Tsinandali Festival: The triumph of music in a historic estate - Mediamax.am

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Tsinandali Festival: The triumph of music in a historic estate


Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

David Sakvarelidze
David Sakvarelidze

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Michael Barenboim
Michael Barenboim

Photo: Mediamax

David Sakvarelidze
David Sakvarelidze

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Boris Giltburg
Boris Giltburg

Photo: Mediamax

Michael Barenboim and Julien Quentin
Michael Barenboim and Julien Quentin

Photo: Mediamax

Boris Giltburg, Michael Barenboim, Zlatomir Fung and Amihai Grosz
Boris Giltburg, Michael Barenboim, Zlatomir Fung and Amihai Grosz

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax


Early September. It is still hot in the daytime, only in the evening velvet coolness envelops a huge ancient park, on the territory of which stands a beautiful estate with a large carved balcony. Almost two centuries ago Pushkin, Lermontov, Griboyedov, Alexandre Dumas Senior were staying here and the grand piano sounded for the first time in Georgia. The ancestral estate of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze is an iconic and symbolic place, intertwined with beautiful and tragic historical events and fateful meetings.

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It is here that, in tribute to the musical traditions of the Chavchavadze family, the Tsinandali Festival - a bright and large-scale event in the world of classical music - takes place from 2019.

Photo: Mediamax

The festival is the brainchild of Silk Road Group. Its member company Silk Hospitality manages Tsinandali Estate, which includes Alexander Chavchavadze’s House-Museum, vineyards, winery, Tsinandali Estate Hotel, A Radisson Collection Hotel and Park Hotel.

Photo: Mediamax

Once a year, for almost a month, the peaceful semi-dormancy of the centuries-old trees is disturbed by the sounds of music spreading throughout Tsinandali: endless rehearsals and unforgettable concerts traversing time and space.

 

Such coryphees as Zubin Mehta, Martha Argerich, Yuja Wang, Mischa Maisky, Mikhail Pletnev and many others performed at the festival in different years.

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“The idea of the festival was born back in 2008, when the restoration of the Chavchavadze House-Museum was completed under the patronage of Silk Road Group and violinist Gidon Kremer and his chamber orchestra “Kremerata Baltica” were invited to the event. The concert made it obvious that music should be played in this park. World classical music stars performed in the park every year, and after Maestro Zubin Mehta, pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra gave a brilliant concert on the stage of the new amphitheater built by Silk Road Group in 2017, the decision was made – the festival will be.

David Sakvarelidze David Sakvarelidze

Photo: Mediamax

The legendary Verbier Festival was taken as a basis, and we contacted its founder, Martin Engström, and his associate, Avi Shoshani, General Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Spending a few days in Tsinandali, they developed the concept of the festival and, in particular, the idea of creating a youth orchestra with the participation of musicians from post-Soviet countries. It was also decided to invite mentors and teachers to train and conduct master classes for them. The Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda was invited to be the artistic director,” says David Sakvarelidze, General Director of Tsinandali Festival, a well-known theater and opera director.

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“I went to Yerevan for the first auditions, as I have many friends there. Then participants from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia were selected. They are wonderful guys. Many of them come to the festival for the second or third time.  It is very important for us not only to draw the attention of the world community to the talented musicians of this region, but also, as George Ramishvili, the festival’s co-founder and founder of Silk Road Group, says:

Photo: Mediamax

“Try to settle conflicts through classical music. Our generation did not have the chance to live in peace, perhaps now, young people can understand and enrich each other.”

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Musicians from Turkmenistan also joined the orchestra this year, and participants from Moldova are expected in 2024.

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The fifth jubilee year impressed with its intensity: 11 days and 28 concerts - daytime, evening, solo, chamber, symphonic and, as usual, an impressive list of world-renowned musicians: violinists Michael Barenboim, Lisa Batiashvili, Mark Bouchkov, Augustin Hadelich, David Garrett, pianists Mao Fujita, Boris Giltburg, Alexander Malofeev, Yefim Bronfman, cellists Gautier Capuçon, Zlatomir Fung and others. The guest conductor of the Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra was Manfred Honeck, renowned music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The festival also included the world premiere of David Garrett’s first piano concerto (co-authored with John Haywood). The performers were pianist Olga Scheps and the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Kakhidze.

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“The distinctive feature of Tsinandali Festival is that the soloists live in Tsinandali for several days, do not rush anywhere, communicate, come up with ideas, and the audience has a rare opportunity to listen to their favorite performer in different formats,” says David Sakvarelidze.

David Sakvarelidze David Sakvarelidze

Photo: Mediamax

“This is my first time in Georgia and I am very impressed by the hospitality, the incredible warmth of the audience, and the beauty of the place. In terms of work, these few days were incredibly intense, but gave so much for the soul - after this week I feel like I am on wings. The lyricism of nature and dignity, deep architectural roots have merged in Tsinandali. The trees pointing to the sky and the buildings firmly connected to the earth leave a strong imprint,” Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg, winner of the 2013 Queen Elizabeth International Competition, says after the evening concert.

Boris Giltburg Boris Giltburg

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“I was offered the whole program of the festival and I accepted it with great pleasure. I knew some of the works since childhood but had not played them and I was happy to learn them all. The Brahms and Fauré quartets played at today’s concert together with Michael Barenboim, Zlatomir Fung and Amihai Grosz were also my first performances.

Boris Giltburg, Michael Barenboim, Zlatomir Fung and Amihai Grosz Boris Giltburg, Michael Barenboim, Zlatomir Fung and Amihai Grosz

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I really love working on chamber music - there are so many ideas, joint creation of interpretations that continue to develop even at the concert, you get a keen sense and instant reaction, you become part of something big,” Boris says.

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Tsinandali’s daytime concerts are almost as solemn as the evening ones: the audience is just as dressed up, sparkling wine is served before the concert, the air is charged with the same sweet anticipation, only the midday sun brings a note of calmness to the general entourage.

Photo: Mediamax

One of these concerts is a duet between Michael Barenboim and French pianist Julien Quentin.

Michael Barenboim Michael Barenboim

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The program features the French of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Ravel, Messiaen, Franck and Saint-Saëns.

Michael Barenboim and Julien Quentin Michael Barenboim and Julien Quentin

Photo: Mediamax

“Julien and I have played together before. For today’s performance, I was looking for works that would give an insight into French music of this period and at the same time fit the format of the daytime concert. I also wanted to play works written for piano and viola. This is my first time in Tsinandali, I arrived a few days ago and I am very impressed: it’s an amazing place. There is a special atmosphere between colleagues, I have been lucky enough to play with first class musicians in this beautiful estate, where I discover something new every day. The spirit of the times is strongly felt here. Tsinandali evokes special, incomparable feelings.

Photo: Mediamax

I can say with certainty that the musicians enjoy every minute of their stay here,” Michael Barenboim says, sharing his impressions with us.

 

Anna Bubushyan (Tsinandali-Yerevan)

 

Photos by Emin Aristakesyan

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