Harmonious Beethoven by Eliso Virsaladze
24 October, 2013
Harmonious Beethoven by Eliso Virsaladze
Telavi International Music Festival Ends

On 20 October, Telavi International Music Festival came to its logical end. Everything good ends sooner or later and leaves us with a sense of regret. What shall we do? We have nothing left but waiting for the future concerts to come with traditionally experienced masters and some new names of the musical world.
It was a totally sold-out event. High spirits of all the music lovers was accompanied by indelible autumn colors of wonderful
Kakheti. Soon, the concert began by Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2 op. 126. The soloist was Natalia Gutman, a famous musician and a great friend of Eliso Virsaladze who is always present in Telavi. The festival itself was born in 1980s, later suspended and finally restored three years ago.
The second part was concerto for flute and strings “Gilgulim”, i.e. “spiritual transformation”, performed by the conductor and flutist Ariel Zuckermann. The author was Georgian musician Joseph Bardanashvili. As for the orchestras, two companies were participating – Georgian Synfonietta and Telavi Festival Orchestra.
The third part was the long-awaited Eliso Virsaladze herself, who performed Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5. Op. 73. Performance of great pianist sounded as if the spring was arriving. The piece itself was quite melodious and lyrical. It sounded like a celebration of life on the part of nature itself. “Eliso is an artist of great distinction, perhaps the greatest woman pianist of our time. She is a serious, deeply sincere and unpretentious musician... Eliso is an unforgettable Schummanist,” writes Sviatoslav Richter.
Eliso Virsaladze, the precious stone, icon and Artistic Director of the Festival, received her first piano lessons at the age of eight from her grandmother Anastasia Virsaladze, a well-known music teacher who initiated the Georgian piano school. At the age of nineteen, Eliso won the Third Prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962 and continued her education at the Moscow Conservatory with Yakov Zak and Heinrich Neuhaus. Four years later she won the First Prize at the 1966 Schumann International Competition in Zwickau, Germany. Eliso Virsaladze played with major international orchestras under Yuri Temirkanov, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Kyril Kondrashin, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Sanderling, Wolfgang Sawallisch etc.
Eliso Virsaladze enjoys playing chamber music. At various times she has performed with Sviatoslav Richter, Oleg Kagan, Natalia Gutman, Eduard Brunner, the Borodin, Taneyev and Tsintsadze Quartets. Eliso Virsaladze is a professor of both Moscow Conservatory and Musikhochschule in Munich. She is a regular jury member of most prestigious international competitions. In the 80s, she founded Telavi Music Festival, then “Khareba Vazisa” (In Praise of Vine), which left an indelible mark in the country’s cultural life.
Minister of Culture Guram Odisharia pointed out that Telavi has become a cultural capital of Georgia from 12 to 20 October. After the concert he stated that he “wished the whole world to live in a similar harmony that the audience experienced while listening to the unforgettable closing gala concert”.
To a Georgian Journal’s question as to what inspires her most of all, great Eliso Virsaladze answered: “Music. Nothing is more supreme than music.” Her attitude is evident in the subtle touch of her fingers as if she is caressing a baby – grand-piano. She is a magician of keys, leading us to the magic world of music where there is no war, no aggression, no hate; where only love, peace and joy reign. What if we lose even these precious islands in our crazy, crazy, crazy world? God save us from that; because in that case, we will truly forget about the supreme power and consequently lose all links with cosmos and turn into miserable creatures with no haven anywhere. Let us not forget about the sublime art.

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