Piano, 2018 Serge & Olga Koussevitzky Young Artist Award Winner
Georgian-born Sophiko Simsive started to play the piano at the age of three, taught by her mother. At only eleven years old she performed Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with the student orchestra of Georgia at the “Beethoven Festival” in Bonn (Germany) and played the same concerto in a Rudolf Buchbinder master class in Switzerland. At that time, in 2003 conductor Lev Markiz discovered her at the Music Gymnasium of Tbilisi, where she studied with professors Maka Aladashvili and Alexander Garber. While at school she was a recipient of a scholarship by Vladimir Spivakov and performed at the Kremlin in Moscow. She further toured with “I Virtuosi Italiani” under Lev Markiz in the Netherlands playing Mozart’s “Jeunehomme” Piano Concerto at De Doelen in Rotterdam, the Vredenburg in Utrecht, the Stadsgehoorzaal in Leiden and in De Oosterport in Groningen. In the fall of 2007 Sophiko, at 15 years old, was admitted to the “Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam” as its youngest pupil. Esteemed professor Mila Baslavskaya guided her towards a bachelor’s degree with “cum laude” in the year 2012. After, she had lessons with professor Jacques Rouvier at the “Universität der Künste” in Berlin.
During her first year at the Conservatory, Sophiko won the first prize at the “Princess Christina Concours” in the Netherlands. This prize included a performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with the Residential Orchestra of The Hague under Jan Willem de Vriend and a chamber music tour in the USA and Canada. In 2008, she won the “Yamaha Piano Competition” in Amsterdam. Sophiko played a solo recital at the Canterbury Festival in England in 2011 and was invited to the academy program of the International Music Festival of Verbier in 2013.
In 2015, she toured with Eduard Sistek on cello in the series “New Masters on Tour” organized by “The International Holland Music Sessions” and made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York together with Kian Soltani on cello. Sophiko performed 11 solo recitals in the Netherlands as a finalist of the “Dutch Classical Talent”. She won in her category, the “Young Pianist Foundation Competition 2015”, during which she played Liszt’s First Piano Concerto with the Noord Nederlands Orkest under Pieter-Jelle de Boer. Sophiko was awarded both the audience prize and the prize for the obligatory work by Dutch composer Diderik Wagenaar. Further in 2015, Sophiko won the first prize as well as the press prize at the “Geertruidenberg Klassiek”. In January 2016, she gave a series of concerts together with violinist Amarins Wierdsma in Indonesia organized by the “Erasmus Huis”. Sophiko was the winner of the GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2016 of the Netherlands and was Artist in Residence during the Grachtenfestival 2017.
Over the years, Sophiko has participated in masterclasses with pianists like Dmitri Alexeev, Dmitri Bashkirov, Pascal Devoyon, Klaus Hellwig, Ferenc Rados, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Lilya Zilberstein.
Most recently she was selected as the winner of Music Academy of the West’s second Solo Piano Competition, which will take her on a multicity recital tour that includes appearances at St. Luke’s in London, Chicago, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
Sophiko is represented by Interartists Amsterdam Classical Music Management and is currently working towards her Master of Musical Arts under Prof. Boris Berman at Yale University School of Music