Local audience darling, the 1995 Arthur Rubinstein Competition winner Alexander Korsantia, returns to Israel for a series of concerts with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra.

“I am in a very busy period of my life,” says the Georgian pianist in a phone interview from his Boston home. “I teach, I perform, I record. I have wonderful students at the New England Conservatory of Music, and I want to give these talented kids as much as possible, but sometimes, to my great regret, I have less time for them. I am recording more than I did in the past, and it makes me happy. Yet again, I want not only to record but also to perform these pieces on the stage – and that requires learning new repertoires.”

From Israel, Korsantia will continue to Amsterdam, “where I start a new recording project: all of Beethoven’s sonatas,” he says.

“In addition, there will be a minor project of variations – by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Copland. Different epochs, different styles, different world views – absolutely captivating! I will be going to Amsterdam several times a year, during European performances or on my way to Georgia or Israel, which makes things easier.”

As part of his regular concert activity, Korsantia performs piano concerti from the standard repertoire – Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and others – appearing mostly in the US and Latin America.

Among his future tours are concerts in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo.

“In Japan, I will perform with the Tokyo Symphony under our conductor Dan Ettinger, playing two Rachmaninoff concerti,” he says.

This naturally injected “our conductor” in reference to the Israeli maestro speaks volumes about Korsantia’s attitude toward Israel, where he won the gold medal in one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions.

As a true Georgian, though, Korsantia never forgets his homeland, visiting it several times a year. “I’ve been serving as artistic director of the Passover Music Festival in Tbilisi for four years now, and I am working hard to bring the best performers possible to the Georgian audiences,” he says. “I’m talking about musicians of, say, Evgeny Kissin’s caliber. Next year, such wonderful musicians as German violinist Isabelle Faust, together with pianist Alexander Melnikov, will come for a series of concerts to perform an entire cycle of Beethoven sonatas. In 2015, violinist Vadim Repin is scheduled to perform. I also want to bring the Jerusalem Camerata to the festival. Meanwhile, there is a problem with the performance dates, but I hope we shall solve it. The festival is supported by the Patriarch of Georgia, who is an amazing person.”

In 2014 Korsantia will returns to Tel Aviv as a jury member of the Arthur Rubinstein International Master Competition. In the meantime, he will perform Mozart’s piano concerti No.8 and No. 9 with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra under maestro Yoav Talmi.

The concerts take place on October 29 in Ashkelon and October 30 and 31 in Tel Aviv.

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