Giorgi Latsabidze, classical music composer
was born 15 April 1978 in Tbilisi, Georgia. 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. But there was no piano in his residence at that time, and he could only play when his parents (both professionals in fields other than music) visited households where there was a piano. In fact his parents revealed that Giorgi would cry hysterically whenever he was informed that they were visiting family or friends where there was no piano. At the age of five he even began composing pieces, making use of these occasional opportunities. By the time that Latsabidze was six years old, however, his increasingly evident enthusiasm for the instrument was rewarded when his family obtained a piano and he began formal studies. At age seven, he was accepted into one of Tbilisi's Music Schools which, modeled after the ex-Soviet Union pattern, cover the seven years of education preceding entry into gymnasium and university.
While there, at age 10 Giorgi was entered into the Georgian National Students Competition and, upon winning first place, was invited to perform Schumann's Kinderszenen, Op.15 at the annual Gala Concert held at the Tbilisi State Concert Hall. Following this, Giorgi received further invitations to perform the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.16 with the Georgian State Symphony Orchestra, and the Beethoven Piano Concerto in C major, Op.15 with the same orchestra. This was the start of a history of extensive music education, composition, and performance success that still continues, as outlined below. Today at thirty-one, Latsabidze is already regarded by many as one of the more significant performers of his generation.
After Latsabidze started his university education in Georgia, at The V. Saradjishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire, it was not long before his evident abilities had attracted enough recognition that he began to receive financial support from the Georgian government through a Georgian Presidential Scholarship, which continued essentially throughout his remaining undergraduate and graduate studies in Georgia. After graduating from the Conservatoire with degrees at the Bachelor, Masters, and Artist levels, each with the highest honors available in Georgia (the Georgian Presidential Prize in 1999, 2002, 2003), he continued his pursuit of post-graduate work with degrees obtained at the Hannover Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater in Germany (receiving a DAAD scholarship, 2003); at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria (2005) and Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California (Los Angeles)with support provided by a full scholarship at the Thornton School. Moreover, by decision of the Keyboard Studies Department in Spring 2007, Latsabidze was appointed for the Graduate Teaching Assistantship at the Thornton School of Music.
During this time, Latsabidze has studied with numerous great teachers, including Russudan Chodzava (Tbilisi State Conservatoire), Gerrit Zitterbart (Hannover Hochschule), Klaus Kaufmann (Mozarteum), and Lazar Berman (Florence, Italy) and Stewart Gordon (University of Southern Califonia, Los Angeles)
At the same time, Latsabidze has pursued an ambitious performance schedule, appearing in master classes and concert performances throughout Europe, as well as in Asia, South America and more recently in the United States. While at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire, and following an audition with the famous Georgian Conductor Jansug Kakhidze (nicknamed "the Slavic Karajan"), he was appointed as a resident soloist at the Tbilisi Center for Music and Culture during the years 2000-2003, performing an extensive series of works for both solo piano and for piano with orchestra. During this period, he was recognized for giving an exceptional performance of the 24 Etudes of Chopin in his hometown of Tbilisi to a cheering audience of over a thousand people.
A composer as well, Latsabidze scored the film Waltz-Fantasy, winner of a best music award in Italy Bologna Film Festival (2000). He is a member of Onward Entertainment, an independent film company in Los Angeles, having scored its commissioned film Twilight's Grace, now being praised at film festivals throughout the United States. He mesmerizes concertgoers and critics, who have praised "Sheer poetry and art of the highest order" (Berliner Zeitung, Germany) and "Today's piano playing at its very best" (Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria), "One of the world-class virtuosi of the 21st century" (Le Monde, Paris).
Giorgi Latsabidze 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.
In 2005 Giorgi gave solo concerts throughout Austria, following which Governor Franz Voves of Styria, Austria invited him to perform a series of private salon concerts in the Presidential Residences within the historic and famous Schloss Eggenberg, Graz over the coming three consecutive years. In additional subsequent appearances in Austria, he performed Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with orchestras in Vienna, Salzburg and Lienz. In 2005 K-TV Austria produced a DVD (Documentary) about Giorgi Latsabidze (Portrait and Recital in Steinway Hall in Salzburg, Austria ) which has been broadcast via satellite, airing in most parts of Europe . In June 2008 he performed all 12 Transcendental Etudes of Liszt at a concert in Hawaii (Honolulu Convention Center), shortly thereafter repeating the same program in Nice, France, with the latter performance broadcast over Mezzo TV one of the leading musical channels in Europe.
In late November 2008, Giorgi's recital, played in the famed Newman Hall in Los Angeles, was documented LIVE on film by Jeremy Gram Weaver of Onward Entertainment, now available at Amazon.com as a 2-disc DVD/CD set titled "Latsabidze: The Recital" - an astonishing performance in a program including Mozart, Chopin, Liszt and Bizet-Horowitz (complete with encores).
In November 2009 Giorgi recorded another album "Giorgi Latsabidze Plays Debussy Preludes Book 2" (12, complete), a live multimedia performance at Alfred Newman Concert Hall, USC in Los Angeles. The concert DVD/CD combination is available to purchase on Amazon.com.
In June 2010 Giorgi give a Charity gala concert for the benefit of disabled children in Taiwan, Republic of China. An audience of 2300 people, including music teachers and students from all over Taiwan, attended and celebrated Giorgi's playing. At the end of the concert Mr. Latsabidze played several encores, including a set of his own variations on the National Anthem of Taiwan (Youtube Video), and then honored requests for autographs for 1½ hours.
In October 2010 Giorgi performed at the historic Wigmore Hall in London. This performance, which included the world premier of his composition "Cyber Moment" (Youtube), was recorded professionally, with the resulting DVD to be released in 2011. On the same trip to England, he also recorded (at NEXUS Recording Studio, Henry Wood Hall, London, UK) a set of pieces by Waghalter, Szymanowski, Brahms, and Bizet-Waxman. These duet pieces for piano - violin were performed in collaboration with the Polish violinist Irmina Trynkos.
Cyber Moment (for violin and piano)
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