Tbilisi International Piano Competition

The First Tbilisi International Piano Competition was held between 5-18 October, 1997 in Tbilisi. 47 contestants from 16 countries took part in the competition. Drawing of lots at the Foyer of the Conservatoire Grand Hall and the festive Opening Ceremony of the competition at the Conservatoire Grand Hall was held on October 5. The finalists at the 4th Round were accompanied by the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, conductor – Yuri Kochnev (Russia). The Closing and Awarding Ceremony & Prizewinners’ Gala Concert took place on October 18 at the Centre of Music and Culture. 


The Grand Hall of the Conservatoire was built between 1938 – 1941. The festive inauguration of the Hall (after its reconstruction; architect Sh. Tavadze took place on January 28, 1942. Since then the Hall has become one of the significant centers of concert life of Tbilisi. In different years outstanding Georgian and foreign musicians appeared on its stage. Among them are: V. Ferero, S. Richter, D. Oistrach, E. Gilels, L. Kogan, G. Neighaus, M. Rostropovich, E. Obraztsova, N. Gutman, L. Leonskaia, A. Virsaladze, D. Andghuladze, N. Andghuladze, T. Amirejibi, E. Virsaladze, L. Isakadze and many others. Since early 60s the traditions of guest musicians’ tours has been restored that was caused by “warming” of political situation in Georgian. In 1963 the three manual and fourty register “Alexander Schuke Potsdam” organ was installed in the Grand Hall. In the 80s during the political and economical crisis in Georgia the Hall stopped its functioning. In the second half of 90s the restoration of the Hall began under the initiative of Prof. Manana Doijashvili, the rector of the Conservatoire at the time. Since 1997 the Hall again has turned into the major cultural centre of the capital. It seats an audience of 500 and has superb acoustic qualities providing the facilities for chamber music and symphony concerts. Its revolving stage and pit for orchestra allow opera performances. The Hall prides itself on two “Steinway & Sons” concert grand pianos. Besides it has digital audio-recording studio facilities which meet all modern international standards. 
Since 1997 the Grand Hall has hosted annual international festival, New Year Music Celebrations, which features concerts of outstanding contemporary musicians, The Grand Hall, also, hosts various concerts of classical and folk music, International Symposia on Traditional Polyphony and cultural events like the Georgian Competition of Musician-Performers and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition. 


Revaz Laghidze  

Revaz Laghidze (1921-1981) - a composer, People’s Artist of Georgia, the Sh. Rustaveli and the State Prize Winner. He graduated from the composition class of Tbilisi State Conservatoire under Prof. Anton Balanchivadze in 1948. Revaz Laghidze has worked in several genres. He is the author of the opera “Lela”, a symphonic poem “For Motherland”, a symphonic picture “Wrestling”, a number of musical comedies, cantatas, songs for a soloist and chorus, instrumental chamber music, etc. Music for films occupies a particular place in his creative work. His songs for films have truly made him a people’s composer. “The Song of Tbilisi” has become a musical emblem of Tbilisi. 
 “Rondo-Toccata”,  the obligatory work for competitors,  was composed in 1957. It has been arranged for piano by Prof. Tengiz Amirejibi. Prof. G. Kavtaradze is its first performer.







Ulugbek Palvanov  (Uzbekistan)   was awarded Grand-Prix US$10 000
- The Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection award for the best performance in the Semifinal: “Muse” – a figure in gilt bronze.

Marina Nadiradze (Georgia) was awarded Second Prize US $ 5 000
- A year’s 3 000 lari - Intellect Bank scholarship to the best Georgian performer. 

Valerian Shiukashvili (Georgia) was awarded Third Prize US $ 3 000
- The Georgian Composers’ Union Award for the best performance of a Georgian composer’s work - US $ 500 

Daria Rabotkina (Russia) was awarded Fourth Prize US $ 2 000
- The “Classica” LTD. for the best performance of a classical sonata in the second round: Award “Harmony” – a composition in marble and  gold. 
- Prize of New-York University Summer Piano Institute at Suny New Paltz from V. Feltsman to the Youngest Pianist.

Ketevan Badridze (Georgia) - Semifinalist - was awarded The Tbilisi Municipality Award for the artistic aptitude: “Magic Note” – a composition in bronze. 

All semifinalists were awarded Honorary Diplomas. 
The Tbilisi State conservatoire Grand Hall Prize - to all semifinalists – CDs with the recording of the 3rd Round Performance. 

