Blogcritics: Pianist-Composer and Honens Winner Nicolas Namoradze on His Carnegie Hall Debut

Jon Sobel

Fresh off winning Canada’s 2018 Honens International Piano Competition, New York-based pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze will be making his Carnegie Hall debut Feb 10. Concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, and other international venues are also upcoming, along with recordings on the Honens and Hyperion labels.

The Honens prize, a triennial award considered one of the classical music world’s most prestigious, includes a robust artist development program as well as prize money. Namoradze emerged victorious from a field of 50 quarterfinalists.

He was kind enough to speak with us about his background, musicianship, and composing.

You were born in Georgia (the country) but grew up in Budapest. You’ve said Hungarian composers have influenced you, and so has Georgian folk music. How so?

My interest in Georgian folk music was, interestingly enough, partly a result of my time at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, where ethnomusicology was a mandatory subject: studying the relationship between Bartók and Hungarian folk music made me look at Georgian folk music in a different light, and later on it began influencing my own compositional style. As for Hungarian composers, perhaps Ligeti has had the greatest impact — I’m fascinated by his oeuvre, so much so that my doctoral dissertation is about his late piano etudes!

Read more of the interview here.