George-Emmanuel Lazaridis

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George-Emmanuel Lazaridis
Origin Thessaloniki, Greece
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Pianist
Years active 1984-present
Website http://www.tch.gr

George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (born 1978, Thessaloniki, Greece) is a Greek classical pianist and composer.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Greece, Lazaridis started composing at the age of four. At the age of six, he had already begun to attract public attention, appearing in various TV art programs and a special 45-minute radio broadcast on the Greek National Radio.

Mentored by Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music in London, Lazaridis has also worked with Alfred Brendel, Ruth Nye, Domna Evnouhidou, Paul Badura Skoda, Noretta Conci Leech and Douglas Finch. Since the age of eleven he has received prizes, honorary awards and scholarships like the 'Jeunes Solistes D’ Europe' and 'Steinway & Sons' Grand Prix, Scholarships from the Hattori, Onasis and Levendis Foundations, RCM 'Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother' award and Chappell Medal 2000. A TCM Fellowship, medals from the prestigious Academy of Athens, the Worshipful Company of Musicians and many more.

Solo performance and composition career[edit]

Lazaridis enjoys an international career that has taken him from the United States and Mexico to Europe, Russia, Egypt, and the Middle East. During the past 20 years he has performed in some of the most prestigious venues worldwide like Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, St Petersburg Philharmonia Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts, Festspielhaus, Cologne's Philharmonie, Stockholm's Konserthuset, Cite de la Musique in Paris, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Athens Megaron, Birmingham's Symphony Hall and Palace of the Arts in Budapest to name a few. His appearances have received great critical acclaim from audiences and critics alike, recognizing him as one of the finest pianists of his generation.

To date he has received commissions from the Greek Ministry of Culture, Europa Cantat International Festival, The Cultural Capital of Europe 1997, Melina Merkouri Foundation, New Arts Generation Festival in Birmingham, Athens International Festival, and Athens State Orchestra.

His work, "Sleepwalking", performed at London's Wigmore Hall was nominated for a Sony Award. And his new rhapsodic song-cycle 'Tragic Love', written for the singer Maria Farandouri, received its world premier at the Ancient Epidaurus Theatre in July 2008.

Teaching and other activity[edit]

Lazaridis has also been an active teacher, a successful artistic director and the founder of new international cultural structures. Since 2000, he is co-founder of ADAP, an International Association of Artists giving worldwide performances for Peace (www.adapinternational.com), from which he resigned after 10 years of activity, for ideological reasons. In 2006, he co-founded the Music-Village International Festival in Mount Pelion, one of the few international music societies of its kind (www.music-village.gr). Since early 2013, he is a founding member of the KYKLOS international ensemble. He has given Masterclasses on piano performance, body language and the Psychology of live interpretation at Trinity College of Music, Birmingham City University, Megaron Halls, Manhattan School of Music, Kutztown University and at numerous conservatoires in Greece and the United Kingdom. In April 2010, Lazaridis was invited as member of the jury for the 1st Sussex International Piano Competition. Since September 2010, he has held the post of artistic director at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall "Megaron" (www.tch.gr). He also served as Head of Music Programming at the Demetria International Festival, from January 2011 to January 2013.

Orchestral and chamber music collaborations, international festivals[edit]

Lazaridis has performed with orchestras like the St Petersburg Philharmonic, Hamburg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Warsaw Symphony, Munich Symphony, WienerKammer Orchester, The RTBF Symphony, Debrecen Symphony, London Festival Orchestra, English Symphony, all the Greek Symphony Orchestras, Athens Camerata and many more, under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, Ingo Metzmacher, Yuri Temirkanov, Yoel Levi, Theodor Guschlbauer, Michel Tabachnik, Maxim Schostakovic, William Boughton, Alexander Myrat, Nikolai Alexeev, Michalis Economou and others.

In chamber music performances, Lazaridis has collaborated with ensembles and artists such as the Medici Quartet, Ysaye Quartet, Vienna Octet, BT Scottish Ensemble, Hellenic Quartet, Leonidas Kavakos, Huseyin Sermet, Dimitri Sgouros, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yannis Vakarelis and Cyprien Katsaris, among others. He has also performed in many International Festivals like Harrogate, Athens, Montpellier, Istanbul, Patras, Trento, Nafplion, Demetria, Norfolk & Norwich, Hampstead & Highgate, the Chopin International Festival, Springboard Trust Festival, Monterrei International Festival and many more.

Tours and forthcoming performances[edit]

Recent international tours have included the 'Rising Stars' concert series in Europe and New York, a tour with the Medici Quartet in Greece and the United Kingdom as well as a concert tour with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Yuri Temirkanov. Other recent concerts have included performances with the Qatar Philharmonic in Doha, the State Orchestra of Athens and the Izmir State Symphony, as well as recitals in London, Athens and Scotland. Upcoming performances include an international concert tour with the KYKLOS ensemble starting at the Athens International Festival 2013, sequel concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall and Princeton University, a series of recitals at the Athens Opera House and Oxford University, as well as concerto performances in Rumania and Estonia with the Bacau Philharmonic.

Critical reception[edit]

Lazaridis' performances have been characterized as "Special enough to be beyond comparison" (BBC Music Magazine, Adrian Jack), and of "Such drama, power and concentration, that hold their own even if you stop to consider celebrated recordings of Horowitz, Argerich, Brendel and Zimmerman" (Gramophone Magazine, Bryce Morrison). Upon release of his interpretation of Liszt's B minor sonata, he was greeted as "... a powerhouse pianist" by the Glasgow Herald.

Recordings[edit]

TSC - USA, the BBC and the Greek National Television ERT have all featured Lazaridis with broadcast profiles. His recent CD releases of Schumann works for solo piano, R. Strauss and S. Rachmaninov sonatas for violin/cello and piano (Yuri Zisslin - violin and viola) as well as Liszt's B minor piano Sonata and Grandes Etudes de Paganini have been rapturously received. Getting five-star reviews from the International Press, including recommendations by Gramophone Magazine, International Piano, The Pianist, Diapason, and BBC Music magazine, which selected them as instrumental discs of the month.

Lazaridis' Liszt recordings were recently selected within the Top 50 best releases of the decade by "The Pianist" International magazine and his release of Schumann's "Papillon" has been ranked among the Five best historical performances, alongside keyboard giants such as Sviatoslav Richter and Claudio Arrau. Lazaridis is soon to release two new albums: one at ECM with George Koumendakis' piano concertos no. 3 and no. 4, both composed specially for him, and the other at SOMM with major works by Franz Schubert.

Discography[edit]

  • Other audio and video excerpts can be found Here

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lemco, Gary (15 January 2007). "Liszt - Lazaridis". Audiophile Audition.