Nina Esiava, a Georgian Musician Based in Milan

Nina Esiava, a refugee from Abkhazia, has for several years been working in Milan where she is now an acclaimed pianist. Her story is filled with both pain and happiness. Everything began with seven years at the Music School and a passion for music that, she says, is engraved on her heart eternally. GEORGIA TODAY met Nino to find out more.

Nina, would you tell us how you embarked on your musical career?

My musical career started at the age of seven. I got involved in music on my mother’s initiative, though she never dreamed I would become a professional. First came Music School and my first teacher Tamta Mikeladze, who herself has a very successful musical career. During my studies at the Music School, I was also studying at Italian School Tsiskari. My family is from Abkhazia and the school is especially for displaced persons. Attending both Music School and Tsiskari was impossible to deal with due to a lack of time. Thus, I had to make a choice. Fortunately or unfortunately, I chose Tsiskari and my decision was welcomed by my mother. I left music school and began studying at a music college, which gave me the chance to study also at the Italian school. As time passed I came to realize that music was what I wanted to follow as a profession and so I took up private lessons with Liana Piralishvili to whom I attribute my enrollment at the Milan Conservatoire.

You are the first and sole Georgian musician to be so welcomed by the Milan Conservatoire. How hard was the way to such huge success?

Before I was accepted at the Milan Conservatoire, I took part in the Bormio City Music Festival and several master classes following further successes. I was invited to stage solo concerts in Bormio where numerous professors from different conservatoires attended, among them those from the Milan Conservatoire. They invited me to enroll. It certainly helped that I could speak the language! In the entrance test I got 98 out of 100. My mentor is Antonio Tessoni. We are very close. I frequently stage concerts and participate in many contests. Last year I was awarded a cash bonus as one of the most successful students of the Conservatoire. Also, I became laureate of the Florence Young Musicians Competition. I’m also a pianist in the orchestras of cities Cremona and Novara. I took part in the Italian Ministry of Culture-founded project ‘Piano City,’ also due to take place this year again. Italian TV Broadcasting Rai Uno filmed me as one of the acclaimed Georgian pianists in Italy.

You are a member of the Cultural Association of Italy. What is it?

My collaboration with the Association is very interesting and profitable for me in terms of staging concerts - both solo and chamber – and it assists a musician to become a master of his or her profession.

How distinguished is your working in Italy from Georgia? What has the country given to you apart from a professional career?

I have found living in Italy very interesting and diverse. In terms of professional growth and career opportunities, I cannot compare to Georgia, but my accomplishments are linked to the music education I received here. Living and working here helped me make many friends and acquaintances. Sometimes it is quite hard to make the right decision where to go in life. Some prefer the United States, others Germany or Russia but for me Italy is everything. In order to become successful in any sort of field, the environment plays a huge role. Italians, as other foreigners, are known for their warm characteristic, their smile and compliments after every concert they give me an inexpressible strength.

Will you return to Georgia?

I can’t say when I’ll be back. At the moment I’m a fourth year student and after graduation I’m planning to continue studying a Master’s degree somewhere. All I can say for sure is that for the next couple of years I will be staying in Italy. I hope the situation in Georgia will improve so that I can work for my country as well.

Meri Taliashvili

11 February 2016 19:42