Renowned pianist Elisso Bolkvadze awarded Order of Honour of Georgia

Bolkvadze has performed at major international venues while also leading her own festival. Photo: Elisso Bolkvadze Twitter profile., 30 Aug 2018 - 16:55, Tbilisi,Georgia

The internationally celebrated Georgian pianist Elisso Bolkvadze has been awarded the Order of Honour of Georgia,  a major state prize, ahead of the launch of the Batumi Music Fest led by the artist.

Bolkvadze was selected for the honour — bestowed by the President of Georgia — as a recognition of her “crucial contribution to the field of culture”.

The decision by Giorgi Margvelashvili was communicated to the acclaimed pianist and UNESCO Artist for Peace at a press conference of the festival earlier today.

See a profile video of Elisso Bolkvadze, with the pianist talking about performing works by Franz Schubert and Sergei Prokofiev:

The festival is supported by the president’s foundation, with Giorgi Abashishvili, the head of Margvelashvili’s administration, praising it as one of the most important cultural events in Georgia to the media.

Bolkvadze reacted to the news by expressing her gratitude for the award and noting she was “happy to be awarded by the President of Georgia”.

Born in Tbilisi, Bolkvadze performed her first concert alongside an orchestra at the tender age of seven before going on to perform at venues including the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Herkulessaal in Munich and the Pasadena Auditorium in Los Angeles.

The famed pianist has been called "an amazing talent" by The New York Times and "a brilliant virtuoso and superb person" by the Journal Classica magazine.

The acclaimed artist faced media at a press conference for the Batumi Music Fest earlier today. Photo: Elisso Bolkvadze Facebook profile.

She was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2015, becoming the first Georgian to receive the honour.

The celebrated pianist is also a recipient of the Order of Arts and Literature — a top French state prize — for her efforts in developing cultural relations between France and Georgia.

In 2013 she established the LYRA Foundation to help young Georgian pianists with their studies and international appearances.

Through the foundation Bolkvadze now holds the annual international festival Batumi Music Fest in Georgia's Black Sea city.

The artist will receive the Order of Honour from the president in a formal ceremony, at a later date.