Her ‘great career has come quite naturally, without a struggle’

Her ‘great career has come quite naturally, without a struggle’


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2015

From the website home page of the Georgian pianist, Khatia Buniatishvili. 


Khatia’s great career has come quite naturally, without a struggle. The sun has no need to move mountains to exist for it rises and shines for all.  And these are the words that spring to mind when one sees her bursting onto the stage or in life: her hair flowing, her fine figure quite the Parisian, her lips smiling, her light sylph-like steps and her feline body.  But the rose will show its thorns if it feels what it holds dear to be threatened. She won’t be made to give up a humanitarian project. She won’t be prevented from helping the country in which she was born and raised. She won’t be forced to play in a land that pours scorn on her values. She won’t have playing partners forced upon her who do not inspire human respect and great artistic admiration in equal measure. For that matter, nothing can be imposed on this young lady of the air whose wing-beats pollinate works and who sprinkles a musical cloud of golden powder to the four winds.

(c) Olivier Bellamy


  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Is that the same Olivier Bellamy who works for Radio Classique in France?

  • will says:

    Very funny!

  • will says:

    Why stop there, Mr Lebrecht?
    M.Bellamy waxes even more eloquent in the continuation of the above:

    “Franz Liszt is one of her heroes. He was the one with whom she wanted to venture first into the world of discography. Liszt is constantly pushing back the boundaries of what is possible. He innovates and is generous, bringing together popular and academic styles, the profane and sacred, nature and poetry – he transcends whatever he touches.

    Khatia Buniatishvili avoids representation and self-intellectualisation. She could very well make her own the motto of her friend Martha Agerich, “Live and let live” – she too is a Gemini. She likes the complexity of things, not complication; paradoxes, not rigid oppositions that often prove to be sterile. She is at ease creating and less interested in reaction. Stimulated by the dialogue between the arts, she breathes the oxygen of imagination and finds balance in musing.

    When it comes down to it, she remains this child fascinated with life and with beings who was already reading Dostoevsky and Chekhov at the age of nine, and for whom it was already quite clear that beauty would save the world. With no distinctions made: whatever is just will sound just and will make its own mark.

    It is in just such a way that she approaches all styles from Baroque to modern in her CD “Motherland”, to demonstrate that true music has no need of barriers and that all styles fade into the one true all-linking, all-revealing style that can be summed up in Mozart’s words: “Love, love, love, therein lies the soul of genius.”

    Khatia Buniatishvili, shining pianist at the height of her abilities, came into this world in a shower of light during the summer solstice. On a human level, she is attracted more to equinoxes, being smitten by justice and seeking day and night in equal share. By lifting one’s eyes skywards one might notice her playing hide-and-seek with either Venus or Mercury. The cosmos is her garden and it is in its movement that she feels alive, astride a comet.”

    Olivier Bellamy

  • Gary Carpenter says:

    I would guess M. Bellamy was twirling his moustache as he wrote this…

  • urania says:

    Très French….but over the hill a bit…

  • Robert Manno says:

    Buniatishvili? Just shorten it to Bun and she’s all set for greater stardom.

  • Furzwängler says:

    A more than worthy contender for inclusion in Pseuds Corner in Private Eye.

  • Eddie Mars says:

    Pass the Rennies, please, someone?

  • will says:

    Are they still made? Makes me feel very old…. but I do agree with you.

  • Holger H. says:

    “For that matter, nothing can be imposed on this young lady of the air whose wing-beats pollinate works and who sprinkles a musical cloud of golden powder to the four winds…”

    Hilarious, I think somebody had fun with language and this humorous and geniusly coded slating.

    “Young lady of the air” stands for lack of musical substance.

    “Wing beats pollinate works” is about her use of her breasts.

    “sprinkles musical cloud of golden powder to the four winds” is insinuating she urinates on the musical masterworks, figuratively speaking.

  • Stephen says:

    I’ve known Bellamy’s work from the days of “Monde de la Musique” – quite a good magazine but Bellamy was not only flowery (and floury when writing about Liszt) but also inaccurate: he rarely checked his facts.

  • Mike says:

    The epitomy of bad taste, just like her playing.

  • Marcato Sempre says:

    Khatia Buniatishvili is a thoroughly incompetent musician & pianist, to the point where she makes Lang-Lang sound like an intellectual.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    Given the illustration, I am surprised the sentence started with her great… career.

  • All Keyed Up says:

    Monsieur Bellamy belongs to that pack of male music critics who listen with their eyes.

  • John Borstlap says:

    She does not have to play anymore, reading her bio would do as well for the audience.

  • Holger H. says:

    On her website you can book “dates” with her online, and the prices are quite affordable, for a professional with her exceptional assets, but I got the impression she sells more than one ticket for the very same date, what am I missing here? Do we have to share?

  • John Borstlap says:

    In French, those flowery sentences really sound different. There is a French tradition of poetic exaggeration where the listeners don’t concentrate on content but on performance, accompanied by ballettic hand- and arm gestures. Maybe here is the connection with the pianist – the critic perfectly understanding her, and thereby unintentionally mocking her performances.

  • JohnKing says:

    The More The Derriere, The More The Merrier!