Success of the Night Serenades Festival

The 11th edition of the Night Serenades Festival, one of the most outstanding musical events giving an incredible opportunity to classical music-lovers to enjoy the best compositions of the genre, was successfully completed on September 4.

These days, society is offered more commercial music than classical; commercial focusing on the better financial gain. However, the Night Serenades Festival is on the list of those few musical celebrations that are completely devoted to the classical genre and its global promotion. Its story began 37 years ago, in 1982, when prominent Georgian violinist and conductor Liana Isakadze launched the first concert within the scope of the festival in the city of Pitsunda, Abkhazia. But, due to political developments, the event was suspended for a number of years and was given a new life 11 years ago, in 2009.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Giorgi Issakadze, Creative Director of the Festival and nephew of Liana Issakadze, to gauge the success of this year’s event.

“2019 and the 11th edition of the Nights Serenades Festival has proved to be very successful indeed,” he tells us. “We launched four concerts in the incredible city of Batumi and hosted listeners in the Georgian capital at two concerts. The main concept was absolutely loved by the audiences in both cities.” Along with the diverse program of the festival, Issakadze emphasizes the warm reception the performers received from the public. “The fact the festival was attended by ordinary classical music enthusiasts as well as professionals in the field, is certainly yet another indicator of our accomplishment,” he says.

“This year, we launched a very interesting and diverse program, and gave an opportunity to guests to travel in different epochs and styles, from Baroque to romance, as well as the contemporary world music of the 20th and 21st centuries.”

The program of the five-day event boasted masterpieces of world-renowned composers, and included the Serenade of Tchaikovsky, Barber’s Adagio, and the Chamber Symphony of Shostakovich. Issakadze noted that the virtuoso orchestra managed to mesmerize the attendees of the concert in thee and also a variety of treasures from the Georgian classical music repertoire.

Issakadze tells us that cellist Jan-Erik Gustafsson took to the stage with the concerto Vaja Azarashvili, first performed by Giorgi's father- National Artist of Georgia and Professor Eldar Issakadze.

“Before the performance, Gustafsson expressed his gratitude to my father and focused on the strong influence of his recordings in the Azarashvili’s concerto, which I had sent them several weeks prior to the festival. It was certainly very emotional for all of us,” Issakadze tells us.

The program also included the humorous miniatures of Georgian Sulkhan Tsintsadze and the incomplete composition of Aleksi Matchavariani.

The September 2 concert was dedicated to the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia. The next day’s event was attended by the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, who got to enjoy the rarely performed Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, not played in Georgia for over two decades.

“This year’s Night Serenades Festival was completed by famous Georgian mezzo-soprano Nino Surguladze, who took to the stage with Manuel De Falla’s “El Amor Brujo” and offered an absolutely breathtaking performance,” says Issakadze with admiration.

2019 was also outstanding in that it was the first time in the history of the festival that performers from Kazakhstan joined the program, offering the work of Artyk Toxanbay to guests.

“It is tremendously difficult to create a tradition, but it is very easy to forget them,” Issakadze notes. “Traditions need protection and remembrance, and it is of vital importance to introduce them to youngsters to enable the next generations to preserve and love them. That is why we do our best to make it interesting to all age groups by inviting a number of excellent young performers.”

The Creative Director of the Festival also focuses on the huge work done by Maestro Vakhtang Matchavariani and Lela Mtchedlidze, who joined the orchestra and raised the bar to a sky-high level, thus contributing to the success of the event.

“The 11th edition of the Nights Serenades Festival was certainly nothing short of spectacular, as we managed to offer different moods and atmospheres to our Georgian and international guests. And I do hope this tradition continues in future,” he tells us with a smile.

By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

09 September 2019 16:20