Lisa Batiashvili ist deutlich jünger als ihre beste Freundin, man sieht die beiden kaum ohne einander. Auch zu unserem Fototermin kommen sie gemeinsam, die Geigerin und ihre Geige, eine Guarneri del Gesù aus dem Jahr 1739, es ist das Jahr, in dem Händels Oratorium Saul in London uraufgeführt wurde, zehn Jahre danach wurde ein Mann namens Goethe geboren. Lisa Batiashvili gehört nicht nur zu den ganz großen Solistinnen unserer Zeit, sie äußert sich auch immer wieder furchtlos zu politischen Themen.

Despite 30-some years of violin playing, and despite growing up in the Soviet Union, Lisa Batiashvili only just started learning the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto a few years ago.

 

Born in Tbilisi in 1979, "I was hearing this concerto all the time during my first 11 years in Georgia, traveling also for the Soviet Union and doing various competitions. That was the piece that everybody wanted to play. I just thought, I want to do other concerti."

 

"I heard a lot of Oistrakh, Heifetz, Milstein," Batiashvili said. "I had to step away from it because I knew I would get too influenced by other people; it was just impossible not to."

 

In 1993 she moved to Munich, and still, "there were other pieces that I really wanted to learn with my teacher Ana Chumachenko," she said. It was always there, but "I needed to find the moment when I was very keen on playing this concerto."

 

In recent years, with so much other repertoire under her belt, she finally felt a desire to take a look at the Tchaikovsky, a concerto she'd spent a lifetime avoiding. Last week Batiashvili released a new recording of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos, with Daniel Barenboim conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin. It was Barenboim who finally convinced her to look at the piece.

 

Barenboim, who had not recorded the Tchaikovsky concerto before, heard Batiashvili for the first time during a television broadcast of the Sibelius Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He immediately called her and asked if she's like to perform the piece with him. What followed was a series of performances together with the Staatskapelle Berlin (Berlin State Opera Orchestra), four years in row at its annual end-of-season concert.

 

"It was very interesting, at this stage of my playing, to start learning a piece that everybody knows by heart," Batiashvili said. "If you hear the piece for years and years and you don't actually know what is written in the score, you can get very surprised," she said. "You realize how much people do because of habit and tradition."

Lisa Batiashvili and the Staatskapelle Berlin, under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, present a spectacular album release of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius Violin Concertos on Deutsche Grammophon, available for purchase worldwide on November 4. The works are two of the most beloved, passionate, and demanding pieces ever written for violin and orchestra.

 

The album also celebrates the continued collaboration of one of the finest violinists of our times with one of the most acclaimed orchestras in the world, along with the legendary pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

 

Ten years ago Daniel Barenboim launched Berlin's Open-Air State Opera for All concert on the historic Bebelplatz. With more than 40,000 spectators each year, it attracts a larger audience than any other classical concert in Germany. In each of the past four years the guest soloist has been Lisa Batiashvili, who on each occasion has performed one of the repertoire's great concerti: Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky in 2015, and most recently the Sibelius concerto.

Lisa Batiashvili performs the world premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Violin Concerto No.2 on 20 and 22 October with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sakari Oramo.

 

Written specifically for Lisa, the concerto has been co-commissioned by Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Lisa performs the concerto again on 22 October with RSPO before playing it with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Alan Gilbert on 27 and 28 October.

 

The world premiere of Hillborg’s Violin Concerto No. 2 will be broadcast on Swedish National Radio.

 

Next month Lisa gives performances of Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with Gautier Capuçon and Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Christian Thielemann (11, 12 & 13 November).

Lisa Batiashvili joins conductor Lionel and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich for performances this October, in Zurich and Buenos Aires. Ms. Batiashvili plays Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major on October 5 & 6 at Zurich's Tonhalle, on a programme that also features Mahler's Symphony No. 1 ("Titan").

 

She reprises her performance of the Tchaikovsky on October 10 at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the first concert of the TOZ's fall tour, on an evening that includes Eötvös' The Gliding of the Eagle in the Skies and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6. Lisa again plays the Tchaikovsky on the second tour concert on October 11 at the Colón, on a programme that also highlights Mahler's "Titan.”

