“Set to become one of the truly important artists of his generation.” – Emanuel Ax
Pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze, whose performances have been hailed by critics as “sparkling… sensitive and coloristic” (New York Times) and “simply gorgeous” (Wall Street Journal), came to international attention in 2018 upon winning the triennial Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, Canada—the largest piano prize in the world. His often sold-out recitals around the world have been met with universal critical acclaim, and the recent release of his debut album featuring works by York Bowen on the Hyperion label has received extraordinary accolades, including Record of the Month in Limelight, Instrumental Disc of the Month in BBC Music Magazine, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Editor’s Choice in Presto Classical, while debuting in the UK charts as the #1-selling classical instrumental album.
In Gramophone, Jeremy Nicholas called Namoradze “the kind of musician whose artistry is like a compelling novel where you can hardly wait for what comes next”, suggesting that the release “must be an early Awards nominee”, while Katherine Cooper in Presto Classical called the disc “a potential Recording of the Year: his sheer technical brilliance will make you catch your breath time and again, but he’s also a born story-teller”.
“I’m not often lost for words, but Nicolas Namoradze’s recital almost defeated me”, wrote Michael Church in International Piano Magazine following his recent Wigmore Hall debut, declaring the performance “astonishing”. The recital was also chosen as Editor’s Favorite of the Month in BBC Music Magazine. Following his sold-out Carnegie debut at Zankel Hall in New York, Roman Markowicz in ConcertoNet called Namoradze “an artist representing that rare breed, a thinking virtuoso” and “a pianist who proved that, once in a while, the distinguished members of the jury make a good choice and select a winner who plays like a true artist”.
His current activities include recitals at concert halls including the Konzerthaus Berlin, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Boston’s Gardner Museum, New York’s 92nd Street Y and Tokyo Toppan Hall; appearances at Tanglewood, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Toronto Summer Music, Miami International Piano Festival, Telavi Music Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Tbilisi Piano Fest and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and performances with orchestras including the Budapest Festival Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony and Ottawa National Arts Centre orchestras, with conductors such as Iván Fischer, Karina Canellakis, Ken-David Masur and Daniele Rustioni. Upon the invitation of Sir András Schiff, Namoradze will present recitals at leading venues around Europe including deSingel Antwerp, Munich Allerheiligenhofkirche, Orpheus Stiftung Zurich and the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in the “Building Bridges” series.
A Gramophone “One to Watch” and BBC Music Magazine “Rising Star,” Namoradze was recently named among WQXR’s “20 for 20: Artists to Watch,” a list that “includes long-time heroes, established favorites and newcomers set for stardom who are redefining what classical music can be.”
Namoradze is the author of “Macroharmony in Ligeti’s Third Book of Piano Etudes,” a monograph to be published in 2021 by Springer in the Computational Music Sciences series. The book is based on his doctoral dissertation, which explores the late etudes of Ligeti through a novel lens of statistical-graphical analysis and discusses questions regarding listeners’ perception of stability in musical texture. His doctoral work received a distinction for exceptional achievement with a nomination for the Barry Brook Award.
Highlights of his work as a composer include commissions and performances by leading artists and ensembles including Ken-David Masur, Tessa Lark, Metropolis Ensemble and the Momenta, Verona and Barkada Quartets, at festivals such as the Chelsea Music Festival, Honens Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Klavier-Festival Ruhr, among others. He has also composed and produced a number of film soundtracks, including Walking Painting by Fabienne Verdier and Nuit d’opéra à Aix, a short film made in association with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. His compositions are published by the Japan-based Muse Press.
Enthusiastic of innovative programs and technologies that expand the reach of classical music around the world, Namoradze has been closely associated with Juilliard Global Ventures, where he represented Juilliard students in the Julliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program. He is also featured in the most-watched episode of Juilliard Open Studios with his teacher, Emanuel Ax, and appears as a guest educator on the history of the piano for Juilliard edX courses. Namoradze’s interest in contemporary music and lesser-known works of the piano repertoire has led him to present original and exciting programs embracing works such as Godowsky’s infamous Studies on Chopin Etudes, rarities including Dvorak’s Piano Concerto and the piano music of York Bowen, sets of Ligeti Etudes, and many works by his contemporaries.
Namoradze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1992 and grew up in Budapest, Hungary. After completing his undergraduate in Budapest, Vienna, and Florence, he moved to New York for his master’s at The Juilliard School and his doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center, holding the Graduate Center Fellowship. His teachers and mentors have included Emanuel Ax, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Zoltán Kocsis, Matti Raekallio, András Schiff and Elisso Virsaladze in piano, and John Corigliano in composition. For several years Namoradze served on the faculty of Queens College, where he taught chamber music, composition and music history. He now pursues postgraduate studies in neuropsychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College, London, where his research interests include the effects of mental practice and mindfulness on musical performance.