Expanding the limits


Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili has recently taken on new challenges, among them artistic directorship of the Audi Summer Concerts festival and performing on the soundtrack to The White Crow. But, she tells Toby Deller, she finds equal joy in creating wonderful interpretations from long-term partnerships

The vintage cars have been wheeled out of the Audi museum (a glass and metal drum of a building on the outskirts of the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt), giving way to a grand piano. Parked in the centre of the showroom floor, it is surrounded on all sides by an audience who have come to hear Lisa Batiashvili, Gautier Capuçon and Jean-Yves Thibaudet play piano trios while a setting, but scorching, July sun streams in.

Batiashvili is the new artistic director of Audi Summer Concerts, a series that the motor vehicle manufacturer promotes in its home city, and is pleased with her idea of using locations at the company headquarters for some of the performances. ‘The venue, I think, is an incredible place,’ she tells me the next day at a café in the old town. ‘We need to adjust one or two things, but I think it’s really worth it because it’s such an unusual space. Jean-Yves and Gautier were so happy and so excited about playing there. I think acoustically it really works. Of course, we’ll have to sort out how to deal with the sunshine – maybe start a bit later. But my goal in the beginning was to find new places for the concerts; not to get stuck with this one concert hall in the middle of the city, which people tend to avoid because it’s a little bit too traditional. You need to propose something more modern and new.’

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