Having won several prizes at major international organ competitions since 2002, LÁSZLÓ FASSANG has quickly established himself as a major young talent in the international organ world. In 2002 he won the Improvisation Gold Medal at the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition. He was also the 2004 winner of the coveted Grand Prix de Chartres Interpretation and Audience Prizes, and in 2006 he received the Liszt Ferenc Prize awarded by the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture and the Prima Prize awarded by the National Association of Entrepreneurs.
A native of Budapest, László Fassang was born into a musical family and began to study the organ at age thirteen under the tutelage of István Baróti. He graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1998, having studied piano under Ilona Prunyi and organ with Ferenc Gergely and István Ruppert. Fassang then entered the Paris Conservatory, where he studied organ with Olivier Latry and Michel Bouvard, as well as improvisation under Loïc Mallié, Philippe Lefebvre, Thierry Escaich, and Jean-François Zygel. In 1993, he won first prize at the Zoltán Gárdonyi Memorial Competition in Budapest.
In 2000, Fassang took a one-year sabbatical to become the resident organist at the Sapporo Concert Hall in Japan. That year he performed several concerts in Japan and recorded a CD on the Kern organ at Sapporo Concert Hall that included music of Bach and Liszt as well as his own improvisations. Since 2002 he has performed concerts in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.
Fassang currently teaches organ and improvisation at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Organ. From 2004 to 2008 he taught improvisation at the Musikene College of Music in San Sebastian, Spain, and since 2006 he has been Artistic Consultant for the organ concerts at the Palace of Arts in Budapest, where he served as consultant for the new organ in Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in 2006.
Recordings by Fassang include a disc issued in 2005, recorded on the organ of the Cathedral of Chartres featuring works of Bach, Liszt, and French composers, and a duo CD with Vincent Lê Quang (piano-saxophone) entitled The Course of the Moon, issued in 2007 by Orpheia. The Art of Organimprovisation – The Four Seasons (Vol. 5) was recorded at the Palace of Arts in 2008 and released by the German company Organ Promotion.
Performances by Fassang are especially interesting because his improvisational style demonstrates the versatility of the organ through the incorporation of jazz and folk music influences. He often performs with French jazz-saxophonist Vincent Lê Quang, Hungarian folksinger Bea Palya, and bagpipe player Balázs Szokolay Dongó.
For more information, visit Fassang’s website at fassang.hu.