Three-Day Multicolored Music Festival: A Precious Gift from the German Embassy

On July 9-11, the three-day international music festival ‘Youth for Classics in the Caucasus’ was held at Royal District Theater, under the patronage of Tbilisi City Mayor Davit Narmania and with the financial support of the German Embassy in Georgia.

The series of the concert comprised classical music, soundtracks, and the folklore evening of ‘Lasharela’ led by Giorgi Ushukishvili.

The festival was opened by a classical music concert performed by the Ibbenburen Youth Symphonic Orchestra and Caucasus Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Uwe Berkemer, German composer, pianist and conductor. The two-part concert comprised: Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Te Deum H 146, Prelude, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet concerto in E-flat major, Camille Saint-Saens’s Allegro Appassionato op.43 for cello and orchestra, Mozart’s Andante for Flute and Orchestra in C, K. 315, Gabriel Faure’s Pavane, op.50. The first part concluded with Uwe Berkemer’s piece ‘Mary’s guide to the orchestra’, dedicated to his 6-year-old daughter, who also plays in the Orchestra. In the second part, Mariam Obolashvili, violin, and Rezi Khaindrava, cello, virtuously played with the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra and Berkemer. The first performed Vivaldi’s La Quatro Staggione L’Estate (summer), Op. 8, and the second - Allesandro Marcello’s Adagio for cello and string orchestra from Oboe concerto, cello part after Johann S. Bach’s transcription. Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony po.4 – Boisterous Bouree concluded the pleasant evening.

“I would like to thank Davit Narmania, Mayor of Tbilisi, Merab Tavadze who gave us use of this magnificent hall, and Nikoloz Rachveli, who lent us the instruments and last but not least, the German Embassy,” Berkemer said, adding that the idea of the festival was to bring the young people from Germany and combine them with young people from Georgia. “Everything happens under the leadership of Caucasian Chamber Orchestra, which worked until 2008 in Tbilisi. After the war, it was not possible to continue our work and now we play more often in Europe. We want to show the main idea of the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra, a symbol of mutual understanding, and to use music as a universal language. We also want to show this very important message to young people as they are our future.”

“The Caucasian Chamber Orchestra was founded in 2005. However, sadly, due to the 2008 war, the unity was destroyed when the funding ceased,” said Ketevan Chepkhodze, assistant-manager of the project. “Aside from Georgians and German youth under the age of 20, the representatives of other Caucasian countries also participate. They work and rehearse together, uniting cultures. We try to give an annual character to this festival and also to hold exchange programs to enable Georgians to visit Germany, too”.

“The orchestra has several years of history,” Vazha Azarashvili, well-known Georgian composer, told GEORGIA TODAY. “When I marked my 70th anniversary at Tbilisi Concert Hall, it was performed by the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Uwe Berkemer. He is a very high-level musician and a great personality who is in love with Georgia and has a Georgian wife. It is a pleasure to have him here!”

“Apart from the Georgian music, Armenian and Azerbaijanian music is also performed by the Orchestra. I believe that such a musical festival is very important for our cultural life and for our bilateral relations in July, when almost all the cultural activities are accumulated in the resorts,“ Nikoloz Rachveli, virtuoso pianist, composer and conductor, said.

The Caucasian Chamber Orchestra has had successful performances on such prestigious stages as Konzerthaus Berlin, Hofburg Wien, ‘Dome des Invalides’ Paris, Grand Hall of Conservatory Brussels, and ‘Palau Valencia’. It has accepted several invitations to play in the European Parliament Brussels and European Council, Strasbourg. In June 2007, a 90-minute documentary movie ‘Grozny Dreaming’ was shot about the Orchestra and its vision. It was awarded with the First Prize at the International Film Festival Verona – Lessinia.

In March 2016, the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra celebrated a special Jubilee Tour in Europe to mark its 10th anniversary. On July 12, 2017, following the ‘Youth for Classics in the Caucasus’ international festival, the Orchestra went to Batumi to hold a workshop.

Maka Lomadze

13 July 2017 17:27