Sào Soulez Larivière


Franco-Dutch violist Sào Soulez Larivière is quickly building himself a thriving career as a versatile musician. Captivating audiences with his playing and original programming, he endeavours to broaden the accessibility and understanding of classical music. At the age of 22, he is already a top prizewinner of several international competitions, including the 2020 Oskar Nedbal Viola Competiton, 2019 Max Rostal Competition, 2017 Cecil Aronowitz Competition and 2017 Johannes Brahms Competition. He has been featured at numerous renowned academies such as the Verbier Festival, Ozawa Academy, Kronberg Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and IMS Prussia Cove.
Chamber music has always been at the heart of his musical upbringing, sharing his love for music with his sister, violinist Cosima Soulez Larivière, with whom he still frequently performs. Sào is a member of the Frielinghaus Ensemble, which released a highly praised album in 2020, featuring sextets by Dvořák and Tchaikovsky. A much sought after chamber musician, he has appeared at various festivals such as Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa, Krzyzowa-Music Festival, and ‘Chamber Music Connects the World’ in Kronberg.
An advocate for expanding the horizons of his audience, he strives to also share and promote works by contemporary composers. Working with acclaimed composers has offered him an unparalleled opportunity to delve deeper into the creative side of music. At the Max Rostal Competition in 2019, Sào received the prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned work by Kurt Rohde. He premiered several new compositions at the 2020 Impuls Festival in Germany, which was centred around the viola. Moreover, his passion for broadening the viola repertoire has led him to arrange and transcribe several works for the instrument, ranging from music by Bach to Janáček.
Born in Paris, Sào originally started playing the violin under the tutelage of Igor Voloshin, before being awarded a scholarship to study with Natasha Boyarsky at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. Having discovered the viola whilst playing chamber and orchestral music there, he decided to fully devote himself to the instrument in 2016. He currently resides in Berlin, where he pursues a Bachelor of Music degree with Tabea Zimmermann at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’. Furthermore, his musical development has been deeply enriched by working with many esteemed musicians such as Jean Sulem, Boris Garlitsky, and Steven Isserlis.
In 2019, Sào was awarded the Ritter Preis on behalf of the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation, and as a result, gave his debut at the Laeiszhalle Hamburg later that year. Furthermore, he received the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis in 2020, which will see him release his debut solo album ‘Impression’ in 2021. He is generously supported by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Yehudi Menuhin ‘Live Music Now’ e.V., as well as by Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz.
Sào plays on an instrument made by Fréderic Chaudière in 2013.

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