Sicklist: Khatia has otitis

Sicklist: Khatia has otitis


norman lebrecht

October 03, 2018

The pianist Khatia Buniatishvili has pulled out of the annual Hohenems Schubertiade with a middle-ear infection.

Her last-minute replacements are William Youn and Oliver Schnyder.





    Good news !


    Mr . Lebrecht , so many other pianists deserve to play instead of her !

  • Caravaggio says:

    Did she run out of shampoo and conditioner?

  • Mark says:

    Oh-titties ? Yes, she does … 🙂

  • Alistair Hinton says:

    I do not like her playing, I believe her to be grossly overrated and I do not see the point of draping herself over a piano for a publicity snap but some comments here about her condition are utterly out of order and nothing less than despicable.

  • Robert Groen says:

    OK, let’s get the ball rolling. This discussion is far too reasonable and boring. So let’s add some spice. Khatia Buniatishvili is Georgian and hates Vladimir Putin (to the point that she won’t work with Putin’s mate Valeri Gergiev). Valentina Lisitsa is Russian and supports Vladimir Putin. I can derive pleasure from listening to both, although for me Lisitsa has the edge. Well, perhaps a bit more than just an edge. But here’s my question to the various politico-pianist experts that populate this site: which of the two is the better musician?

    • Alistair Hinton says:

      Lisitsa is not Russian – she was Ukrainian and is now described as Ukrainian/American – so let’s make sure where the ball is before getting it to roll…

      • Robert Groen says:

        OK, let’s see if we can sort out Valentina Lisitsa’s ‘Ukrainian’ status. She was born in 1973, of mixed Russian-Polish parentage, in Kiev, the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. This, at a time when, in the West, Soviet citizens were routnely described as ‘Russian’. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared its independence in 1991. Lisitsa was 18 at the time. That same year, she and Alexei Kuznetsov (her later husband) moved to the United States. She might at that time have thought of herself as Ukrainian but all that changed after the 2014 ‘Maidan’ power grab and the unlawful ousting of the democratically elected pro-Russian president Yanukovich. From then on, Lisitsa espoused the cause of the largely Russian population of the Dombass region. Lisitsa and her husband are now living in France, after earlier periods of residence in the USA and Canada. I think this chain of events makes any categorical reference to Ms Lisitsa as ‘a Ukrainian pianist’ ever so slightly tenuous. ‘Ukranian-born’ is just about all you can say. For word on what Ms Lisitsa considers herself to be, we should perhaps ask her herself. I will, of course, admit defeat if she proudly produces her Ukrainian passport and waves it in our faces. Anyway, the real question was: who is the better musician, she or Ms Buniatishvili?….

        • esfir ross says:

          Valentina Lisitsa moved to USA in her 20th. She was born, raised and educated in Kiev conservatory-she’s Ukrainen. Khatia was born and initially trained in Georgia. She moved to Vienna in her early teens and most of her life lived outside of Georgia. VL’s better class pianist than Khatia B.Khatia’s flaking.

    • Simon Scott says:

      Do you mean various or vacuous…???

  • Bruce says:

    Middle- and inner-ear ailments are miserable, miserable things to suffer. Hope she gets better soon.

    And any ailment that makes a musician unable to play just adds to the misery. I would never wish such a fate on anyone (except perhaps Dmitris Vassilakis — temporarily, to teach him some empathy).

    • Simon Scott says:


    • Tamino says:

      With these kind of ear related diseases, flying on airplanes is often more the problem than actually playing on stage.

      • Simon Scott says:

        Ear trouble. I remember in my early 20s having a bout of slight temporary deafness.
        I felt some pressure inside my ears. No,I hadn’t been anywhere near an aeroplane.
        A doctor informed me that it was due to air pressure. Happily,it soon passed.
        However,when I played violin in this condition one feared for the safety of my fiddle!

        • Tamino says:

          I’m not talking about getting it. I’m talking about traveling on planes with it, with their rapid cabin pressure changes. Doctors always advise against it strongly. It’s extremely painful, when the ear can not do the pressure equalization, due to blocked Eustachian tubes.

    • Sue says:

      Absolutely agree. With this condition you can get severe ear-ache and dizziness as well as nausea. Very unpleasant.

      Hope she is about to get back to her music asap.

  • rg says:

    I hope she gets well soon, and I hope I never hear her play another note, nor see another image of her.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      It is utterly astonishing that a simple notice of a concert cancellation due to illness unleashes such a barrage of unrelated, nasty ,mostly hostile comments.
      She is a talented, pleasant young woman who got sick and couldn’t play. You may or may not care for her style and interpretations but her ethnicity, clothing style, hair, place of residence have nothing to do with the subject of the post.

  • barry guerrero says:

    I sat next to Khatia while she was signing autographs in San Francisco. Not only is she attractive, she’s a very nice and open person. She was there accompanying violinist Renaud Capacon in recital. While it’s certainly fair to say that you don’t care for her playing, let’s refrain from making character assassinations. I really don’t think she deserves that.

    • Bruce says:

      That was gorgeous, beginning to end.

      (However, I played it on a window running in the background, to avoid any possible distracting camera work. All I had to judge by was the sound, so I probably don’t have anything relevant to contribute to a Slipped Disc conversation.)

  • Vaquero357 says:

    Geez, people – she might not live up entirely to some of the more agent/media/marketing department extravagant hype about her, but she’s a fine pianist. If she comes to my city to perform, I’ll be there.