Georgian Musicians to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Georgia, as in the case of wine, can be without any exaggeration considered one of the most musical nations in the world. This is proven by both local and international projects as well as by the myriad of successful singers, instrumentalists and opera singers who regularly appear on the most powerful stages around the globe. The latest addition to this? Georgians at Carnegie Hall, featuring the world premiere of George Oakley's Stabat Mater, Georgian cellist, Lizi Ramishvili's United States debut, and prominent Georgian pianist, Inga Kashakashvili.

The chamber concert, to take place on October 1 at 20:00, will take the audience through three distinct musical periods: the Classical period, represented by the Beethoven's ‘Sonata for Cello and Piano in D major, op. 102;’ the Romantic period, with Schumann's ‘Fantasiestücke, op. 73;’ through to Contemporary Classical with the work of New York-based Georgian composer, George Oakley.

Oakley is a Georgian composer with Irish roots who, after finishing the Z. Paliashvili Gymnasium for Gifted Children, continued his studies to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire. In 2001, he received a full scholarship to participate in the Piano Summer Festival at New Paltz and the same year won the Flier International Piano Competition. In 2003, he was invited as a guest artist to the United Sounds of America festival dedicated to the 9/11 tragedy. In 2005, he graduated from DePaul University in Eteri Andjaparidze's studio. Oakley is also a featured alumnus of the Steinhardt School at NYU, where he studied film scoring with Ira Newborn and classical composition with Justin Dello Joio. More recently he has studied with the prominent composers Richard Danielpour and Robert Aldridge. He has since seen his music performed around the globe and within a number of film projects, such as “A Ballerina's Tale,” a documentary film about the career of African-American ballerina Misty Copeland

“Mr. Oakley is a composer of extraordinary talent whose music speaks to the heart as well as the mind,” said composer Richard Danielpour.

“It is a great honor for me to be participating in [the Carnegie Hall] concert,” Oakley told GEORGIA TODAY. “Of course, I feel a great responsibility. I get a lot of joy and strength hearing such virtuoso players and real artists performing my music [as Ramishvili and Kashakashvili].”

19-year-old Lizi Ramishvili started out taking music lessons at the Paliashvili Central Music School under Tamara Gabarashvili. Since 2014, she has been studying at the Kronberg Academy in Germany with Frans Helmerson, where she is a recipient of the Boris Pergamenshchikov scholarship.

She has taken part in numerous competitions and festivals, including ‘Musica Mundi’ (Belgium), ‘Appointment with Slava’ at the International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival in Kronberg, Germany, ‘Eurovision Young Musicians’ (Austria), and ‘The Seventh Mstislav Rostropovich Festival in Baku,’ among many others.

Although Ramishvili’s primary interest is in classical and contemporary music, she has also explored the jazz tradition with pianist Papuna Sharikadze.

“For me, this concert is connected with a big responsibility before the American audience,” Ramishvili said of her up-coming debut. “I’m proud to be able to represent the Georgian performing arts. It’s a chance to increase awareness in American audiences of Georgian artists, which can bring greater success to Georgia.”

Inga Kashakashvili is a New York-based pianist from Tbilisi who has performed at major venues around the world, among them Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Steinway Hall, and Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center.

In addition to frequent performances of the classical repertoire, Kashakashvili actively promotes contemporary music. Her recent performances include music of Grammy-winner composers Robert Aldridge and Richard Danielpour, and she frequently performs the music of composer George Oakley.

Kashakashvili is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including the ‘Artists International Auditions’ and the ‘Jacob Flier International Piano Competition’ in New York, and has participated in such prestigious music festivals as the ‘Fête de La Musique’ and ‘Leipzig Music Festival in Germany.’

“The idea of this concert belongs to our producer, James Carlson,” Kakhakashvili told GEORGIA TODAY. “It’s the debut of our trio in New York, though I have a lot of experience playing George’s pieces with Lizi. In the first section of this concert, me and Lizi will perform Beethoven and Schuman’s music and the second section will be dedicated to George’s music- a sonata for cello and piano. I’m very proud that we, three Georgians, are to be on this marvelous and unrivaled stage called Carnegie Hall, together.”

Maka Lomadze

01 September 2016 18:50