Khatia Buniatishvili – the icon of a new generation of pianists, a force of nature who captivates the public with her virtuosity and temperament. Khatia is a laureate of the “Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award” and “Echo Klassik Award” as well as “The Best Musician of 2016 in Europe”, according to the French TV channel TF1. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Khatia Buniatishvili began her musical career at the age of three and is currently an international figure with a spectacular stage presence for which she has been dubbed the “Beyoncé of the piano.” She mainly follows the pianists of an older generation, such as Serguei Rakhmaninov, Sviatoslav Richter, Glenn Gould and Martha Argerich, her favourite pianist. A day before her concert in Andorra, she told all-andorra.com what inspires her both in life and in music.
“I was born when the political situation in my country was very tough. Thanks to my parents, I started learning languages when I was a child (Khatia is fluent in five languages). I can’t even imagine how, in the conditions of total chaos and poverty in the 1990s, they could not only feed us but also manage to give us a good education. It’s a mystery. But I have so much admiration for them.
Learning foreign languages gave me the freedom and independence to do what I wanted. This is a huge asset that allows me to read my favourite writers—among them Thomas Mann, Dostoevsky and Chekhov—in the original. In their books, I always find something new and important to me. And I always try to find a minimum of half of an hour every day to read books, usually before I go to sleep.
One of the inspirational factors of my life is sport. When I am in Paris, I run three times a week or even every day, but it does not happen so often. It is very important; sport helps me mentally. It’s not only about looking good. The main thing is mental strength. I started to run, and I wanted to run because it’s difficult. I must do something that I don’t want to do sometimes. The purpose is to create contradictions to my desires. It’s a huge mental work out.
However, I do not run during my tours. I prefer to save my energy, which I spend while running. I need this “animal energy” on stage and running uses a lot of it up.
When I’m on stage, my only wish is to be united with people and forget the importance of my individuality. It brings me closer to people, helping me to feel their energy. We are in the same position when silent and when listening to something together. Symbolically it’s an important moment—that we can listen to each other. It’s not about listening to me; it’s about listening to the music of human creativity. I produce sounds, but at the same time, I listen to them without any narcissism or sweetness. I just want to be a part of everybody and to transform what a composer says to how they feel it.
For tomorrow I have prepared a repertoire with pieces by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Liszt. For the first section I always try to choose something more serious, it’s something like a theatre piece where a part of myself dies on a stage.
The second part usually has a lot of variety and is dynamic. It allows us to discover new colours in music and touches our imagination. It is more for fun.
I like the contrast between the two parts of the concert. Different music and different performances allow us to share different energies.”