Elisabeth Batiashvili (born 7 March 1979), professionally known as Lisa Batiashvili, is a prominent Georgian violinist active across Europe and the United States.
A former New York Philharmonic artist-in-residence, she is acclaimed for her “natural elegance, silky sound and the meticulous grace of her articulation”.
Batiashvili makes frequent appearances at high-profile international events; she was the violin soloist at the 2018 Nobel Prize concert.
Batiashvili was born in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to a violinist father and a pianist mother. She began learning violin with her father from age four. The family left Georgia in 1991 when she was 12 years old, and settled in Germany. She later studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Mark Lubotsky, her teacher in Hamburg, had been a student of David Oistrakh, for whom Shostakovich wrote his violin concertos. Later, Lisa Batiashvili also studied with Ana Chumachenco.
In 1995, aged 16, she placed 2nd at the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki.
Batiashvili was one of the first of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists, from 1999 to 2001. She has collaborated in chamber music and concerto performances with cellist Alban Gerhardt and pianist Steven Osborne, both BBC New Generation Artists exactly contemporary with Batiashvili. She has also worked with a later BBC New Generation Artist, Ashley Wass, in recital. She made her BBC Proms debut in 2000.
Magnus Lindberg dedicated a violin concerto to her, the world premiere of which she gave at Avery Fisher Hall, New York, on 22 August 2006 and European premiere in Sweden in October. Batiashvili and her husband, oboist François Leleux, commissioned from the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli the double concerto Broken Chant, which they premiered in February 2008 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. She also commissioned a solo violin encore from her compatriot Igor Loboda for solo violin, “Requiem for Ukraine”, which was meant to be a statement against conductor Valery Gergiev’s cozy relationship with the regime of Vladimir Putin.
Batiashavili became artist-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic for the 2014/15 season, and with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia for the 2017/18 season. In parallel, she has an artist residency with the NDR Symphony Orchestra.
Her commercial recordings include Magnus Lindberg’s Violin Concerto No. 1 as part of her recording contract with Sony Classical, which she signed in 2007. And more recently, she has recorded several albums with Deutsche Grammophon, including in 2016, a much-acclaimed album of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius Violin Concertos and in 2017, an album of Prokofiev’s works including his Violin Concertos 1 and 2.
She plays a 1739 Guarneri del Gesu violin (Cozio 61377) lent to her from the private collection of an anonymous German collector.
Batiashvili is married to French oboist François Leleux. They have resided in both Munich and France with their two children. (wikipedia)
And here´s a very unique album by Lisa Batiashvili :
Lisa Batiashvili’s new album takes the listener across the world with eleven carefully chosen pieces that represent the most important cities in her life, as well as a suite based on Charlie Chaplin’s own music for City Lights and other films of his.
The idea came out of a conversation between Batiashvili and her friend the composer-arranger Nikoloz Rachveli. Batiashvili says: ‘Chaplin was very popular in Georgia when I was a child. He was a multi-talent, not only acting and making movies, but writing gorgeous music. For me, he represents the beauty and creative imagination of the 20th century.’ Their idea of creating a suite inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s music and his films grew into an autobiographical concept based on key cities in Batiashvili’s life, each of which has some personal, musical or violinistic connection.
A journey from her native Georgia to Paris, Berlin, Buenos Aires and Hollywood features ground-breaking collaborations with artists as diverse as Miloš, Katie Melua and Till Brönner. City Lights shares the beautiful melodies from Cinema Paradiso and Chaplin’s own compositions with all time classics from Piazzolla, the late Michel Legrand – in new arrangements by Nikoloz Rachveli – as well as J.S. Bach – arranged by Anders Hillborg – and last, but not least a new song by Katie Melua about the magic of London. (press release)
The idea for this recording came out of a casual conversation between fellow Georgians Lisa Batiashvili and Nikoloz Rachveli about the genius of film composers such as Chaplin and Morricone, and ended up as something of a travelogue, with each of its 12 tracks reflecting the violinist’s relationship with a different city. In many ways, it’s closer to a pop music concept album, like Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly with Me’ (1958), than a classical recital programme. Contributing to this impression, many of Rachveli’s arrangements have a lushness that brings to mind the work of, say, Billy May (who did the orchestrations for ‘Come Fly with Me’) or Nelson Riddle. The sound is slickly produced, with Batiashvili made an almost otherworldly presence, like the voice of the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz – reverberant and larger than life. There are a host of special effects, too. At the end of ‘Paris’, for instance, a technicoloured version of a sweetly nostalgic melody by Michel Legrand gradually fades to black-and-white, as the sound is manipulated to evoke a skipping, scratchy old record.
