The Russian organist, Elena [Helena] Raskova Barshai [Barchäï], studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where she earned three soloist’s diplomas: - in piano (with Professor Jakov Milstein), organ (with Professor Leonid Roizman) - and harpsichord and a doctorate in organ.
Her Russian active concert career included organ recitals, chamber music concerts and numerous recordings and tours with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under the direction of her husband, the distinguished conductor Rudolf Barshai. Since coming to the west in 1978, Elena Barshai has concretised with some of the world’s leading orchestras and chamber musicians. She regularly partners her husband in both the concert hall and the recording studio, in such works as J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and B minor Mass (BWV 232), J. Haydn’s The Creation and L.v. Beethoven’s Missa Solomnis.
Apart from performing a wide-range repertoire, extending from the Baroque and Romantic eras to the Russian organ school, Messiaen and other 20th-century masters, Elena Barshai also transcribed music for the organ, which has become her instrument of choice.