New York Philharmonic’s artist in residence speaks out about post-Soviet Russia

Posted on: October 8, 2014

“This week, the violinist Lisa Batiashvili begins a season-long residency with the New York Philharmonic,” writes Brian Wise on Wednesday (10/8) at WQXR’s blog. “Not represented on the series—at least not on paper—is Batiashvili’s ongoing interest in the Soviet and post-Soviet experience.” Batiashvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and her family moved to Munich, Germany when she was 11. “On August 31 she co-led a concert for peace in Helsinki, in which she delivered a brief but fervent speech about Russian aggression.… Days later, Batiashvili performed as part of the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s Gergiev Festival, an annual homage to Valery Gergiev, the Dutch orchestra’s Russian chief conductor.” Wise asks Batiashvili about Requiem for Ukraine by Georgian composer Igor Loboda, a solo encore she performed at the Gergiev Festival. “Requiem for Ukraine is an expression of the solidarity for this country…. They are in big trouble and my country Georgia has had to go through a similar time, in 2008…. [The situation in Ukraine] was just so close to my heart that I could not ignore it.… Music is not something that one cannot take as an aggressive thing because it’s really the most peaceful language…. But at the same time it’s something that allows us artists to say our opinion.”

Posted October 8, 2014