Sào Soulez Larivière | © Clara Evans

Sào Soulez Larivière

BMus MMus

Univ.-Prof. for Viola (50%)Department String Studies

French-Dutch violist Sào Soulez Larivière is a versatile musician and winner of several international competitions. An advocate for expanding the horizons of the viola repertoire, he enjoys arranging works for his instrument, as well as promoting contemporary music. From Autumn 2023, he started teaching as Professor of Viola at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg.

Sào Soulez Larivière is quickly building a thriving career as a versatile musician. Fascinating audiences with his playing and original programming, he strives to broaden the accessibility and perception of classical music in our modern world. A number of recent competition successes have propelled his international career, winning first prize at the Prague Spring International Competition, as well as top prizes at the Tokyo, Oskar Nedbal, Max Rostal, Cecil Aronowitz, and Johannes Brahms competitions.

Chamber music has always been at the center of his musical education. He shared his love of music with his sister, violinist Cosima Soulez Larivière, with whom he still performs frequently. Sào is also a member of the Frielinghaus Ensemble, which recently released a highly acclaimed album of string sextets by Dvořák and Tchaikovsky. An advocate of expanding the horizons of the viola repertoire, he enjoys arranging works for his instrument and promoting contemporary music. Collaborations with renowned composers have provided him with an unprecedented opportunity to dive deeper into the creative side of music.

Born in Paris in 1998, Sào first began playing the violin. At a young age, he received a scholarship to study with Natasha Boyarsky at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. After discovering the viola while playing chamber and orchestral music, he decided to devote his time fully to the viola towards the end of his school years. In addition, his musical development has been deeply enriched by collaborations with many distinguished musicians such as Jean Sulem, Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit, Boris Garlitsky and Steven Isserlis.

Sào lives in Berlin, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" with Tabea Zimmermann. He is currently completing the Professional Studies program at Kronberg Academy, where he also earned his Master's degree. His studies are funded by the Leber Patronage.

Teaching has become a great passion in Sào's musical life, and he is excited to be appointed Professor of Viola at the University Mozarteum Salzburg starting in the fall of 2023.

In 2019, Sào was awarded the "Ritter Prize" on behalf of the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation. The following year, he received the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis, which enabled him to realize his debut album "Impression" in 2021. Most recently, he was awarded the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) "Young Artist of the Year" in 2023. He was nominated by the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) as a "Rising Star", which means that he will perform in the most important concert halls in Europe in the 2024/25 season.

He is a fellow of the Yehudi Menuhin "Live Music Now" e.V. Berlin and has been generously supported by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and the Stiftung Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz.

Sào plays a viola made by Fréderic Chaudière in Montpellier in 2013.