The album begins with a medley of tunes from Chaplin films, shaped by Rachveli into a suave narrative arc. Hollywood glamour returns with the love theme from Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso, Batiashvili’s homage to ‘Rome’, in the guise of an unabashedly sentimental duet between Batiashvili and the cellist Maximilian Hornung. ‘Berlin’, a dramatic fantasy on ‘Ich hab’ noch einen Koffer in Berlin’ (made famous by Marlene Dietrich), features the German jazz trumpeter Till Brönner, who improvises coolly around Batiashvili, who plays it straight, as it were. For ‘London’, the Georgian-born pop star Katie Melua sings a saccharine song she wrote for the album, which makes me feel a little less miffed that New York, my own city, is represented by Czech music – an excerpt from the slow movement of Dvořák’s New World Symphony.
At no point can I fault Batiashvili’s playing. She’s unfailingly expressive and sends off fireworks when called for, as in The Lark – the Enescu-esque ‘Bucharest’ selection – or Strauss’s Furioso Galopp (‘Vienna’). Yet while the orchestral playing is well drilled, I often find it seems more dutiful than exuberant. Rhythms in the Piazzolla set, for instance, have nowhere near enough bite. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the most intensely played number is the one representing Tbilisi, Batiashvili and Rachveli’s hometown. It’s also the most daring musically. A Medley on Themes by Giya Kancheli may not seem promising on paper but Rachveli does justice to the Georgian composer who died last year. Here, at last, given meaningful contrast, the thread of sentimentality that runs through the record shines pure and bright.
Lisa Batiashvili (violin)
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra (on 10. – 12.)
Conductor: Nikoloz Rachveli
David Abesadze (vocals on 12.)
Till Brönner (trumpet on 04.)
Tim Harries (bass on 10.)
Maximilian Hornung (cello on 07.)
Milos Karadaglic (guitar on 08.)
David Nozadze (vocals on 12.)
City Memories (Chaplin) 7.15.
01.1. The Terry Theme (From The Film Limelight)
01.2. La Violetera (From The Film City Lights)
01.1. Je Cherche Après Titine (From The Film Modern Times)
01.4. Awakening (From Limelight)
02. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639 (Bach) 3.34
03. Paris Violon (Legrand) 4.21
04. Ich hab’ noch einen Koffer in Berlin (Siegel) 7.50
05. Evening Song (Traditional) 4.28
06. Furioso Galopp Op. 114 (Strauss/Liszt) 3.00
07. Love Theme (From The Film Cinema Paradiso) (A.Morricone/E.Moriccone) 4.22
08. Adiós Nonino – Vuelvo Al Sur – Buenos Aires Hora Cero (Piazolla) 7.02
09. Largo (From Symphony No. 9 “From The New World” Op. 95) (Dvorak) 4.51
10. No Better Magic (Melua) 5.46
11. The Lark (After A Romanian Folk Song) (Koncz) 3.10
12. Medley On Themes By Giya Kancheli (For Violin, Tape And Orchestra) 10.16
Herio Bichebo / Tovlis Panteli / Lament / Styx
Nikoloz Rachveli (born 15 May 1979) is a Georgian conductor, composer and cultural manager. He composes and arranges for theatre and film, using themes from Georgian and non-Georgian composers. Memanishvili is the Principal Conductor of the Georgia National Symphony Orchestra, and Head of the Georgia National Music Center. He has been leading the Mikeladze Symphony Orchestra since 2007. (wikipedia)
The official website: