Prized artists, emerging talent to play at Batumi MusicFest

Artistic director Elisso Bolkvadze will perform at the festival among invited artists. Photo:, 09 Aug 2017 - 16:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

Acclaimed classical artists, emerging young talent and music critics will make Georgia’s Black Sea city of Batumi a destination to visit within next month’s Batumi MusicFest.

Led by artistic director and famed pianist Elisso Bolkvadze and run under the auspices of UNESCO, the week-long festival will host local and foreign performers and orchestras.

Headlining the roster, award-winning Italian pianist Pietro De Maria will join French artist Nathanael Gouin and Russia’s Alexandra Massaleva in the line-up.

Local performing talent will be represented by artists including the celebrated Bolkvadzepiano prodigy Ana Kipiani and the Georgian Voices ensemble.

With Batumi Symphony and Liszt Chamber orchestras also expected to take to the stage along with more artists, the fifth edition of the festival will be marked with a diverse program.

Music performed during the shows will include works by Richard Wagner, Camille Saint-Saens and Antonin Dvorak.

Launching at Batumi Art Centre venue on September 2, the celebration of classical music will be organised by Bolkvadze’s charity foundation Lyra.

French pianist Nathanael Gouin will perform in Batumi on September 4. Photo:

In addition to the appearance of classical music stars, around 300 young visitors are expected to flock to the festival from regions of Georgia to learn more about classical music within its Art Camp.

The event will see music critic Marina Lobzhanidze hold daily public talks from aimed at improving knowledge on classical music and raising future generations of listeners.

The educational focus of the festival will also be channelled through master classes led by pianist and composer Michel Sogny.

Known for his new approach to teaching the piano, the French artist will lead the classes at Batumi’s Zakaria Paliashvili Music School.

In another part of the week-long event, emerging artists will have the opportunity to win prizes and a chance of performing at international concerts. The one-day contest will be organised by international foundation SOS Talents.

Alexandra Massaleva will also showcase her piano talent at the festival. Photo:

Bolkvadze established the festival through her charity foundation in 2013. Thanks to their effort the event became the first Georgian festival to join the European Festivals Association in 2015.

Born in Tbilisi, Elisso Bolkvadze performed at her first concert with orchestra at age seven, before embarking on a stellar career yielding awards for her performances and cultural promotion.

The Georgian pianist launched her international career in Switzerland and France before worldwide recognition made her a much coveted artist across Europe and the United States.

The award-winning pianist has performed at venues including the Konzerthaus Berlin, Kennedy Centre in Washington and Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Georgia's emerging piano talent Ana Kipiani graduated from theTchaikovsky conservatory this year and has already been recognised with international prizes. Photo: Ana Kipiani/Facebook.

Praised as "major artist” by Los Angeles Times and "formidable talent” by The New York Times, Bolkvadze recorded albums with Sony BMG and Cascavelle labels.

She has been recognised with cultural awards including the Order of Arts and Literature, a top French state prize.

Bolkvadze also became Georgia's first UNESCO Artist for Peace when she was awarded the title by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova in 2015.

This year’s Batumi MusicFest will run through September 8.