Zurab zhvania – Chairman of the parliament of Georgia
Niko Lekishvili – State Minister of Georgia
H.E. Mr. Levon Khachatrian – Ambassador of Armenia
H.E. Mr. Hadjan Hadjiev – Ambassador of Azerbaijan
H.E. Mr. Li Jingxian – Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China
H.E. Mr. Bernard Fassier – Ambassador of France
H.E. Mr. Norbert Baas – Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
H.E. Mr. Tassos Kriekouis – Ambassador of Greece
H.E. Mrs. Lili Haham – Ambassador of Israel
H.E. Mr. Felix Stanevsky – Ambassador of the Russian Federation
H.E. Mr. Tevfik Ufuk Okyayuz – Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey 
H.E. Mr. Anatoli Kasianenko – Ambassador of Ukraine
H.E. Mr. Stephen Thomas Nash – Ambassador of the United Kingdom 
H.E. Mr. Willian Cortney – Ambassador of the USA


  • Joint-Stock Company „Aragvi Corporation”. 
  • AT&T
  • Joint-Stock Company “EXPO-GEORGIA”. 
  • LTD. “Georgian-Austrian Joint Venture”. 
  • Air Georgia
  • Georgian Airlines
  • “OQSINO”. 
  • Open Society “Georgia Foundation”. 
  • The E. Shevardnadze “Democracy and Revival” Foundation.

Left to Right:

  1. Ulugbek PALVANOV (Uzbekistan, Grand Prix)
  2. Marina NADIRADZE (Georgia, II Prize)
  3. Manana DOIJASHVILI 
  4. Daria RABOTKINA (Russia, IV Prize)
  5. Valerian SHIUKASHVILI (Georgia, III Prize)
  6. Riu MIYATA (Japan, VI Prize)
  7. Nino GUREVICH (Georgia V Prize)


Left to right: 

  1. Giorgi Jordania (executive secretary of the jury)
  2. Svetlana Navasardyan (Armenia)
  3. Mikhail Voskresensky (Russia)
  4. Hamish Milne (Great Britain)
  5. Hanz Fazzari (Italy)
  6. Eter Andjaparidze (Georgia)
  7. Pharkhad Badalbeily (Azerbaijan)
  8. Mark Malkovich, III (USA)
  9. Eliso Virsaladze (Georgia)
  10. Arie Vardi (Israel)
  11. Natalia Tsintsadze (Uzbekistan)
  12. Franz Massinger (Germany)


JOHN MALKOVICH III (USA) -  I’m mostly impressed by the brilliant organization of the Competition, which is not only well-organised but possesses a kind of appeal. There are many people who can settle organizational-administrative questions of the competition, but only few can, manage to create the favourable atmosphere which was at the competition. The big role in this belongs to the founder and artistic director of the competition Prof.Manana Doijashvili.

ARIE VARDI (Israel)-  I’ve been deeply impressed by the Georgian audience. It doesn’t mean at all that I don’t like the pianists, who take part in the Competition. They are really good! But to see constantly the Hall packed through all stages of the competition with young people, having such high culture of listening and perception- was really a miracle for me! It is not a “dry” competition, but a series of concerts, where the main judge - is the audience.

HAMISH MILNE (Great Britain)- In my opinion, carrying out the Competition of this kind is a great success in the cultural life of your country. The organization of the first competition on such a high level is a guarantee of future success. I sincerely hope that in the future the Tbilisi International Piano Competition will get more perfect form and will turn into one of the most prestigious international forums.

HANZ  FAZZARI (Italy)- I would like to express my deep admiration for the people of Georgia and the country, for the spirituality that reigned in the Hall. The organizational part of the Competition is immensely high.

SVETLANA NAVASARDYAN (Armenia)- The general standard of the competition is rather high. My sincere congratulations on the brilliant undertaking. I am completely sure that the Competition has a long-lasting life. As to the Competition- it is perfectly organized to say nothing about amazing atmosphere.The audience at the competition is very attentive, interested and above all sympathetic to all contestants.

FRANZ  MASSINGER (Germany)- The organizational matters  have been perfectly solved, The level of the contestants is very high. I’ve been greatly surprised by the level of studies at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire, which has been proved by the level of the contestants.

PHARKHAD BADALBEILY (Azerbaijan) - The common level of the First Tbilisi International Piano Competition is rather high. The team of the young Georgian pianists, taking part in the competition, is rather strong and differs in variety.

MILHAIL VOSKRESENSKY (Russia - I’ll be short. The First Tbilisi International Piano Competition completely meets the requirements of the international competitions.

LEONID GAKKEL (Russia) - I am really pleased with the organization of the competition- it is on a very high level, The Jury worked amicably and what is more important it taught a lesson of objectivity and unselfishness, gave  a remarkable lesson of “fair-play”. The most unusual thing that struck me was a crowd of young people in the doorway  of “classical competition”.

Sixth Prize Riu Miyata, Japan

Fifth Prize, Nino Gurevich, Georgia

Fourth Prize, Daria Rabotkina, Russia

Third Prize, Valerian Shiukashvili, Georgia

Third Prize, Valerian Shiukashvili, Georgia

Second Prize, Marina Nadiradze, Georgia

Grand-Prix, Ulugbek Palvanov, Uzbekistan