Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili wins prestigious German award

Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili celebrates with the 2016 ECHO Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year. Photo from Khatia Buniatishvili.
Agenda.ge, 22 Jul 2016 - 12:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Acclaimed Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili has added another prize to her growing list of accolades after collecting the prestigious ECHO Klassik 2016 Award from Germany's Music Industry Association this week.

Promoted by its founders as "one the most important and renowned music awards worldwide", the German prize aimed to reveal "the most successful and outstanding achievements of German and international musicians" since 1992.

On Wednesday, winners of this year's competition were announced in 22 categories. This included female and male singers of the year as well as ensembles and orchestras that impressed music experts the most.

Buniatishvili was selected as a prize winner for her album Kaleidoscope, which saw her win the Solo Recording of the Year Award.

This was the second time Buniatishvili was awarded the ECHO prize. It comes several years after the 2012 Newcomer Award she won along with four other musicians from Europe.

The Georgian pianist released Kaleidoscope this year with the Sony Classical label.

The awards ceremony for the ECHO Klassik 2016 contest will be held at Konzerthaus Berlin in Germany's capital on October 9. There at the awards ceremony award-winners will perform in a grand gala concert.

The ECHO Klassik awards are granted by a jury of 11 music experts who base their assessment on "artistic criteria, while also taking account of popular acclaim and the response of music purchasers".

The prizes are awarded by the German Phono Academy, a non-profit cultural institute of Germany's Music Industry Association. Founded in 1973, the academy aims to annually "honour outstanding artists" and support new talent in the field.

The ECHO Klassik awards ceremonies are "among the highlights of the classical music year, annually bringing together all the big names on the classical scene for a sparkling gala event", said the organisers of the German contest.

Batumi-born Buniatishvili was praised as "one of today’s most technically gifted young pianists" by the classical music review website Gramophone and lauded for her "ferocious intensity, vivid imagery, and sheer excitement" by San Francisco Classical Voice.

She has performed at prestigious international venues including the Carnegie Hall in New York, the United States and received prizes at classical music competitions such as the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition and Tbilisi International Piano Competition.

See the full list of the winners of this year's ECHO Klassic Awards on the official website here.