For Yerkin Tatishev, Chairman of Kusto Group and co-founder of the event, the Tsinandali Festival is more than a classical music festival, it represents an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity through the universal language of music.

Georgia’s modern-day renaissance continues with the inaugural Tsinandali Festival which will begin with an opening concert on September 8, 2019. This highly anticipated classical music festival is set to take place in Kakheti, the heart of Georgia’s wine country.

The Tsinandali Festival: From vision to reality
The inspiration for the festival originated between businessmen and friends George Ramishvili, Chairman of the Silk Road Group, and Yerkin Tatishev, the Chairman and founder of Kusto Group. Their energy and enthusiasm for the event motivated Martin Engstroem and Avi Shoshani, Secretary General of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, who together established the world-renowned Verbier Festival held annually in Verbier, Switzerland to get involved in the project.

According to Daniel Kunin, Managing Director of Kusto Group, "The Tsinandali Festival is a remarkable achievement and having seen firsthand the work that has gone into making it a reality, I know the founders and organizers will be feeling immense pride at the culmination of their hard work is realized at the opening of this inaugural event."

The Tsinandali Festival will bring together award-winning conductors and accomplished musicians from around the world. Talented artists whose resumes include performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, and many other prestigious musical ensembles will perform throughout the 15-day festival and mentor young musicians as part of the festival’s educational initiative.

Showcasing and fostering young talent
The classical music festival will feature the first-ever Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra (PYCO) a unique ensemble of talented musicians from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Ukraine. The musicians participating in the PYCO were selected through a rigorous audition process. The orchestra represents the finest talent from across the Caucasus region.

They will participate in a six-week training and performance program led by the top musicians, instructors and conductors from around the world. They will perform a diverse repertoire throughout the Tsinandali Festival which will include the likes of Beethoven, Berlioz, Mahler, Shostakovich and more.

Tsinandali co-founder Martin Engstroem recently said that he hopes that by, “creating a Pan-Caucasian youth orchestra to be our orchestra in residence, the event will become a forum for the young to work together and exchange points of view and that it will send some good signals to the region.”

In addition to the Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra, a specially created Tsinandali Festival Academy (TSA) will take place during the festival, providing young musicians with the exceptional opportunity to learn from masters of the arts.

The Verbier Chamber Orchestra will delight audiences with their multiple performances during the Tsinandali Festival. These musicians are alumni of the training program of the world-famous Verbier Festival and now perform as members of some of the most distinguished symphony orchestras around the world.

According to Tsinandali co-founder Yerkin Tatishev, “This continues the Festival’s core themes of promoting and teaching young musicians, opening career paths for musicians to the participants of the PCYO and the Tsinandali Festival Academy.”

In addition to these featured symphony orchestras, the Tsinandali Festival program will include a rich and diverse selection of solo pianists, violists and cellists along with operatic performances, theatre choruses and even a production of the Georgian National Ballet.

Leading the inaugural Tsinandali Festival as its music director will be one of the world’s most sought-after conductors, Gianandrea Noseda. He is a prolific conductor who has performed with some of the world’s most significant orchestras and at noteworthy operas from the Berlin Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House. Noseda is currently the Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. His wealth of knowledge and masterful direction is sure to elevate the experience of the artists performing at the festival.

A celebration of transnational unity in the Caucuses
The backdrop for the Tsinandali Festival will be the picturesque, beautifully restored Tsinandali Estate. Once the home of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, known as the ‘Father of Georgian Romanticism’, the estate represents a marriage between European and Georgian design with its magnificent architecture and romantic gardens.

It was on the historic Tsinandali Estate that Georgian wine was first produced and today, those wines are once again flowing with the full restoration of the estate’s vineyard. A $12m investment in the restoration of the estate was accomplished through a joint project between the Silk Road Group and the Smithsonian Institute.

An outdoor 1200-seat amphitheater and a 600-seat Chamber Music Hall built were built on the grounds to accommodate the festival. The amphitheater boasts modern architecture and acoustics and is fitted with a retractable roof. The complex also included a new festival hotel for the Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra and Tsinandali Festival Academy, providing them with accommodations, classrooms and facilities for rehearsal.

The Caucuses region and surrounding countries have for centuries served as a miniature stage for broader regional conflicts with continuous tensions felt between nations and cultures. The founders of the Tsinandali Festival hope that the event will “provide a forum for intercultural dialogue, acting as a metaphor for the power of divided communities to work together meaningfully.”

Tatishev, who has watched as his vision for the event will now become a reality, spoke encouragingly about the future of the event saying, “I have no doubt that the festival will grow from strength to strength in the coming years, establishing itself as a 'must-attend' on the classical music calendar.”

At the Tsinandali Festival, music provides a common language bringing people from around the world together. The versatility of music is its power to entertain, to educate and to inspire us to be greater versions of ourselves. The Tsinandali Festival is sure to be a beautiful expression of culture and humanitarianism – delivering hope and optimism while celebrating transnational unity in the Caucasus.

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