The Tsinandali Festival, a Georgian non-profit foundation, in collaboration with the Georgian government and generous private donors, has established a new international music event in the historic Tsinandali Estate. The annual Festival will present some of the greatest musicians and the specially formed Pan Caucasian Youth Orchestra, which brings together over 80 young musicians from the surrounding region. This Youth Orchestra, supported by all the governments of Georgia’s neighbors and beyond, will ensure that the work of the Tsinandali Festival extends beyond the historic estate.
The inaugural festival will open on Sunday, September 8, with a performance of Mahler’s monumental Second Symphony. Festival Music Director Gianandrea Noseda will conduct the Pan Caucasian Youth Orchestra and soloists Ying Fang and Ketevan Kemoklidze.
The Tsinandali Festival is the latest stage in the Silk Road Group’s long-term development plan for the Tsinandali Estate that has included the restoration of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze’s manor house, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute. With its unique mix of Georgian and European architectural styles from 1812 it has become Georgia’s most visited attraction with 120,000 visitors annually.
George Ramishvili, chairman of the Silk Road Group and chairman and founder of the Tsinandali Festival, commented, “Like all Georgians, I take great pride in the resurrection of the Tsinandali Estate and the founding of the Tsinandali Festival, which will continue to build on our country’s history as a custodian of our shared ancient heritage. Georgia has for millennia hosted travellers along the Silk Road with our food and drink having been justly celebrated, not least for the invention of wine and viticulture 8,000 years ago. Since the Tsinandali Estate’s founding in the 1690s it has played host to luminaries such as Dumas and Pushkin and as a home for technological innovations from Europe: bringing Georgia’s first printing press, grand piano, English landscape garden and French bottling and barrelling techniques. That tradition lives on with the Tsinandali Festival.”
Two new venues have been built on the estate to house the Festival performances: an open amphitheater with a retractable roof seating 1,200 people and the Chamber Concert Hall, which seats 600 people. The halls have been designed by an international group of designers, including German industrial designer Ingo Maurer and French architect Xavier Fabre, who has previously worked on acoustics of the Philharmonie de Paris and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The frescoes adorning the site belong to the beloved Georgian artist Tamara Kvesitadze.
Over the following 14 days after the opening, a host of international musicians will perform together in differing combinations as well as giving masterclasses. Soloists include: violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Renaud Capuçon & Pinchas Zukerman (who also conducts); pianists Nicholas Angelich, Sergei Babayan, Itamar Golan; Nino Gvetadze, Denis Kozhukhin, George Li, Jan Lisiecki, Fazil Say, András Schiff (who also conducts) & Yuja Wang; cellists Gautier Capuçon and Mischa Maisky; clarinettist Martin Fröst; baritone Thomas Hampson; Avi Avital on the mandolin and the conductors Gábor Takács-Nagy, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Omer Meir Wellber and Lahav Shani.
Noseda comments, “I am delighted to be Music Director of the Tsinandali Festival, situated in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. I’m particularly inspired by the creation of the Pan Caucasian Youth Orchestra. This really convinced me that the Tsinandali Festival will be something special as through music we can try to develop a new society based on friendship and respect despite any differences in politics or religion because music has a unique language. When you sit with your partner at the music desk, you serve the music together.”
For more information, visit the festival website.