Lisa Batiashvili looks forward to a season filled with performances and special events as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's 2016/17 Artist-in-Residence. As part of her residency, Ms. Batiashvili will play three of the most important Russian violin concerti with the RCO. Her first concert series, led by RCO Chief Conductor Daniele Gatti, takes place December 14, 15 & 16 with a programme featuring Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63, in addition to Stravinsky's Jeu de cartes and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2. Lisa returns on January 5 to play Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 with Sir Antonio Pappano and the RCO, on an evening that also includes Ljadov's The Enchanted Lake, Op. 62 and Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World").

 

For her final RCO residency concerts, Ms. Batiashvili performs Shostakovich's powerful Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77 on March 16, 17 & 19, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski. Lisa has shared that the Concerto is "very dramatic music which is close to my heart because I grew up with it in Georgia. I can still feel the fear and loneliness of the people in the Soviet Union. You never forget what you experienced as a child." This not-to-be-missed concert series also highlights Bruckner's Symphony No. 1 in C Minor.

 

Additional season events include a Close-Up chamber music event with Royal Concertgebouw musicians on December 18 featuring works by Tchaikovsky and more, as well as a Club Night with Georgian jazz pianist Beka Gochiashvili in March (details TBA).

Lisa Batiashvili is featured in performance at a New York Fashion Week VIP fundraiser on September 8, titled "The Language of Fashion." This Gala event takes place on Madison Avenue, with a programme highlighting Ms. Batiashvili as the soloist for "Primavera" from Piazzolla's Four Seasons, as well as selected Miniatures by Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze. A premiere ensemble of artists from the New York Philharmonic is also featured in this performance. The event also launches a Madison Avenue installation featuring collaborative works from School of Visual Arts students and established designers, displayed from September 8-18. Funds raised from the Gala will directly support scholarships at SVA.

Lisa Batiashvili is featured in performance this summer at two of the United States' most acclaimed festivals. She plays Dvořák's Violin Concerto on July 15 in her debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, with The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The evening, hosted at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, also highlights Mozart's Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter" and Dvořák's Slavonic Dances.

 

She travels to the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts, for a chamber recital on July 20 and orchestral concert on July 22. The recital includes a spectacular roster of soloists: oboist François Leleux, pianist Emanuel Ax, violist Kim Kashkashian, and cellist Lynn Harrell, performing works by Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Debussy, and Britten. Lisa is then featured as soloist on Dvořák's Violin Concerto for the concert event on July 22 at the Koussevitzky Music Shed, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. The event also includes Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Sibelius' Symphony No. 5.

Enjoy the entire audio feature via kulturradio online: bit.ly/290hbQh

Lisa Batiashvili travels to Germany for a series of concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic this month, under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She presents a signature piece on these sold-out performances - Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. posth. Her recent performance of the Bartók with the London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding was heralded by audiences and critics alike: "Lisa Batiashvili's beautifully lyrical style and polished tone were perfectly suited to this concerto. Her playing was sensitive and majestic as well as gutsy, aggressive and virtuosic." (Bachtrack)

 

The Berlin concerts also include the Men of the Rundfunkchor Berlin and bass soloist Mikhail Petrenko on Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 in B-flat minor, Op. 113 (Babi-Yar). They perform on 22 & 23 June at the Berlin Philharmonie, and on 26 June they are featured in a highly anticipated open-air concert, hosted at Berlin's Waldbühne. In addition to the Bartók concerto and Shostakovich symphony, Smetana's Die Moldau is added to the programme on 29 June, in concert as part of the Rheingau Music Festival. The performance, held at the Kurhaus Wiesbaden, is also completely sold-out.

 

On 9 July Lisa plays the Sibelius Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47 with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Maestro Daniel Barenboim, at the annual "Staatsoper für alle" open-air concert at the Bebelplatz. Additionally, the evening includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica." The event is free and open to the public.

 

A commercial recording (Sony Classical) featuring Ms. Batiashvili on the Sibelius Concerto, with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo, is also available for purchase via Amazon.