2021 September 8-19
Robert Schumann - Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Felix Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, “Italian”
2021 September 8-19
Gianandrea Noseda / conductor
Mikhail Pletnev / piano
Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra
Robert Schumann – Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Felix Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, “Italian”
Mikhail Pletnev is an artist whose genius as pianist, conductor and composer enchants and amazes audiences around the globe. His musicianship encompasses a dazzling technical power and provocative emotional range, and a searching interpretation that fuses instinct with intellect. At the keyboard and podium alike, Pletnev is recognized as one of the finest artists of our time. Pletnev was Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition when he was only 21, a prize that earned him early recognition worldwide. An invitation to perform at the 1988 superpower summit in Washington led to a friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev and the historic opportunity to make music in artistic freedom.
In 1990 Pletnev formed the first independent orchestra in Russia’s history. The risks of this step, even with Gorbachev’s endorsement, were enormous and it was Pletnev’s reputation and commitment that made his long-held dream a reality. Sharing his vision for a new model for the performing arts, many of the country’s finest musicians joined Pletnev in launching the Russian National Orchestra. Under his leadership, the RNO achieved in a few short years a towering stature among the world’s orchestras. Pletnev describes the RNO as his greatest joy and today serves as its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. In 2006, he launched the Mikhail Pletnev Fund for the Support of National Culture, a non-profit organization that supports major cultural initiatives and projects, including the RNO’s annual Volga Tour and, in collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, the Mikhail Pletnev Beethoven Project.
As a guest conductor, Pletnev appears regularly with leading orchestras such as London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2008 he was named first guest conductor of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland.
As a solo pianist and recitalist, Pletnev appears regularly in the world’s music capitals. His recordings and live performances have proved him to be an outstanding interpreter of an extensive repertoire. The London Telegraph remarked, “from Pletnev’s fingers and brain come ideas that vitalise the music and make it teem with freshness and wit. [He] made the music positively leap for joy.” The Times describes his playing as “born of a prodigious virtuosity of imagination outrageous in its beauty.”
Pletnev’s recordings have earned numerous prizes, including a 2005 Grammy Award for the CD of his own arrangement, for two pianos, of Prokofiev’s Cinderella, recorded with Martha Argerich and Pletnev at the keyboards. He received Grammy nominations for a CD of Schumann Symphonic Etudes (2004) and for his recording of Rachmaninov and Prokofiev Piano Concertos No. 3 with the RNO and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich (2003). His album of Scarlatti’s Keyboard Sonatas (Virgin/EMI) received a Gramophone Award in 1996. BBC Music Magazine called the recording “piano playing at its greatest… this performance alone would be enough to secure Pletnev a place among the greatest pianists ever known.” In 2007 he recorded all of Beethoven’s piano concertos with Deutsche Grammophon, and the recording of concertos 2 and 4 was named “The Best Concerto Recording of 2007” by the Tokyo Record Academy.
Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra was officially established in 1925 and its first artistic director and principal conductor was Ivane Paliashvili. In 1933 the Orchestra was awarded with the State status and its principal conductor became Evgeny Mikeladze – legendary conductor, who was a victim of 1937 repressions. In 1971 GPO was awarded with the status of honored Orchestra and in 1994 – it was named after Evgeny Mikeladze.
At different times the Orchestra was directed by the conductors: Aleksandre Gvelesiani, Grigol Kiladze, Aleksandr Gauk, Shalva Azmaiparashvili, Odissey Dimitriadi, Jemal Gokieli, Zakaria Khurodze, Jansugh Kakhidze, David Del Pino Klinge, Vakhtang Matchavariani; also, music directors: composers Andria Balanchivadze and Alexi Matchavariani.
In 2005 GPO, together with other State status collectives, was united in newly established Georgia National Music Center and 25 years old composer Nikoloz Rachveli was invited from Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts as an Artistic Director. From 2007 he has combined the position of principal conductor of the Orchestra.
The Orchestra has implemented lots of successful performances. Among them are concert tours abroad in various worldwide venues, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Athens and Frankfurt Concert Halls, Paris Les Invalides, Pierre Cardin Center, UNESCO Hall & Salle Pleyel, St. Petersburg Dmitri Schostakovich Philharmonie, Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Brussels Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR, Strasbourg Convention Centre, Tallinn NORDEA Concert Hall, Hamburg ElbPhilharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, etc.
The Orchestra’s repertoire includes all the most important pieces of the Georgian symphony music and numerous masterpieces of the world’s symphony and opera music. The Orchestra is the first performer practically of all important National symphony music pieces, as well as performs Georgian premieres by numerous foreign composers.
In 2013, due to the reform at the National Music Center of Georgia, the young talented musicians of the new generation, successfully performed in the various Orchestras of Georgia and abroad, joined the GPO; the outstanding Georgian Musicians: Giya Kancheli, Alexander Toradze, Paata Burchuladze, Josef Bardanashvili and Shalva Mosidze were elected as an Artistic Council of the National Music Center of Georgia and during the same year, Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra and Maestro Nikoloz Rachveli became the initiators of the historic reform in Georgia, the result of which was a right given to the musicians to choose their creative director (before this position was appointed by the Georgian Minister of Culture). From December 2013, Maestro Nikoloz Rachveli is the first elected Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra.
During 94 years of its existence, the Orchestra has performed with the following outstanding musician-performers: Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sviatoslav Richter, Yakov Flier, Emil Gilels, Ani Fisher, Van Cliburn, David Oistrach, Mstislav Rostropovich, Kurt Mazur, Kent Nagano, Yuri Temirkanov, Valeri Gergiev, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Berezovski, Alexander Toradze, Liana Isakadze, Marine Iashvili, Paata Burchuladze, Eliso Virsaladze, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Kim Kashkashian, Nino Ananiashvili, Lisa Batiashvili, Khatia Buniatishvili, Dudana Mazmanishvili, Valerian Shiukashvili, David Geringas, Nicolas Altstaedt, Natalia Gutman, Gidon Kremer, Michele Crider, Katia Ricciarelli, Giuseppe Giacomini, Badri Maisuradze, Lado Ataneli, Makvala Kasrashvili, Anita Rachvelishvili, Nino Machaidze, Tamar Iveri, Giorgi Gagnidze, Iano Tamar, Maxim Risanov, Giorgi Zagareli, Andres Mustonen, Ariel Zuckermann, Sergei Nakariakov, Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi, Chris Botti, STING, BJORK, Nani Bregvadze, Nato Metonidze, Nino Katamadze and many others.