Two aspiring Georgian pianists have succeeded at a competition in Kazakhstan for young pianists.
Twelve-year-old Ilia Lomtatidze and 14- year-old Sandro Nebieridze jointly won first prize among 10 musicians competing in the intermediate group of the Piano Passion contest, held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Competition organisers said the Piano Passion competition was "a unique chance” for participants to share one stage with Russian classical pianist Denis Matsuev, and participate in other musical events that reach global audiences.
The competition was held over three rounds from April 24 to 30 in Astana. Winners were announced in three age categories: Junior, Intermediate and Senior, with each category winner receiving a share of $60,000 USD.
Despite their young ages, both pianists have won top awards for their piano talents in recent years.
In Nebieridze’s case, as well as being a talented pianist he also plays the violin. He is a laureate of the 2011 Republican Piano Competition and a winner of the Balys Dvarionas International Piano Competition held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2012.
In 2013 he was a winner at the International Music Competition and Festival Sberbank Debut in Kiev, Ukraine.
Meanwhile Lomtatidze won the Grand Prix award at the Golden Key international competition in Frankfurt, Germany in 2013. The same year he became a scholar of the Lyra charitable music foundation, established by Georgian musician Elisso Bolkvadze.
Meanwhile in 2014 Lomtatidze won the top award at the Harmony International Festival and Competition in Turkey. Also in 2014 he won the International Competition Future Stars in Tbilisi.