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The opening of the Tsinandali Festival is now only days away. The festival is the culmination of many years of hard work from all those involved; including the musicians, the founders, the Academy professors and the Tsinandali Estate staff. I want to thank them all for their contribution in making this exciting and ambitious project become a reality. There has been a considerable amount of work since Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Festival performed at the opening of the amphitheatre in 2017, including the construction of a Chamber Music Hall. To be involved in a project so different to the day-to-day running of Kusto Group has been a great learning experience.

Now that the preparations are complete, we can look forward to the music itself. I have been delighted to be involved in the auditions for the Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra, which brings together talented young musicians from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Ukraine. During the festival, they will perform a diverse repertoire, including Beethoven, Berlioz, Mahler and Shostakovich, to name but a few. Among the orchestra are nine Kazakh musicians between the ages of 18 and 28, and I am particularly looking forward to meeting them and hearing them play in these beautiful surroundings.

Also performing is the world-renowned Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. The musicians who form this orchestra are the alumni of the Swiss festival’s training programmes, and now hold positions in leading symphony orchestras. This continues the Festival’s core themes of promoting and teaching young musicians, opening career paths for musicians to the participants of the PCYO and the Tsinandali Festival Academy. During the two weeks of the Festival, the VFCO will play a varied programme including Mozart’s operas, a Beethoven piano concerto and much more, conducted by their own Music Director, Gábor Takács-Nagy among others.

Apart from these three ensembles, attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from solo pianists, violinists, cellists and much more, as well as experience opera and theatre choruses and the Georgian National Ballet. And they will be able to experience these talented artists performing in the most stunning setting imaginable, the Tsinandali Estate.