Lisa Batiashvili, the 35-year-old Georgian violinist who is this season’s artist in residence with the New York Philharmonic and will perform Barber’s Violin Concerto with that orchestra this week, is an eloquent musician. In concert and on award-winning recordings, she has captivated critics and audiences with her natural elegance, silky sound and the meticulous grace of her articulation. There is a laserlike directness to her playing that enables her to transmit concentrated emotions without a trace of affectation or theatrics: the musical equivalent to laparoscopic surgery.
In conversation, Ms. Batiashvili exhibits many of the same qualities. Soft-spoken but determined, she speaks as openly about the political responsibilities of an artist as she does about her personal relationship to Bach’s music — the subject of her latest recording and of coming performances with the Philharmonic — and the unhealthy obsession of the violin world with the instruments of Antonio Stradivari…
Ms. Batiashvili said it took time and experimentation for her to feel ready to record Bach. When she did, she said, “something spiritual happened to me — people are religious or not, but Bach makes you believe in something for sure.
~ Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim on Lisa Batiashvili on Violins, Ukraine and Valery Gergiev
Lisa Batiashvili, 35, is a Georgian violinist, the daughter of a violinist father and a pianist mother. Her father was her first teacher from age 4. In 1995, she was a prize winner in the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. Batiashvili and her oboist husband François Leleux, reside in France with their two children. She plays the 1709 Engleman Stradivarius on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.