Khatia Buniatishvili

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About Khatia Buniatishvili

Renowned for her dazzling technique and stage presence, the Georgian-French pianist Khatia Buniatishvili is a musician whose attention-grabbing performances sometimes divide opinion. At times, her daredevil velocity suggests a disengagement with dramatic narrative; at others, she charms with an unforced poetry, revealing a musical instinct that goes way beyond mere sensationalism. Buniatishvili was born in 1987 in Batumi, near the Black Sea coast in Georgia (then still part of the Soviet Union), and made her public debut with the Tbilisi Chamber Orchestra at age six. After studying in Tbilisi and Vienna, she was signed as an exclusive artist by Sony Classical in 2010. Some recordings emphasize her virtuoso approach to big Romantic repertoire, from a debut Liszt album (2011) that often prioritizes exhilaration over lucidity, not least in rather one-dimensional accounts of the B minor Sonata (1853) and Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (1862), to more successful takes on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 (1901) and 3 (1909), with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Paavo Järvi (2017). A number of mixed-repertoire albums (Motherland, 2014; Kaleidoscope, 2016; Labyrinth, 2020) reveal other aspects of Buniatishvili’s musical personality, with some beautifully lyrical gems, although occasionally her distortions of tempo or rhythm give an impression of the music slipping in and out of focus.

Tbilisi, Georgia
June 21, 1987
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