June 21, 1987 |
Khatia Buniatishvili began studying piano under her mother at age three. She gave her first concert with the Chamber Orchestra in Tbilisi at the age of six and started performing abroad at the age of 10. After that, she began a series of concerts in Switzerland, Georgia, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Monaco, Italy, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Israel, USA, etc. Buniatishvili graduated from the Tbilisi Central Music School, then entered Tbilisi State Conservatory in 2004 (Prof. Tengiz Amirejibi).
Buniatishvili dislikes being viewed as a child prodigy. She admires many pianists of earlier eras, such as Sergei Rachmaninoff. She admits to being quite influenced by Georgian folk music. Buniatishvili, who has described the piano as a "symbol of musical solitude" chose the piano over the violin despite her perfect pitch. She and her sister learned the piano together and enjoy performing duets at home.
She has been regularly invited to take part in various festivals among which: the “Menuhin Festival Gstaad” in 2008, the Verbier Festival in 2003, 2004 and 2011, the Progetto Martha Argerich 2008 in Lugano, the “Gidon Kremer’s Internationales Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus” in Austria (where she performed among others with Gidon Kremer), the “12th International Music Festival “Elba isola musicale d’Europa” (presided by Yuri Bashmet), the “Chamber Music Connect the World 2008” at the Kronberg Academy (Germany), the Autumn in Tbilisi Festival, where she played with the Tbilisi Symphonic Orchestra, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad in 2006, les nouveaux Solistes aux Serres d’Auteuil (Paris), les Musicales de Compesières (Geneva), the Olympus International Music Festival in Saint-Petersburg, etc.
The many places where Buniatishvili has performed include: Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Salle Gaveau, the Salle Cortot and the Auditorium du Louvre (recital broadcast on France Musique), at the Salle Garnier in Monte Carlo, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Grand Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow State Conservatory Hall, the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Tbilisi Opera, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Rudolfinum in Czech Republic.
She made her United States debut at Carnegie Hall's (Zankel Hall) in 2008 where she played Chopin's Concerto No. 2 with the Yale Symphony Orchestra. Buniatishvili has also played with some famous orchestras: the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra (tour in Europa), the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (Brahms: Concerto No.2 and Mozart: Concerto No.24), the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Tchaikovsky: Concerto No.1), the Arthur Rubinstein Orchestra, the Tbilisi State Symphonic Orchestra, among others.
Buniatishvili is the beneficiary of a scholarship from the BSI Bank. She is now a student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna under the tutelage of Professor Oleg Maisenberg. She is a former member of BBC Radio3's New Generation Artists Scheme. Buniatishvili signed a recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment in July 2010 and her first recording is scheduled to be released in 2011.[dated info] Her debut album for Sony Classical shall mark Liszt’s 200th anniversary, and will include his Sonata in B minor, Liebestraum No 3, La Campanella, Hungarian Rhapsody No 2, and Mephisto Waltz.
Prizes and awards
Khatia Buniatishvili has received the following prizes and awards:
- 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition (2008): Third Prize winner along with a Special Prize “Best Performer of a Chopin piece” and “Audience Favorite” Prize in Eilat” 
- The 3rd Tbilisi International Piano competition (2005): Second Prize winner along with Special Prize “for Artistry” and Special Prize “Best Georgian young pianist”
- A Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2010 
Critics have praised her rich imagination, virtuosity and sensitive and mature playing. In particular, famed pianist Martha Argerich noted that: "Khatia is a young pianist of extraordinary talent. I was impressed by her exceptional pianistic gift, natural musicality, imagination and her brilliant virtuosity."
- Hymns and Prayers
Gidon Kremer (violin), Khatia Buniatishvili (piano), The Kremerata Baltica. ECM New Series CD. Release date: 20 September 2010
- Performances are available via social networking sites of Khatia's interpretation of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 live from Verbier (she substituted in for Martha Argerich at the last moment), Liszt's Mephisto Waltz, Brahms' Hungarian Dance No.1, and Beethoven's Appassionata. Khatia's famed live recording of Haydn's Sonata No. 33 in C minor at the Rubinstein competition is also online. Haaretz correspondent Haggai Hirtron noted that "Buniatishvili spurred a transformation into the competition's atmosphere when she played Haydn" and described her playing as the competition's climax.
- BORSISTI (EN) "Khatia Buniatishvili". BSI Bank. August 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2010. (PDF)
- "Khatia Buniatishvili". Borletti-Buitoni Trust. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Buniatshvili". BBC. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Buniatishvili". Verbier Festival. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Radio 3 announces new raft of young musicians joining New Generation Artists scheme". BBC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Buniatishvili". Cami Music. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "New Sony signing - Khatia Buniatishvili". Gramophone UK. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Buniatishili". The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Bunistishvili". Musical Olympus Foundation. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Hymns and Prayers". Marbeck's New Zealand. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- YouTube "Khatia Buniatishvili Performs Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, 2nd mvmt"
- YouTube "Khatia Buniatishvili Performs Liszt's Mephisto Waltz"
- YouTube "Khatia Buniatishvili and Nicolas Angelich Perform Brahms' Hungarian Dance No.1"
- YouTube "Khatia Buniatishvili Performs Beethoven's Appassionata"
- YouTube "Khatia Buniatishvili Performs Haydn's Sonata No.33 live at the Rubinstein Competition"
- Haggai Hitron (Haaretz) "Rubinstein Piano Competition / A truly impressive artist"
- Haggai Hitron (Haaretz) "Rubinstein Piano Competition / The Georgian is still intoxicating"