Abraham Ellstein

Songwriter, composer & conductor of the American Yiddish Theater

Born in New York in 1907 (d. 1963), Ellstein sang as a chorister at local synagogue and also for the Metropolitan Opera Children's chorus. He studied at The Juilliard School, and later worked as an accompanist for artists like Molly Picon, Mischa Mischakoff, Michel Piastro, Isa Kramer, and cantor Josef Rosenblatt. He is considered to be one of the four important Second Avenue composers. Ellstein was active on the radio and broadcasted programs about Yiddish music and Synagogue music. As a composer, he wrote 33 scores for Yiddish musical theater, over 500 Yiddish songs, and some scores for Yiddish films. In 1957, he transitioned to composing concert music and synagogal music (see in publications), including liturgical services, operas, oratorios and more.


Sources: Judaica; Levin, Neil W. Abraham Ellstein. In Milken Archive.