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“Night Serenades” starts in Batumi

By Tsotne Pataraia
Tuesday, August 27
The festival “Night Serenades” started on August 25. It is the 11th time that Batumi hosts classical music festival which is founded by well-known Georgian violinist and conductor Liana Issakadze. The list of participants includes famous soloists and conductors from Germany, Greece, Finland, Great Britain, and Georgia. Ilia Chavchavadze Drama Theater hosts the orchestra and legendary classics this year. The principal conductor of the entire event is eminent Georgian musician Vakhtang Machavariani.

The festival in Batumi Professional State Drama Theatre was opened with Serenade by Tchaikovsky, Adagio for Strings by Barber and the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich, that were performed by prominent Georgian performers - award-winning young pianist Sandro Nebieridze and trumpeter David Shamanauri.

The Messenger spoke with Sandro Nebieeridze, Vakhtang Machavariani and Giorgi Issakadze, Artistic Director of the Festival and nephew of Liana Issakadze, after a rehearsal, to learn more about the event.

Giorgi Issakadze expressed his excitement about the concert and highlighted the all-dimensional diversity of it:

“The program of the festival is certainly very diverse and brings together numerous themes. This year, we launched a very interesting and direct program in terms of soloist pieces. That’s as well as an incredible orchestra program, which will include Serenade of Tchaikovsky, Barber’s Adagio, Chamber Symphony of Schostakowitsch and more. The symphonic orchestra program is equally wonderful, though,” Issakadze said.

He also spoke highly of the participants of the festival and described some musical pieces in detail:

“This year, we invited famous violinist Anna-Liisa Bezrodny along with a fantastic cellist, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, who has his festival in Finland after Night Serenades and is terribly busy. But despite this, he accepted our invitation with pleasure and is now preparing to mesmerize the audiences of Georgia. I sent the concerto of Vaja Azarashvili, firstly performed by my father, National Artist of Georgia and Professor Eldar Issakadze. My father and Liana successfully introduced the work of Azarashvili beyond the borders of our homeland. Gustafsson admired it and accepted my request he performs it. Brilliant Georgian opera singer Nino Surguladze is going to perform with Manuel De Falla’s “El Amor Brujo”(“Magical Love”), De Falla’s masterpiece, full of Spanish-Gypsy fiery temper and emotions.”

The creative director also mentioned the free attendance concert, which will take place in Paliashili Music School:

“This year we will also have a free attendance concert. On the 27th, the Youth Quartet will perform Shostakovich’s Quartet at the and our musicians will also perform Machavariani’s the 6th Unfinished Quartet for the first time.” The conductor Vakhtang Machavariani spoke in detail about the musical program, noting that the program is what makes this year’s festival exceptional:

“The program includes works that will be performed for the first time in Georgia. The guests of the festival will have an incredible chance to enjoy Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, which in general is performed rarely and has not been played for wide audiences in Georgia for more than 20 years; We play Weber's Langsamer Satz, this is a work that will be heard for the first time in Georgia. The twentieth-century creation of this genius Austrian composer has never been performed here; We also have Manuel de Falla’s two amazing masterpieces. In one word, I think the audience will be more than satisfied with the festival and I would like to congratulate both the organizers and the Georgian society in general,” Machavariani told The Messenger.

Sandro Nebieridze, the winner of the Moscow Grand Piano Competition Grand Prix, discussed his part in the festival:

“I perform Shostakovich's first piano concert. This is a very strange piece. It is full of musical jokes and humor. While listening to it, everyone can be assured, that the composer has a great sense of humor,” said Nebieridze.

The Classical Music Festival "Night Serenades” was founded in 1982 by famous Georgian violinist and conductor, Liana Issakadze. the first concert within the scope of the festival in the town Pitsunna, in Georgian region Abkhazia. However, due to political developments (the war and occupation of Abkhazia by Russia), the event was suspended for several years and was given a new life just 11 years ago, in 2009. This year’s festival will run between August 25-September 4, in Batumi and Tbilisi. The festival will last for three days in Batumi Drama Theater. From September 2 the festival will move to the capital.