Lisa Batiashvili

Lisa Batiashvili

Violin

• Born 1979

Editor's Choice

Hailing from Tibilisi and now based in Munich, Lisa Batiashvili started performing on the international circuit in her late teens, and has been artist-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and several other top-ranking ensembles. She is currently artistic director of Audi Sommerkonzerte (a festival held in Ingolstadt, Bavaria) and enjoys the permanent loan of a wonderfully silken-toned Joseph Guarneri 'del Jesù' violin from 1739. In her mid 20s Batiashvili made a notable recording of the Sibelius concerto with Sakari Oramo and the Finnish RSO, but her 2016 remake for the Yellow Label brings an added wisdom, freedom and depth of expression that are the mark of an artist who has well and truly arrived. The Tchaikovsky coupling is no less rewarding – an intrepidly characterful, imaginative and poetic display, enhanced by most sensitive support from Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Biography

Violinist Lisa Batiashvili has developed a highly successful career, both as a soloist appearing with the world's leading orchestras and as a chamber player performing in duos or larger groups. A critically lauded recording artist, her vast repertory encompasses works from J.S. Bach and Beethoven to Prokofiev and Shostakovich and more. Batiashvili has given the world premieres of several important works, including the Magnus Lindberg Violin Concerto, written specifically for her, which she recorded to great acclaim. Batiashvili has appeared with major orchestras from around the world and with such artists as pianists Hélène Grimaud and Till Fellner, violinists Christian Tetzlaff and Isabelle Faust, cellist Adrian Brendel, and oboist François Leleux, who is also her husband.

Lisa (Elizabeth) Batiashvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1979. Her father was a violinist and her mother a pianist. Before age three, Batiashvili was playing a miniature violin. She also studied piano in her childhood. From age eight, she studied music at a Tbilisi music school for gifted children. Amid the dissolution of the Soviet Union, her family immigrated to Munich, Germany, when she was 11. Batiashvili studied music at the Hamburg Musikhochschule with Mark Lubotsky and at the Munich Musikhochschule with Ana Chumachenco. At 16, Batiashvili captured second prize at the Helsinki-based Sibelius Competition. From 1999 to 2001, she was a BBC New Generation Artist, debuting at the 2000 BBC Proms. In 2001, Batiashvili appeared in the recorded premiere of the Olli Mustonen Concerto for three violins, with fellow violinists Jaakko Kuusisto and Pekka Kuusisto, on the Ondine label. Over the next few years, her career blossomed with major concert dates across Europe and the U.S. In August 2006, she premiered the Lindberg Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall, with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Louis Langrée conducting.

Batiashvili has recorded for several labels, including EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, and EuroArts. She signed a recording contract with Sony in 2007 and went on to record the Beethoven Violin Concerto and a disc of works by Mozart and Britten for that label. In 2008, Batiashvili gave the premiere in London of the Kancheli double concerto Broken Chant, for violin, oboe, and orchestra, with Leleux and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Her later recordings have included the 2011 Echoes of Time, a Deutsche Grammophon release that includes works by Shostakovich, Kancheli, Rachmaninov, and Pärt. She recorded an album of chamber music by Harrison Birtwistle for ECM in 2013, with a group that included cellist Adrian Brendel. Her other recordings in the 2010s, favoring quality over quantity, have featured careful readings of major repertory items: she recorded the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, with the Staatskapelle Dresden (of which she was "Kapell-Virtuosin") in 2014, and 2017 saw a Deutsche Grammophon release of the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky violin concertos with the old lion Daniel Barenboim at the helm of the Berlin Staatskapelle. In 2020, Batiashvili released the album City Lights, featuring music representing important cities from her life.

She has received several major awards in her career, including an Opus Klassik, Choc de l’année, and MIDEM Classical. Musical America named her Instrumentalist of the Year in 2015.

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