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Eliso Virsaladze Piano

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Eliso Virsaladze

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Elisso Virsaladze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and began her piano studies under her grandmother, the famous pianist and teacher Anastasia Virsaladze - both in private and at the Tbilisi School for Gifted Children - and graduated from the local conservatory. She then moved to Moscow, where she studied under the famed pianists Heinrich Neuhaus and Yakov Zak. Elisso's performance debut took place in Tbilisi at the age of 16, and her first competition award (Silver medal) came in 1959 at the World Youth Festival in Vienna; shortly thereafter she became a laureate at the Tchaikovsky Competition - which earned her considerable fame, given her young age. The culmination of her competition period came in 1966, when she won the Gold Medal at the Schumann Competition in Zwickau, Germany.

In subsequent years she has become a highly celebrated pianist, being named among "Russia's Great Modern Pianist" in Mark Zilberquit's 1983 book of the same name. She tours occasionally, though has resisted a "super-career", in part to accommodate her teaching demands - both at the Moscow Conservatory and at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. She has released several CDs - much of which is featured here at the Classical Archives. Her repertoire includes work a broad range of composers, with her favorites including Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, and perhaps especially Schumann. There is little doubt that Elisso Virsaladze has become somewhat of a legend in her own day by virtue of her extraordinary performances, and we are delighted to feature her gifts here at the Classical Archives.


"Elisso is an artist of the highest caliber, perhaps the most outstanding woman pianist of our time. She is a deeply sincere, serious and extremely modest musician. I am impressed by her in every way. Could you imagine a more beautiful Schumann than the one played tonight by Elisso? Since Neuhaus I haven't heard such a Schumann performance."

Sviatoslav Richter (1997)

Elisso Virsaladze

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