The most celebrated contemporary Georgian musicians and performers
04 September, 2017
The most celebrated contemporary Georgian musicians and performers
Georgia has a rich in musical culture that counts over centuries. The fact that many prominent representatives of Georgian musical scene are internationally recognized serves as a proof to that.

Georgians sing almost at any occasion and it is not a surprise that singing and music helped them to get through the times of hardship. At present Georgia boasts many talented musicians who represent our country at the international scene at best. They are recognized and appreciated not only in
their homeland, but internationally as well.

Here would like to introduce to you the most successful and renowned Georgian musicians and singers who perform at most prestigious scenes.

Khatia Buniatishvili

Khatia Buniatishvili is an outstanding Georgian pianist. She is famous not only because of her great talent and distinctive playing technique, but of her unconscious beauty characteristic for typical Georgian woman as well.
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Her talent is expressed not only in music, but in languages as well. She speaks five languages fluently: Georgian, French, English, German and Russian.

Khatia Buniatishvili began studying piano at the age of three. She gave her first concert with the Chamber Orchestra in Tbilisi at the age of six. From the age of ten she gave concerts in Europe, Ukraine, Armenia, Israel and the USA. She graduated from the Tbilisi Central Music School, then entered the Tbilisi State Conservatory in 2004.

Buniatishvili has performed with other world’s leading orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France under Daniele Gatti and the Philharmonic Orchestra in London. She has also performed chamber music with musicians including Gidon Kremer and Renaud Capuçon.

In 2010 she received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and was included in the BBC series New Generation Artists. The Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus nominated her as Rising Star for the 2011–12 seasons, and in 2012 she was awarded Best Newcomer of the Year in the Echo Klassik awards.

Khatia Buniatishvili worked together with Coldplay, popular British rock band, on their album called Kaleidoscope. After their collaboration the rock band expressed their gratitude to her for the cooperation. Coldplay thanked Khatia publicly on its official Facebook page: “Thank you Khatia Buniatishvili for gracing our album with your magical piano-playing at the beginning of Kaleidoscope.”

As a reminder, Khatia Buniatishvili will be the main performer at the concert in Tsinandali, Kakheti, on September 14th. The classical music evening will be held in Aleksandre Chavchavadze’s house museum, in the newly built amphitheater,that has the capacity of 1000 guests. Khatia Buniatishvili will deliver concert together with Maestro Zubin Mehta and Israeli Philarmonic Orchestra.

Nino Surguladze

Nino Surguladze is a world-famous Georgian mezzo-soprano. Referred to as “Penélope Cruz of the opera” by the media and often compared to Audrey Hepburn and Anna Magnani. Nino is one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of modern generation, admired for her warm and velvety voice, incisive musicianship, excellent acting abilities, notable stage presence, and charm.
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Nino Surguladze’s discography to date counts nine titles and includes recordings of live performances from Milan, Barcelona, Glyndebourne, Verona, and Macerata.
Surguladze’s future engagements include: Romeo (role debut) in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Bergen, Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust in Liège, and Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen at the New Zealand Opera on tour in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland.

In 2010, she was awarded the Presidential Order of Excellence by Mikheil Saakashvili (the third President of Georgia for two consecutive terms from 25 January 2004 to 17 November 2013).

In 2015, Italian President made a decision to grant Nino Surguladze the Star of Italy title. This honorary title is given to a person who makes great contribution to the development of friendly relationships between Italy and other countries.

On December 8, Antonio Enrico Bartoli, the Ambassador of Italy to Georgia, presented Nino Surguladze, with the title during the official reception at his residence. This was a surprise made by the Italian Embassy.

In spring 2016, for the role of Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco that she performed at the Arena di Verona, Surguladze was awarded the GBOSCAR of the 2014-2015 opera season in the category of the best mezzo-soprano.

Katie Melua

Ketevan "Katie" Melua (born 16 September 1984) is a Georgian singer, songwriter and musician. She moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then to England when she was fourteen. Melua made her musical debut in 2003. In 2006, she was the United Kingdom's best-selling female artist and Europe's highest selling European female artist.
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Katie Melua has been compared to such female musical legends such as Joss Stone and Norah Jones. Her blend of jazz and blues styles, filtered through a folk acoustic guitar, has been making waves around the world.

In November 2003, at the age of nineteen, Melua released her first album, Call Off The Search, which reached the top of the United Kingdom album charts and sold 1.8 million copies in its first five months of release.

Her second album, Piece By Piece, was released in September 2005 and to date has gone platinum four times.

