Famous Georgian pianist Elisso Bolkvadze joined star actor and UNESCO Special Envoy Angelina Jolie for a special tribute to the late United Nations (UN) diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The internationally-celebrated musical artist performed for the audience of the annual event dedicated to the memory of the Brazilian diplomat at the Palais des Nations in the Swiss city.
Bolkvadze’s performance followed the central piece of the event — a lecture by Jolie, who works as Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Actor and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and UNESCO Artist for Peace Elisso Bolkvadze photographed at the event. Photo: Elisso Bolkvadze/Facebook.
The American actor spoke about the legacy of de Mello, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Iraq’s capital Baghdad in 2003 while working as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative in the country.
Jolie’s address to guests attending the lecture highlighted de Mello’s humanitarian and diplomatic work to stress the importance of internationalism and joint humanitarian work throughout the world.
Bolkvadze’s musical tribute followed the lecture as the UNESCO Artist for Peace and award-winning pianist rounded off the annual event.
Hosted by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the event was streamed live on UN TV online channel and the agency’s Facebook page.
The full event can be found on the UN TV archive page, with Bolkvadze’s performance starting at 1:02:40.
Bolkvadze became the first Georgian to be recognised as UNESCO Artist for Peace when she was awarded the title by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova in 2015.
Born in Tbilisi, Bolkvadze performed her first concert alongside an orchestra at the age of seven.
She began her international career in Switzerland and France before worldwide recognition made her a much coveted artist across Europe and the United States.
The celebrated pianist has also been honoured with the Order of Arts and Literature — a top French state prize — for her efforts to develop cultural relations between France and Georgia.