April 24, 2019
Pianist Mariam Batsashvili signs to Warner Classics
Warner Classics today announced the signing of Mariam Batsashvili, the young Georgian-born, German-trained pianist. Her first Warner Classics album, a solo programme of Liszt and Chopin, will be released in August 2019.
Batsashvili gained international recognition in 2014 when she won the 10th Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, having already triumphed in the International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists in Weimar in 2011. Still in her mid-twenties, she has given recitals in more than 30 countries and appeared as a concerto soloist with major orchestras and conductors. In 2015 she received the prestigious Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize and she spent the 2016-17 season as a ‘Rising Star’ of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO). She is currently a member of the BBC’s high-profile New Generation Artist scheme.
Born in Tbilisi, Mariam Batsashvili studied from an early age with Natalia Natsvlishvili at the Georgian capital’s Evgeni Mikeladze Central Music School before moving to Weimar in Germany to become a student of Professor Grigory Gruzman at the Franz Liszt Conservatory. An inquiring artist whose magnificent technique is always placed at the service of the composer, she has been described by London’s Observer as “as a superbly poised soloist – a name to watch,” and by the Netherlands’ NRC Handelsbald as an interpreter who" turns every phrase into something special”.
Batsashvili, who decided at the age of seven that she wanted to make a career as a musician, says that: “The piano allows me to express everything that I want to say, what I want to tell people. My goal is to reach people through music.”
Liszt has clearly played an important role in her career to date and she has been mentored in his music Leslie Howard, the distinguished Australian pianist. “Franz Liszt definitely has a special place in my life,” says Batsashvili, “His music is so complete, so perfect … Every single emotion and thought about life can be found in his music. He is very daring in the way he uses the entire piano to express himself.”
For her debut album on Warner Classics she has assembled a programme in which pieces by Liszt and by his contemporary Frédéric Chopin offer mutual illumination. Chopin was born in 1810, Liszt in 1811 and they were good friends for a time when they were both living in Paris. They even dedicated études to each other, and a number of these are included on the album.
“Liszt and Chopin are very, very different in the way they express themselves,” says Batsashvil’, “they are from different planets. But I can hear in their music that they respected each other very much.”
Among the dates on Mariam Batsashvili’s schedule for the remainder of the 2018/19 season are appearances in Germany, China, Japan, Spain (Tenerife) and the UK – notably her debut at the BBC Proms in August, performing Schumann’s piano concerto.