, as transcribed by Mauro Giuliani (Brilliant Classics). One of the conclusions from the Dutch press about this release: “Including all his ornamentations Elias is not inferior to any opera diva.” (Trouw)
He is also a member of Cordevento. Founded in 2006 by Erik Bosgraaf, Alessandro Pianu and Izhar Elias to revive the virtuoso music from 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.
Izhar Elias has premiered over 50 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).