On Sunday night, the inaugural Tsinandali Festival of Classical Music opened with a dazzling performance by the Pan Caucasian Youth Orchestra before a packed audience, which included the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili. With maestro Gianandrea Noseda conducting, the PCYO gave a moving rendition of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, crowned by the powerful solo performances by two stars of the contemporary opera stage, Ying Fang and Ketevan Kemoklidze.
Since mid-August, members of the Pan Caucasian Youth Orchestra had been rehearsing for this moment at the newly opened Park Hotel, Tsinandali. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the 80 talented young musicians from across the Caucasus and its neighbouring regions at a press conference unveiling the new hotel last week. Since arriving at the Estate, they have been receiving tuition from a team of expert coaches under the guidance of Gianandrea Noseda, the Festival’s music director, and Claudio Vandelli, director of the PCYO and the Festival’s deputy music director.
This Pan-Caucasian collaboration is a symbol of what we want to achieve at Tsinandali. The orchestra demonstrates the power of music to promote cooperation between people and build bridges between nations. This philosophy is very close to my heart and it was wonderful to see them take the stage in the Tsinandali amphitheatre.
Years of preparation have made this moment possible. Since assuming patronage of the Tsinandali Estate more than a decade ago, Silk Road Group has led its restoration, with our Radisson Collection Hotel now welcoming guests to experience its beauty. Over the next two weeks, the Estate and its grounds will provide the perfect backdrop to an incredible line-up of Georgian and international classical music stars: from Lisa Batiashvili to George Li, and from Gabor Takacs-Nagy to Sir Andras Schiff, the list goes on.
The team has worked tirelessly to ensure the correct infrastructure is in place to support the Festival and its educational initiatives. The Park Hotel is a key component. The new 70-room hotel on the Estate is uniquely equipped with musical instruments and an entire floor dedicated to rehearsal spaces. During the Festival, the hotel will be reserved for use by participants, including members of the Pan Caucasian Youth Orchestra and the Tsinandali Festival Academy, and will also play host to masterclasses by international stars.
I look forward to meeting and welcoming musicians and classical music fans from all over the world over the next fortnight, and to sharing the joy of the Tsinandali Festival.