Batumi-Tbilisi Int’l Fest 'Night Serenades’ Director on Upcoming Concerts & New Format

Taking into account the pandemic regulations and the global experience in holding festivals, the 12th Batumi-Tbilisi festival ‘Night Serenades’ will be held in a different, virtual format this year. However, despite the global pandemic, the organizers of the important cultural event with the longest history of existence in Georgia have managed to prepare an exciting program with a lot of novelties and premieres for their loyal audience.

The opening of the festival will traditionally take place on August 27 in Batumi, in the Ilia Chavchavadze Drama Theater.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Nina Tsagareli, Director of ‘Night Serenades,’ to find out more about this year’s concerts, distinguished participants and the history of ‘Night Serenades.’

“Due to the pandemic, many things have changed in the field of world culture and various events are now being held in a limited or different format. Many festivals have moved to the virtual space and in this way manage to communicate with the audience. We, too, have changed the format of the festival, taking into account the existing regulations in Georgia and the world festival experience,” Tsagareli says.

The opening concert, which will take place on August 27 at the Batumi Drama Theater is dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the famous Georgian composer and teacher Sulkhan Tsintsadze. It will be broadcast live on Adjara TV, and the Tbilisi concerts on September 2 and 4 will be live streamed on the official Facebook page of the festival.

“Of course, listening to classical music is always better live,” Tsagareli adite. “The energy created by the coexistence of performers and spectators in the concert hall is irreplaceable, but the events held in this format also have their positive side, which is accessibility to a wide audience. Not only in Georgia, but also abroad, many loyal listeners and fans of our festival are waiting for this year's concerts. Over the decades of its existence, the festival has gained a large number of loyal listeners worldwide, many of whom have been visiting Georgia for years to attend our concert evenings in Batumi and Tbilisi.”

What makes the 12th ‘Night Serenades’ concert program special this year?

Work on the festival's concert program for the organizing group begins about a year in advance. Next year's festival concept is planned, we choose the themes for each concert, we try not to miss any important dates, we always offer the audience works by foreign composers that have not been performed in Georgia yet and we have premieres of Georgian composers almost every year.

We developed the program of this year's festival a year ago, having invited some very interesting, famous foreign soloists and the Quintet of the Royal Academy of London, but due to the pandemic, we had to make some changes to the program.

This year's program is special for the premieres of works by Georgian and foreign composers: a concert by Sandro Nebieridze created just for the Festival; ‘Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra N2’ created by a young talented pianist and composer on the order of the festival's artistic director, Giorgi Isakadze; Giorgi Shaverzashvili’s ‘Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra N4,’ which the author created on the order of the main conductor of the Festival, Vakhtang Machavariani and dedicated to his daughter (within the framework of the festival, the piano part will be performed by composer’s daughter, Elene Shaverzashvili); and Jimsher Chkhaidze's work ‘Sentiments’ for chamber orchestra and harp. It will also be interesting for the listeners that the great work of our maestro, ‘Concertino’, which has not been performed in Georgia since 2011, will be performed at the festival.

Night Serenades 2020 celebrates the 95th anniversary of the famous Georgian composer and teacher Sulkhan Tsintsadze, and the 250th anniversary of the greatest composer, Ludwig van Beethoven.

Sadly, this year we have to hold the festival without Mariam Davitashvili. She was an outstanding specialist and teacher in the music field, one of the organizers of our festival. Her sudden death is a significant loss not only for us, but also for the Georgian music field. In her honor, the work of Franz Liszt, ‘Consolation # 3’ will be performed by laureate of many international and national competitions, pianist Tamar Licheli.

Tell us about the history of the festival and the importance of its existence in the cultural life of Georgia.

International Festival ‘Night Serenades’ is a traditional festival with the longest history in our country. It was founded in 1982 by the famous Georgian violinist and conductor, Liana Isakadze, in the most beautiful part of Georgia, Abkhazia. Ms. Liana's contribution is invaluable not only in Georgia but also in the world of performing arts, globally.

Due to the events of 1991, the festival temporarily ceased to exist and was revived in 2002 under the name of ‘Art Festival’ in the city of Borjomi, and in 2009 returned to the Black Sea and in the beautiful city of Batumi again under the name of ‘Night Serenades’.

Since 2018, the artistic director of the festival is Giorgi Isakadze, a musician and teacher working in Germany, nephew of Liana Isakadze, with whom he has many years of professional cooperation. In 2011, within the framework of ‘Night Serenades’, they founded a completely original festival Friends of Facebook, which was held in parallel with ‘Night Serenades’ in the city of Batumi in 2011-2014. Young world stars participated in the festival completely unselfishly, and attendance was free for the public.

Over the years, the great interest in the festival has led to the expansion of its geography, due to which, since 2015, on the decision of the Tbilisi City Council, it has been called the ‘Batumi-Tbilisi International Festival.’

The main orchestra of the festival since 2011 is the world chamber ensemble-orchestra ‘Virtuoses’ created by Liana Isakadze, while the main conductor is world-renowned maestro, Vakhtang Machavariani.

The festival, during its long existence, has invited many world stars to take part in concert evenings, implemented many innovative ideas, and gained a lot of loyal listeners. It is one of the most important events in the cultural life of Georgia, which the organizers, festival partners and loyal fans, along with numerous listeners, look forward to every year with great joy.

20 August 2020 16:33