June 21, 1987 |
Khatia Buniatishvili began studying piano under her mother at age three. Her extraordinary talent was recognized when she was very young, and she gave her first concert with the Chamber Orchestra in Tbilisi at the age of six. From the age of ten she was invited to give concerts in Switzerland, Georgia, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Monaco, Italy, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Israel and the USA. Buniatishvili graduated from the Tbilisi Central Music School, then entered Tbilisi State Conservatory in 2004 (Prof. Tengiz Amirejibi).
Khatia prefers not to be regarded as a child prodigy: virtuosity for its own sake does not appeal to her. Above all, she embraces pianists from earlier generations such as Rachmaninoff, Richter and Gould. She admires her “favourite pianist”, Martha Argerich, for her uniqueness and, as a consequence, does not view Argerich as someone she should try to emulate. Her warm, sometimes sorrowful playing may reflect a close proximity to Georgian folk-music, which, she attests, has greatly influenced her musicality.
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.
Khatia Buniatishvili has been invited to play with, among other orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France under Daniele Gatti and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. She can also often be heard in performances of chamber music: in a trio with Gidon Kremer, with Renaud Capuçon or also with her sister Gvantsa.
In 2010 Khatia received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award  and was included in the BBC series New Generation Artists. The Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus nominated her as Rising Star for the 2011–12 season, and in 2012 she was awarded Best Newcomer of the Year in the Echo Klassik awards.
Her debut album for Sony Classical marked Liszt’s 200th anniversary, and included his Sonata in B minor, Liebestraum No 3, La Campanella, Hungarian Rhapsody No 2, and Mephisto Waltz. The album was highly praised by critics, with Classic FM noting "Buniatishvili is a young artist with a huge temperament and technique that puts one in mind of the young Martha Argerich."  This was followed by an album devoted to Chopin, combining solo piano works with Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, accompanied by the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi. The Guardian reported "This is playing straight from the heart from one of today's most exciting and technically gifted young pianists." 2014 saw the release of Khatia's third album on Sony Classical, titled Motherland. Rather than being devoted to one particular composer as her previous albums were, Motherland is a personal album that brings together pieces that have Khatia's life, including music from her homeland Georgia. Khatia decided to devote the album to her mother, Natalie Buniatishvili.
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."
- 2011 - Franz Liszt  Solo Piano album (Sony Classical)
- 2014 - Motherland  Solo Piano album (Sony Classical)
- "Echo Klassik: Newcomer of the Year 2012".
- "Khatia Buniatishvili Biography". Official Website. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Borletti-Buitoni Trust: Khatia Buniatishvili Biography".
- "Borletti-Buitoni Trust: Khatia Buniatishvili Biography". Borletti-Buitoni Trust.
- "Khatia Buniatishvili Official Biography". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Khatia Buniatshvili". BBC. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Buniatishvili". Verbier Festival. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Buniatishvili Concert Schedule". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Borletti-Buitoni Trust - Khatia Buniatishvili". BBT website. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist 2009 - 2011". BBC Radio 3 website.
- "Echo Klassik Newcomer of the Year 2012". Echo Klassik.
- "Khatia Buniatishvili Chopin Album". Sony Music Website.
- Nicholas, Jeremy. "A name to remember". Classic FM Music Magazine.
- Pritchard, Stephen. "Khatia Buniatishvili: Chopin – review". The Guardian.
- "Motherland Album". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Khatia Buniatishili". The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Khatia Bunistishvili". Musical Olympus Foundation. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Borletti-Buitoni Trust". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "'Franz Liszt' Album Information".
- "'Chopin' Album Information".
- "'Motherland' Album Information".