The violin has fascinated her all her life. At the age of two Lisa Batiashvili played the instrument for the first time in her native Georgia and never let go of it again. Today the 32-year-old is one of the best violinists in the world.
"My love for the violin started when I saw young pupils who came to our house to take lessons with my father. This was something special for me, because at that time there were not as many distractions like there are for children today. Music was a world where you could live out your fantasy world."
Until the age of 11 Lisa Batiashvili was taught the violin by her father in Georgia. Just before the outbreak of the 1991 civil war the family left for Germany. Today Lisa lives with her French husband, the world-renowned oboist Francois Leleux and their two children, in France.
Batiashvili is one of the world's best violinists and performs with all the top orchestras. Recently in Stockholm she played Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, which is where 'Musica' caught up with her.
"This concerto requires a lot of physical and inner strength. I learned it when I was 17 or 18 and then I left it alone for a long time. That was on purpose because I wanted to get experience with other concertos and come back to it later, because I thought the length of that piece and the difficulties were so challenging.
"I often thought that this piece was written for male hands. There are sections and areas where you need big hands. That is challenging for me, because I have really small hands."
Lisa Batiashvili's talent has not gone unnoticed and she is one of the lucky musicians to be loaned one of the precious Antonio Stradivari violins. The instrument she has use of dates from 1709 and is worth several million euros.
She says not only does it produce an exquisite sound, but it is also extremely sensitive:
"Sometimes I think: oh my god, please act like yesterday! You really have the feeling that this instrument lives and experiences and suffers with stress and strains. For me it is a partner which helps me to make music."
Lisa Batiashvili tries to learn a new piece each year – and admits it is not an easy task.
"It's getting more and more difficult, because with children you're always very busy and you're less efficient than when you were a student. But as a violinist we really don't have a choice. We have to learn something new constantly. That has also its advantages, because you grow with the music."
In this story you can hear segments of the following piece: Johannes Brahms, Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77.
Verbier Festival 2011
Verbier Festival 2010
Esa-Pekka Salonen in rehearsal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Verbier Festival 2007