Georgian Pianist Elisso Bolkvadze named UNESCO Artist for Peace

GEorgian Pianist Elisso Bolkvadze has been named as a UNESCO Artist for Peace. Photo by Elisso Bolkvadze official website., 16 Oct 2014 - 14:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Internationally recognised Georgian-born pianist Elisso Bolkvadze has been named as a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Bolkvadze, the first Georgian to receive this honour, has become the 55th artist to use her name and global status to promote UNESCO’s main goals and values around the world.

"The reason of granting the high status to Elisso Bolkvadze is not only her professionalism but her high activities to promote charity across the globe,” said UNESCO general director Irina Bokova, who decided to appoint Bolkvadze as a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Born in Tbilisi, Bolkvadze performed her first concert with support from an orchestra at the tender age of seven. In her youth, her playing was influenced by the famous Russian Soviet pianist Tatiana Nikolaeva. Later, French composer and musician Michel Sogny provided her with an important artistic influence.

Over the years she performed around the world in such venues as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Herkulessaal in Munich and the Pasadena Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Her talents have been recognised and she has won numerous international piano competitions including the Van Cliburn Competition (USA), the Axa International Piano Competition (Dublin) and the Marguerite Long Competition. She also gained a special prize for the best interpretation of French music (Paris).

International media outlets described her as a "formidable Talent” (The New York Times), "major artist” (Los Angeles Times), an artist with "outstanding sensibility” (Figaroscop) and someone with a "brilliant virtuosity and chic personality” (Classica Magazine).

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Bolkvadze should also be recognised for establishing the LYRA foundation, which was established to support young talented Georgian pianists.

The official awards ceremony to recognise Bolkvadze as a UNESCO Artist for Peace will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Bolkvadze was nominated to UNESCO for the appointment in July by Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze, who was UNESCO’s National Commission President.

Today, 54 artists around the globe carried the status of UNESCO Artist for Peace. Among them were leading Russian conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov, Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Pérez, and American jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller.

Watch a performance of Elisso Bolkvadze: