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Performer: Mariam Batsashvili

© Allard Willemse
© Allard Willemse

Biography Mariam Batsashvili

First Prize winner of the 10th Liszt Competition

 On 8 November 2014 Mariam Batsashvili won First Prize at the 10th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht. She received her prize in the main hall of TivoliVredenburg, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima. “Winner Batsashvili turns every phrase into something special”, was the headline in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The International Press Jury called her a “complete artist” with an “amazing touch” and full of “heartfelt emotion”.

 Mariam Batsashvili, born in Georgia in 1993, is the first woman to win First Prize at the Liszt Competition. As winner she embarked on an extensive concert tour, taking her to more than 30 countries. The morning after winning the competition she made her debut in the main hall of Het Amsterdam Concertgebouw, performing Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of James Gaffigan.

Mariam Batsashvili studied at the E. Mikeladze Central Music School in Tbilisi, Georgia with Natalia Natsvlishvili and at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar with Grigory Gruzman. She won prizes from various competitions such as First Prize at the International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists in Weimar in 2011 as well as the prestigious Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli award in 2015. Mariam has performed in over 30 countries including China (including NCPA, Beijing and Shanghai Concert hall), Brazil, the United States, South Africa, South Korea, The Baltic Countries, Indonesia, Norway, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands both in recital and with orchestra. She was a soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador and with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performed at festivals such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, Pianofortissimo Festival Bologna and Delft Chamber Music Festival. 

 For season 2016/2017 she has been nominated as ECHO Rising Stars by Bozar Brussels and Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam. This will see her perform in the 20 most prestigious concert halls of Europe including Musik Verein in Vienna and Cite de la Musique in Paris.

Other future engagements will see Batsashvili work with the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Württembergische Philharmonie. She will also make her debut at Wigmore Hall, London and perform in 20 other countries including the United States, China, South Africa, Russia, Spain, Germany and France. 

 Mariam Batsashvili is a scholarship holder of Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

 The jury and the press about Mariam Batsashvili:

  • Batsashvili convinced the jury with an athletic pace and a poetic tone.” - de Volkskrant (The Netherlands)

  • Batsashvili played firmly, was nimble-fingered in the pirouettes on the piano and sensitively delicate when necessary.” – De Telegraaf (The Netherlands)

  • She played with a natural nobility and excelled with her melodious, transparent tone.” – Trouw (The Netherlands)

  • The passionate Mariam Batsashvili excelled in a varied approach, a personal story with a lot of poetry.” NRC Handelsblad (The Netherlands)

  • A spectacular performance of Tchaikovsky first concerto (..) showed her technical AND musical superiority.” Trouw (The Netherlands)

  • The notes flows naturally from her fingertips, each one capturing the emotions that made the Hungarian master a leading proponent of the 19th-century Romantic school. ” – The Jakarta Globe (Indonesia)

  • The competition can consider itself fortunate with a winner like Mariam Batsashvili. For her natural and poignant interpretations, charismatic appearance and a tone quality rarely heard among virtuosos. ” – The Pianist (UK)

  • One of the pianists that I am looking forward to hearing again. Her performance was very sensitive. It felt as if she could transmit her musical thoughts very well.Chopin magazine (Japan)

  • ''She send out so many otherworldly aesthetic moments in her playing, and all come naturally. The spirit of Liszt gracefully immersed in her interpretation.'' – Piano Artistry (China)

  • A Thousand great moments… Batsashvili creates a dark poetry, which always feels natural and accurate. Her magical moments are always consistent and her virtuosity is each time paired with feeling… her performance displays an objective wisdom."- Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

  • ''Mariam's performance with delicate touch and feminine equanimity made transcendental atmosphere.''  Auditorium (South Korea)

  • Batsashvili is a brilliant and imaginative musician who infuses her playing with a suggestive tension.” Eindhovens Dagblad (The Netherlands)

Latest reviewsSee more...

Piano wizardry from Mariam Batsashvili at Wigmore Hall

Mariam Batsashvili © Wigmore Hall
The young Georgian pianist thrills in the brilliance and technical wizardry of Thalberg and Liszt as well as Schumann's Fantasiestücke
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Seeking new horizons with the Royal Philharmonic

Alexander Shelley © Dwayne Johnson
Alexander Shelley conducts a folksong-infused programme of Kodály and Bartók, with Mariam Batsashvili performing Liszt. 
Read more