This season, Vakhtang Kodanashvili has performed Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Mariinski Theatre Orchestra in St. Petersburg and with Post-Classical Ensemble in Washington, D.C., as well as taking part in a Stravinsky/Prokofiev festival in Strasbourg and a Stravinsky festival in Washington.
Kodanashvili participated in the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Rachmaninoff festival two seasons ago. He frequently performs throughout Europe and the US as a member of the Toradze Piano Studio, appearing in such festivals as Ravinia, Hollywood Bowl, Salzburg, Edinburgh, and White Nights (St. Petersburg). He has appeared with orchestras in Manchester (BBC Philharmonic), Tbilisi, New Orleans, and Toronto.
Watch Vahtang Kodanashvili perform at the 2010 Toronto International Piano Competition
Edisher Savitski is taking part in a Pittsburgh Symphony festival for the second time, having also performed at the PSO’s Tchaikovsky festival in 2008. He has performed with such orchestras as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Pacific Symphony, and the Utah Symphony, and at such venues as New York’s Carnegie Zankel Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, St. Petersburgh’s Mariinsky Theater.
Savitski has taken part in the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Ravinia Festival, Ruhr Festival, Ravenna Festival, Stresa Festival, and Florence’s Maggio Musicale Festival, among many others. He took first prize at the Third International Piano-E-Competition in 2006 and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition in 2001.
A Yamaha artist, Savitski was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 1998, he joined the Toradze Piano Studio at Indiana University South Bend. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in performance at Michigan State University under the guidance of George Vatchnadze.
Watch Edisher Savitski perform in the 2008 Tbilisi Conservatory
Joseph Horowitz is the author of eight books mainly dealing with the history of classical music in the United States. Both of his last two books — Classical Music in America: A History and Artists in Exile: How Refugees from 20th Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts — were named “best books of the year” by The Economist.
As a concert producer, Horowitz was a nationally influential pioneer in thematic programming during his tenure as executive director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic in the 1990s. He has since 2002 served as artistic director of Washington’s Post-Classical Ensemble.
Horowitz has served as an artistic advisor and program curator for more than a dozen American orchestras. This season, he curates the current two-week Tchaikovsky festival for the Pittsburgh Symphony, and for the Pacific Symphony (for which he has been artistic advisor for more than a decade) writes and produces a “Music Unwound” presentation on Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony. Earlier this season, he co-produced a film, “Ted Sorensen Remembers JFK,” for the National Symphony’s celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy inauguration.
For the New York Philharmonic, Horowitz has written and produced “Inside the Music” presentations on Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Dvorak. As director of an NEH National Education Project, he wrote a young readers book on Dvorak and America, and commissioned a companion interactive DVD. These materials, the focus of an NEH Teacher-Training Institute hosted by the Pittsburgh Symphony, are increasingly used to infuse the arts and humanities into Social Studies curricula in middle and high schools throughout the United States. He is the recipient of a commendation from the Czech Parliament for the many Dvorak festivals he has created.