Despite Covid troubles, musicians at the Tsinandali Festival play on

For music, as for much else, 2020 has been a bleak year. Festivals – ranging from large to small and everything in between – have been cancelled en masse. Indeed, for any sort of live event to take place at all this year seemed entirely unthinkable even a few months ago. Yet in the beautiful Georgian countryside, despite the adversity, some of the world’s finest classical musicians have gathered for the second ever Tsinandali Festival, this time in a Covid-secure environment.

The pandemic has inevitably forced the festival to make compromises on its scale, with reduced numbers and a shortened programme compared to last year. Yet its ability to attract star quality from the highest echelons of classical music remained strikingly undiminished. Over four days, an impressive line-up of world-renowned maestros, including the great Argentine-Swiss classical concert pianist Martha Argerich and Lisa Batashvili, the Georgian-born violinist, lit up the stage in this quietened corner of Georgia’s ancient wine region – an area that would in normal circumstances have been a prime tourist destination for visitors.


Credit: Emerging Europe