From Easter to Ascension - from Mass Culture to Immortal Values

The annual festival ‘From Easter to Ascension’ is here again. As always, it represents an exquisite classical program and folklore pearls, based on beautiful and valuable traditions and enriched with innovation. The 11th International Festival will start on May 6 and end on May 26.

With the blessing of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, the festival was founded in 2006 by The International Charitable Foundation of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia and Akaki Ramishvili Foundation. The partners are: Georgian Ministry of Culture, Tbilisi City Hall, ‘Check in Georgia,’ Telasi, and the Italian and Israeli embassies. Notably, the program of the festival includes the Georgian regions as the venues for the scheduled concerts, proving that all citizens have a right to enjoy high art and as an incentive to destroying the Soviet stereotype that implied centralization in the capital in favor of the European model. Besides Tbilisi, concerts will take place in Dedoplistskaro, Mestia and Batumi.

In 2006-2010 the artistic directors of the festival were such famous musicians as: Marina Iashvili, Liana Isakadze, Bidzina Kvernadze, and Anzor Erkomaishvili, as well as young pianist Valerian Shiukashvili and composer and conductor Nikoloz Rachveli. In 2013, on the initiative of the festival, a collection of musical compositions by the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II was prepared and published.

Since 2011, the internationally recognized Georgian pianist Alexander Korsantia became permanent Artistic Director of the festival and greatly enriched the festival’s programme. Dubbed ‘a major artist’ by the Miami Herald and a ‘quiet maverick’ by the Daily Telegraph, pianist Alexander Korsantia has been praised for the ‘clarity of his technique, richly varied tone and dynamic phrasing’ (Baltimore Sun), and having a “piano technique where difficulties simply do not exist” (Calgary Sun). Since winning the First Prize and Gold Medal of the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition and the First Prize at the Sidney International Piano Competition, Korsantia’s career has taken him to many of the world’s major concert halls, collaborating with renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, and Paavo Jarvi and orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Kirov Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic.

He can be heard at Piano Jacobins concert series in Toulouse, Warsaw, Boston, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Vancouver, Calgary, San Francisco, Lodz, White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg,the Tanglewood, Newport, Stresa, Gilmore, and Verbier festivals and in music series performing solo recitals and collaborating with musicians such as Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Repin and Sergei Nakoriakov, among others.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Alexander Korsantia began his musical studies at an early age with his mother, Sventlana Korsantia and later became a pupil of Tengiz Amiredjibi, Georgia’s foremost piano instructor. In 1992, he moved his family to the United States and joined the famed piano studio of fellow Georgian, Alexander Toradze, at Indiana University in South Bend.

In 1999 Mr. Korsantia was awarded the Georgian Order of Honor.

In 2015 he became an Honorary Citizen of Tbilisi and Batumi. Mr. Korsantia will give two concerts at the 2016 From Easter to Ascention Festival: on June 5, at Tbilisi Grand Concert Hall, together with the Evgeni Mikeladze National Simphony Orchestra where, conducted by Nikoloz Rachveli, he will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26; and on June 9, in Batumi Concert Hall Musical Center with the same program, concerts dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

As Irakli Kadagishvili, one of the persons in charge of the festival said: “The festival opposes mass-culture and aims to promote the most valuable traditions.”

For more information,


Maka Lomadze

28 April 2016 21:53