FeaturedInterviewsIssuesJuly 2021

Fluting in Tiblisi, Georgia, Irakli Evstapishvili Artist Interview

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia. Principal flute of the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra, Professor at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire with an active learning, teaching and performing life.

Can you give us 5 career highlights?

  1. Becoming a member of the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007.   
  1. Very exciting and challenging creative work as a Public Relations manager of the first and only classical music radio in Georgia – Muza, covering the whole country, broadcasting 24/7.
  1. I turned the sixth year of leading flute masterclasses for students and pupils in the coastal city Batumi, Adjara in frames of project developing orchestra direction in music schools of Adjara.    
  1. Established and organized the first annual Georgian Contemporary Classic Music Festival “Ouverture” (March, 2021) with Georgian composer and performer David Evgenidze at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre. Concert, which consolidated mostly unemployed musicians during pandemic and giving opportunity to modern Georgian composers being performed and transmitted via online platform and the Georgian Public Broadcasting-First channel.
  1. In 2016 I established the Georgian Flute Quartet with talented and gifted flutists. We won national competition of chamber music and continue with an active concert life, promoting flute.

How about 3 pivotal moments that were essential to creating the artist that you've become?

  1. The first musical impression and pivotal moment, when I felt the magic of the stage was at the age of 6, when I was singing in the folk choir. I had plenty of concerts in Georgia and abroad as well. Therefore, my childhood was bonded with music. Later, my grandma, piano teacher influenced me to play wind instrument, we chose flute and I was fortunate to study at devoted teacher, professor from the very beginning till the end of MA. He inspired me to listen to various recordings, attend concerts and operas.
  1. Early student period, second pivotal moment when I met flutists Yossi Arnheim, Benoit Fromanger and Juliet Hurel, which formed my professional development and taught me to do things right.
  2. At the age of 19, I met young talented and motivated Georgian composer and conductor Nikoloz Rachveli – General Music Director of the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra, later I passed audition and became member of a big family. He motivated me to combine orchestra with solo career and influenced musically.

What do you like best about performing?

That magical moments, when I lose myself in music, phrases and after find it again.

What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months?  

Despite pandemic surprises, which ruined almost 80% of plans, exactly known upcoming schedule:

  • Planning promotion at Tbilisi State Conservatoire, moving from Assistant prof. to Associate prof.
  • Recording sessions of Georgian Philharmonic with Lisa Batiashvili
  • Concerts with Georgian Philharmonic at Tsinandali Festival (Georgia)
  • TSC class recital
  • Jury member at Otar Taktakishvili II International Competition
  • Masterclasses at Royal Conservatoire of Brussels

What are your goals personally?  Professionally?

As for personal goals, I’m on the way of improving physical health and maintain results in the long-term.

As for professionally, I plan to be more active and involved in scientific research.

What inspires you the most in life?

My family and happy people around me.

What has been your professional greatest challenge?

When I first started teaching at Tbilisi State Conservatoire 7 years ago as an invited teacher and a member of Georgian Philharmonic in 2007.

What has been your personal greatest challenge?

Entering MBA program and graduating it 4 years ago.

How did The Pandemic change your flute life? When were you able to return to performing and teaching again?

The pandemic took out almost everything good from our lives and left empty halls and venues. Moving online was the greatest challenge ever, working with students has never been so hard, in terms of technical difficulties, ensemble and quality.

All concerts and events had been cancelled since the spring of 2021.

Partially, teaching process was renewed in 2020 fall. This year we managed to return to the classes physically.

Who were your music mentors?  and what did you learn from them?

Professor Mikheil Ebralidze with whom I started my first flute class and after graduated MA of Tbilisi State Conservatoire with him. Also influenced by mentors (flutists,conductors): Benoit Fromanger, Ariel Zuckermann.   

Overall, I learned to be more concentrated on the details and standardize every achievements made.

Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?  

Workout, hiking, reading, playing different musical instruments (incl. folk ones), and my passion – skydiving.

What 3 things would you offer as advice for a young flutist?

  1. Practice intelligently and be more patient
  2. Evaluate your pros and cons, be more risky
  3. Read as much music as possible in order to broaden horizon.

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