• Born 1935
David Abel’s musical activities span a wide range, including chamber music, solo recitals, orchestra appearances and teaching violin and chamber music. He is noted as one of the finest violinists dedicated to contemporary music. Abel made his orchestral debut at the age of fourteen with the San Francisco Symphony and has appeared with major orchestras throughout the United States. He was a winner of the Leventritt International Violin Competition in 1964 and toured Europe under the auspices of the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation.
In 1997, Abel made his first appearance in an electronic music context with his performance in Dresher’s Violin Concerto, one of two works composed for him and the Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band. Abel has been a participant in the Chamber Music West Festival in San Francisco, a member of the Crown Chamber Players at the University of California at Santa Cruz and has appeared at the Carmel Bach Festival, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Music Festival in Washington, DC, the Mozart Festival in San Luis Obispo and the Mid-Summer Mozart Festival in San Francisco.
Abel’s current recordings include: works by Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Somei Satoh, Paul Dresher, Morton Feldman (viola) and Peter Garland on New Albion Records;Debussy, Satoh, Bartok, Brahms, Beethoven , Enescu and Dvorak for Wilson Audiophile Recordings; with Phil Aaberg on Windham Hill; viola in Elegy for Jean Genet by John Zorn on Eva Records (Japan); and live performances of the Beethoven, Berg, Brahms and Prokofiev No. 1 violin concertos on Three Treasure Recordings. Along with pianist Julie Steinberg, Abel frequently appear in duo recitals, and together they have recorded two sonata programs on Wilson Audio. Joined by percussionist William Winant, they established the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, which is dedicated to the performance of music from the Americas and the Pacific Rim. The Trio has received critical acclaim throughout the United States for their fine performances and unique programming, and for their recordings of Lou Harrison’s music on New Albion Records.