Melua released her third studio album Pictures in October 2007.

As it is widely known, Katie Melua is the favorite singer of England’s queen Elizabeth II. When they met each other in 2003, Queen Elizabeth told her, “I have heard your record on the radio; it is very nice.”

Beka Gochiashvili

Beka Gochiashvili is an amazingly talented 21-years-old prodigy jazzman and pianist-improvisator from Tbilisi, Georgia. He has lived and performed in New York over last several years.
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He started playing piano at the age of three. When Beka was 10-years-old, he was already playing in different jazz clubs. Since 2008, he has been studying in the ART School of the US Juilliard Academy with Frank Kimbrough and taking private classes with Fred Hersch and Danilo Pérez.

Beka has taken part in many jazz festivals throughout Georgia and United States. In 2015, he held a charity concert in Tbilisi to help the victims of the flooding.
The most important international awards of Beka are as follows:

2008 - Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), I Prize
2007 - The Festival of the Saulkrasti (Latvia), Laureate
2004 - Classical Music Festival (Germany) 

Mr. Gochiashvili has played a few times at Birdland and the Blue Note, and competed well in the 2011 Thelonious Monk Piano Competition.

Nicolas Namoradze

Young Georgian prodigious pianist Nicolas Namoradze’s exceptional talent is spreading as fast as his fingers run on a piano. Although, the Georgian born gifted musician is only 24 years old, his name is already known to the classical music enthusiasts around the globe.
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Apart from being a genius performer, Nicolas is a progressive composer who gets inspiration from black holes, gravitational waves and Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

The musician, who has delivered concerts in many prestigious venues in various countries and received wave of applauses, has been featured by such famous publications as New York Times and Wall Street Journal. His performances have been hailed by critics as “sparkling… sensitive and coloristic” (New York Times) and “simply gorgeous” (Wall Street Journal). “I must admit, never have I heard such a Liszt B-minor Sonata as I did from Nicolas Namoradze. It’s not only due to the technical perfection, but more importantly to the strength of the conception … and the sheer level of artistic realization that I take my hat off to him” – This is how outstanding composer Zoltán Kocsis describes Georgian pianist.

Paata Burchuladze

Paata Burchuladze (born on 12 February 1955) is a Georgian operatic bass. After his debut in his native Tbilisi in 1976, he embarked on a 35-year-long musical career during which he made appearances at leading opera houses across Europe and the United States. Through his foundation, he became involved in children charity in Georgia in 2004.
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He graduated from the Tbilisi State Conservatoire and continued his studies at the Bolshoi School. He made a student debut in Tbilisi in 1976 and then took part in several singing competitions.

During his career, which spanned more than three decades, Burchuladze made appearances across the world's leading opera houses. He debuted at the Covent Garden in 1984 as Ramfis (Aida) and then appeared as Don Basilio (The Barber of Seville), Khan Konchak (Prince Igor), Boris Godunov, and the Inquisitor (Fiery Angel). His United States debut was at Philadelphia, in 1987, as Boris. He also sang Basilio, Boris, and the Commendatore (Don Giovanni) at the Metropolitan.
His other notable roles are Silva (Ernani), Ficso (Simon Boccanegra), Philip II, Boito's Mcfistofele, and Dosifey (Khovanshchina). Additionally, he also made several recordings.

Burchuladze has also been described by classical music critics as acting "sly, gravelly", being "imposing", and "wonderfully menacing". The singer announced he was leaving music to focus on his new political career in May 2016.

Temur Kvitelashvili

Temur Kvitelashvili is a famous Georgian guitarist. He started to learn how to play the guitar independently, at the age of 11.
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He studied different musical styles including classics, jazz, rock, popular music, flamenco, as well as his native traditional Georgian national music.

Temur was the first guitarist in Georgia, who started to make arrangement and transposition for a guitar of Georgian classics and Georgian modern music. Also he has made much transposition for a guitar of world classics and compositions of the most miscellaneous styles.

In 1994 at the International Competition of the Guitarists in Hollywood, he was named as "the Best Guitarist of Year" in nomination "Fusion".

After competition in Hollywood, Temur gained more and more success. He performed together with the American guitarist - virtuoso Michael Angelo. In 1996 he was named as "The Best Instrumentalist of Georgia ".

In 1998, Temur Kvitelashvili was the first Georgian guitarist, who gave the biggest solo guitar concert at the Georgian Philharmonic Music hall.

Related stories:

Top Georgian songs of all time

Great Georgian composer Gia Kancheli


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