Described by The Times (London) as “the complete musician”, Lisa Batiashvili commands her place among the world’s foremost artists with performances of great insight and expressive eloquence. The German-based Georgian violinist has been acclaimed by critics for her virtuosity, sensitivity and charismatic power. She was named Musical America’s “2015 Instrumentalist of the Year”, an accolade reserved for artists of the highest calibre, and also stands among the winners of Italy’s prestigious International Accademia Musicale Chigiana Prize. Batiashvili has developed close partnerships with many world-class orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
In 2021, the violinist established the Lisa Batiashvili Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to helping talented young musicians in her native Georgia. “There comes a time in life,” she explains, “when you turn towards the next generation and feel the urge to pass on what you yourself have experienced within music.” The Foundation has already awarded scholarships to five music students and looks forward to supporting them as they embark on their careers as professional musicians.
Lisa Batiashvili has been an exclusive DG artist since 2010. Her first release for the yellow label, Echoes of Time (February 2011), received an ECHO Klassik award. It was followed by the coupling of Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Clara Schumann’s Romances Op.22 (January 2013). Accompanied by Nézet-Séguin, she set down a selection of violin/piano arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s Romances, Opp.6 & 73, released as a complement to the conductor’s recording of the “Pathétique” Symphony with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (September 2013). Bach (August 2014) saw her explore works by Johann Sebastian and C.P.E. Bach in company with, among others, François Leleux, Emmanuel Pahud and the Kammerorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.
In November 2016 she released an album pairing the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky and Sibelius, a recording which arose from her fruitful collaboration with the Berlin Staatskapelle and Barenboim. Batiashvili’s next DG album, Visions of Prokofiev, featured the Russian composer’s two violin concertos and three popular excerpts from his stage works in new arrangements by her father, Tamás Batiashvili. Recorded with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Nézet-Séguin, it was released in February 2018 and went on to win an Opus Klassik Award. Batiashvili also appeared as soloist on Ilan Eshkeri’s acclaimed soundtrack album for The White Crow (directed by Ralph Fiennes), released in March 2019.
Released in June 2020, City Lights opens with “City Memories”, a suite paying tribute to the music and movies of Charlie Chaplin, then becomes an exploration of cities that have particular significance for Batiashvili, who is joined by artists including Katie Melua, Miloš Karadaglić and Till Brönner. Nikoloz Rachveli, who arranged many of the tracks on the album, conducts the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and the Georgia Philharmonic. Reviewing City Lights, ResMusica wrote, “The violin of Lisa Batiashvili has no equal when it comes to moving listeners and transporting them far into the world of the imagination”.
Her latest album, Secret Love Letters, explores the idea of the intimate, unspoken messages that can be expressed through music, by focusing on works by Chausson, Debussy, Franck and Szymanowski. On this, her first recording with a US orchestra, she is joined by long-time collaborators Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and by pianist Giorgi Gigashvili, who is one of the first Young Artists of the Lisa Batiashvili Foundation. Secret Love Letters will be released in August 2022.
In June and July 2022, Batiashvili oversaw an inspiring programme of music in her fourth season as Artistic Director of the Audi Summer Concerts. She herself performed Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and took part in a Solidarity Concert for Ukraine. This summer, she joins Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra on their European tour to perform music from Secret Love Letters at the Edinburgh Festival, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Lucerne Festival, the Paris Philharmonie and at the BBC Proms in London.
As the 2022–23 season begins she will play the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov in Prague and Bratislava (September); Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and François Leleux in Salzburg (October); the Beethoven again with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano in Rome and Madrid (November); and the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Lahav Shani in London (December).
Born in Tbilisi, Lisa moved to Germany with her family at the age of eleven. There she studied with Mark Lubotsky and with Ana Chumachenco. The youngest-ever entrant in the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in 1995, she made her breakthrough as winner of its second prize. She was named winner of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award in 2003 and awarded the 2006 Beethoven Ring Prize by the Beethoven Festival Bonn. Since then she has also won a MIDEM Classical Award and a Choc de l’année, as well as three Echo/Opus Klassik awards.
Lisa Batiashvili lives in Munich and plays a 1739 Guarneri “del Gesù” violin, generously loaned by a private collector.