GIORGI LATSO
გიორგი ლაცო

Piano Virtuoso

BIOGRAPHY

Giorgi Latso (Latsabidze)

Georgian-American pianist and composer Giorgi Latso (Latsabidze) has a sparkling international career, is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and insightful interpretations, consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire, touring repeatedly world-wide, performing to prestigious venues, in recital and with international orchestras and conductors.

Whenever Giorgi Latso makes music, his soul opens to reveal depths of understanding. His pianism blends abundant power with exquisite profundity, scintillating dexterity with heart-melting lyricism, emotional expression, and crystal clarity with transcendent beauty, qualities combined in a mesmerizing process of artistic alchemy.  Saluted by the international press for his "...internal wealth and 'aristocratic' spirit” (Los Angeles Times), his deep sensitivity and exhilarating personality “a technically brilliant pianist imbued with a poignant lyricism and genuine profundity” (WUK Kulturhaus, Vienna), his "great sense of style and emotional depth…” (Mezzo, Paris).

His hands first met the keys of a piano when he was three years old, an experience he vividly remembers to this day, as he knew at that moment that this instrument would be the most important thing in his life. Born into a non-musical family, the music appealed to him so much that he began composing piano about the age of five, he began his piano lessons at the age of seven. At age 18, Latso began studying at the Tbilisi State Conservatory with Rusudan Khodzava, a former student of great Russian pianist Alexander Goldenweiser, pupil of Siloti, close friend of Tolstoy and Scriabin.  He continued his studies first in Germany at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover with Gerrit Zitterbart, then in Mozarteum Salzburg with Klaus Kaufmann.

He moved to the United States in 2005 to pursue his doctoral degree in piano performance at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles under the mentorship of Dr. Stewart Gordon himself a pupil of  Walter Gieseking, a French-born German pianist and composer. Winning fourth prize in the 1998 at E. Porrino International Piano Competition in Cagliari as the youngest contestant marked the beginning of Latso’s international career. This was followed by the First Prize at Rubinstein International Piano Competiton in Paris (1999); First Prize at Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in Salzburg (2004);  First Prize at Los Angeles Young Artists’ International Competition (2005).

He has received numerous prestigious awards and grants nationally and internationally, including Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze Grant (2002);  Vladimir Spivakov Award ‘Moscow virtuosi’ (2002);   German Gräfin Marion Dönhoff Trust Award (2003); DAAD Scholarship (2004); Academic Achievement Recognition of Excellence Award (2004); USC Keyboard Studies Department Award in (2007, 2011);  American philanthropist Carol Hogel Music Scholarship (2008);  H.S.H. Princess Marie Aglaë of Liechtenstein Award (2009); NY Steinway Artist Award (2013)

Latso has gained international acclaim  and his solo performances have taken him to many of the world’s leading music centers, including New York, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Warsaw, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Zurich, Vienna,  Salzburg, Basel, Moscow, Tbilisi, Munich, Bratislava, Madrid, Tokio, Taipei, Bangkok, Seoul where he has played in such prestigious concert halls and spaces such as Berlin Philharmonik Concert Hall in Berlin,  Wigmore Hall in London,  Tonhalle Zürich, Teatro Verdi in Florence, Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Gewandhaus Leipzing, Festspielhaus in Salzburg, National Concert Hall in Taipei.

Among his many festival credits are Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli International Piano Festival and Monte-Carlo Piano Masters, Lockenhaus Chamber Festival, Le Musiques festival, Salzburger Festspielen, Beijing Music Festival, the Steinway Piano Competition Festival, Gulangyu Piano Festival.

As a chamber musician Latso has developed partnerships with several other leading artists, notably with Christian Altenburger, Ernst Fleischman, Yundi Li, Joaquin Soriano, Friedrich Kleinhapl etc. Latso has recorded a CD of the entire piano-violin repertoire by the Polish-German-Jewish composer Ignatz Waghalter for Naxos Records, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), Irmina Trynkos and Alexander Walker. In the December 2012 issue of Luxembourgish Pizzicato Magazine the members of the Jury of the International Classical Music Awards awarded this Naxos release a coveted Supersonic designation.

The spontaneity and vision of the pianist’s playing is reflected in his acclaimed discography. He has recorded a series of various landmark CD albums: Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Liszt's 12 Transcendental Études, Debussy’s 24 Préludes, etc… The England Rhinegold Classical Magazine praised Debussy’s recording as „...extraordinary imagination and a musical tone rarely heard.”  A documentary about Latso "Auf den Spuren von W. A. Mozart” produced by KTV Austria, was telecast on the Austrian satellite TV network airing most parts of Europe.

A composer as well, Latso scored the film Waltz-Fantasy, winner of a best music award in Italy Bologna Film Festival. He is a member of Onward Entertainment, an independent film company in Los Angeles, having scored its commissioned film Twilight's Grace (IMDb), now being praised at film festivals throughout the United States of America.

In 2012, Latso received an invitation from the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI to perform a Mozart Concerto in C major (Elvira Madigan) K. 467 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome, Italy. Also in the same year he made his performance debut at the acclaimed Berliner Philharmonie Concert Hall in Berlin, Germany. (See Details).  In 2013 he was invited by Her Serene Highness the Princess Marie Liechtenstein, to move to Vienna, where he currently resides under the patronage of the princess.  He currently holds a professorship at the Vienna Prayner Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna, Austria.

Latso also enjoys an international reputation as a teacher, presenting master classes throughout the world. He is open minded about the new musical tendencies but he also keeps alive the transmission of the classic tradition. He is fully active in his career as a musician, a professor and as an international juror.1

1 (Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert program etc, please contact Jussepe Giarrusso to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: jgiarrusso99@gmail.com)

Giorgi Latsabidze - Inspire

Awards

  1. - Steinway Artist Recognition by Steinway and Sons in New York City (2013)
  2. - Doctor of Musical Arts with high distinction (2011)
  3. - Keyboard Studies Department Award presented by Flora L. Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles, USA (2011, 2007) (PDF, 119 kB)
  4. - Carol Hogel (Scotland) Music Scholarship presented by Flora Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles, Dec. 5th, 2008 (PDF, 113 kB) (Video)
  5. - HSH Princess Marie of Liechtenstein Award (2008)
  6. - MTNA Academic Achievement Recognition of Excellence Award (2008, Los Angeles, California) (PDF, 88 KB)
  7. - International Competition "Young Artist" (2006, Los Angeles, USA)
  8. - International "Yehudi Menuhin" Foundation Competition (2005, Salzburg, Austria)
  9. - International "N. Rubinstein" Piano Competition Gold Medal (1999, Paris, France) (PDF, 101 kB)
  10. - International "Ennio Porrino" Piano Competition Third Prize (1998, Cagliari, Italy) (PDF, 119 kB)
  11. - University of Southern California Merit Scholarship (2005, Los Angeles, USA)
  12. - Honorar Professor DDr. Herbert Batliner award for Outstanding Achievements (2005, Liechtenstein)
  13. - DAAD, German Academic Exchange (2003, 2004, Germany) (PDF, 113 kB) (PDF Translation, 84 kB)
  14. - German Countess Dr. Marion Dönhoff award (2002, Germany)
  15. - Vladimir Spivakov award (2001, Russia)
  16. - Georgian Presidential Prize (2002, 2001, 1999, Georgia) (PDF, 73 kB) (PDF Translation, 171 kB)