12 December 2019
“4 Young Pianists Play at Paris Christmas Gala Concert”
“The Christmas gala concert of the International Foundation ‘SOS Talents' was held at the Marcel Dassault Palace in Paris, at the Champs-Élysées, on December 5, with the participation of eight laureates from different countries.
Four young piano talents from Georgia, Barbare Tataradze, Ilia Lomtatidze, Barbare Chkhaidze and Liza Megrelishvili from Kutaisi, the latter the youngest performer at the concert at age 10, took part in the gala concert with the initiative and support of prominent Georgian pianist Eliso Bolkvadze.
The event was traditionally held with the support of Marcel Dassault family and Dassault Industrial Company. This year, the Concert was dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Nicole Dassault.
The invited public had an opportunity to enjoy the performances of young and well-known virtuoso pianists of different nationalities who are laureates of the SOS Talents Foundation.
Annually, the Champs-Élysées 19th century palace and its owner, the Dassault family of entrepreneurs, exclusively hosts a gala concert of the talents of the Foundation. The Foundation ‘SOS Talents' was founded in 2000 by internationally acclaimed French musician and methodologist Michel Sogny. The main purpose of the Fund is to support young, talented musicians and to present them on the international stage.
Michel Sogny talks about the gala concert held in Paris and the the work of the SOS Talents Foundation:
How was the 2019 Christmas gala concert?
The gala concert was traditionally glorious and full of emotions. I remember the words of Mrs. Nicole Dassault, who founded this exclusive gala concert 18 years ago. In my opinion, the evening of December 5 was particularly successful and because it was dedicated to that great lady, Nicole Dassault, who passed away this year, the traditional concert had an extra level of overwhelming emotion.
What does it mean for young talent to participate in such concerts?
It is a great privilege and opportunity for young pianists to attend such a prestigious concert, especially given their age. The young talent are presented to important listeners, as well as musicians, journalists and public figures. Attendance at their concerts is hard to achieve in Paris.The initiative of the Dassault family is a wonderful platform for my foundation and allows society to discover the musicians of the future individually.
Four Georgian participants took part in the gala concert this year, what about their future prospects?
They are the third generation from Georgia for me, and like the previous generations, they are of the highest level. 16-year-old Ilia Lomtatidze and Barbara Tataradze, who have been mastering my innovative piano system since age 8, have achieved great results.
Lisa, at 10, is already showing extraordinary potential, which gives us reason to assume that she has the perfect way forward. I would also like to emphasize the extraordinary progress and impressive performance of Barbara Chkhaidze.
What are your plans related to Georgia and Georgian young talent?
I never know in advance: life shows the way. I visit Batumi International Festival every year and I am always happy to discover new talent there. My main criterion for selecting young musicians is always their natural connection to music and the potential for future development that I can instantly feel when listening to them.
Tell us about the music teachers who work so hard in Georgia and help their students to reach such heights.
I work in harmony with some Georgian teachers and they have adopted my methodology. Some of them make an effort to realize the rapid development of children in both technical field and improvement of musical phrasing. Accordingly, they are involved in the process and consider my advice. It is important for the teacher to feel responsibility and try to understand and embrace a new approach unfamiliar to them. We then get extraordinary results.
What role does the Batumi Festival or Gala Concert in Batumi play in Georgian-French cultural relations?
Cultural relations between different countries are always very interesting, because other cultures always bring benefits. What fascinated me in Georgia is the great interest in culture. Whether it’s music, visual arts, sculpture, or dance. You have a very interesting cultural background and you have interesting artists. It is good to discover all these. And let’s not forget that France has long been an inevitable destination for artists. Chopin left Poland and came to Paris, Liszt left Hungary and moved to Paris, Mozart also visited Paris with his mother to give concerts and so on. There was a time when coming to Paris was inevitable. It is not the same today, but the heritage of this culture still exists. France is still a country where an artist can successfully launch a career. This is the creative trajectory of the famous Georgian pianist UNESCO Peace Artist Eliso Bolkvadze. I listened to her performance at the Marguerite Long competition in Paris, and immediately invited her to Villa Schindler in Austria, where her creative career reached the top.
Eliso Bolkvadze plays an important role in the development of Georgian-French culture and does a great job along with your Foundation for Georgian children. When did you meet and how did this collaboration start?
When I met her, she was 25-26 years old and was filled with Georgian culture. She soon adopted the European way of life, but never left her homeland. I am proud that Eliso is the first Georgian UNESCO Artist of Peace, which is very interesting for cultural relations between Georgia and Europe.
What are your plans about Georgia and when do you plan to go there next?
I love Georgia very much, I love coming to Georgia. I am amazed by the warmth of the Georgian people. I have seen Georgia in a very difficult time, when there was no electricity … and when Eliso introduced me to this country, which was in such trouble, I told myself that I had to do something to help. I began to implement this idea through music and created the SOS Talents Foundation, which raised many Georgian successful stars and introduced them to the world.”