George Vatchnadze



George Vatchnadze has appeared with orchestras and in recitals throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Israel, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, as well as Central and South America. He has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Maggio Musicale Festival, Stresa Festival, Gilmore Festival, Ravenna Festival, Hollywood Bowl Festival, Ravinia Festival, Philips Gergiev Festival, White Nights Festival and Mikkeli Festival. He has appeared in London’s Wigmore Hall and Covent Garden, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Great Hall and others. In 1997 Mr. Vatchnadze made a sensational recital debut at the Edinburgh International Music Festival and received the “Herald Angel Award” presented by the “Scottish Herald” newspaper. He has appeared on live broadcasts of the Dutch National Radio, BBC and NPR’s “Performance Today”. In 1999 Mr. Vatchnadze made his New York recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Critic and writer Faubion Bowers wrote in American Record Guide: “Vatchnadze is a consummate artist, now at the height of his musical and intellectual powers. He can do absolutely anything he wants at the piano. He commands delicate pianissimi, massive diapasons and everything in between”. His recent engagements include appearances at the Osaka Symphony Hall with Japan Century orchestra, Great Philharmonic Hall and Mariinsky Piano festival in St. Petersburg, Stravisnky and Shostakovich Festivals in Washington DC, Woodstock Festival (NY), Stanford Stravinsky Festival, Pacific Symphony Rachmaninoff Festival, SYArts Festival in Taiwan, performances in Japan, Georgia, Italy, and others. He has collaborated with prominent conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedosseev, Paavo Jarvi, Norichika Iimori, Jansug Kakhidze, Gianandrea Noseda, and others.

Mr. Vatchnadze recorded Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 and Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Jansug Kakhidze (Sony Classical). The recordings have been reissued several times and received the highest critical acclaim. His other releases include the recording of Prokofiev Sonatas (Triton, Japan) and Gia Kancheli’ 33 Miniatures for Piano (Piano Classics, Netherlands). Mr. Vatchadze’s laatest recording of the live performance of Rachmaninoff Piano concerto no.3 at the Osaka Symphony Hall has been released in 2022 on Audiophile Society label. It has recently recieved the LA Audiophile Society recording of the year award.

George Vatchnadze studied at the Tbilisi Central Music School for Gifted Children and the Tbilisi State Conservatoire where his teacher was Professor Wanda Shiukashvili, one of the patriarchs of Georgian piano school. In 1990, Mr. Varchnadze moved to the United States where he continued his studies at Mannes College of Music in New York, at Arkady Aronov’s studio. In 1992, he joined the newly established studio of the great Georgian American pianist Alexander (Lexo) Toradze at Indiana University South Bend. Studies and working collaboration with Lexo played a decisive role in Mr. Vatchnadze’s carrier as performer and teacher. In 1993, he became Toradze’s assistant and then went on to win numerous international piano competitions including the 1994 Gina Bachauer Competition, the 1998 Palm Beach Invitational Competition, the 1996 Alabama Competition, and the 1997 World Piano Competition.

Mr. Vatchnadze has been on faculties of DePaul University, Michigan State University, and Indiana University. Throughout his teaching career, his students have won top prizes at numerous international competitions and have performed extensively throughout the world. Mr. Vatchnadze is a founder and artistic director of the Villa Sandra International Piano Academy in Lesa (Lago Maggiore), Italy.

In March of 2024, he was elected rector of Tbilisi State Conservatory.