Stories » Lisa Batiashvili stole the show@London's Festival Hall

Top 10 for Aug

Lisa Batiashvili stole the show@London's Festival Hall

Bookmark and Share

Last stop on its long European tour, London welcomed the Philadelphia Orchestra warmly for the first of this distinguished band's two concerts at the Festival Hall. Yet while the playing was every bit as fine as you would expect of one of America's great orchestras, I suspect most people will remember this concert for another musician on stage.

Although the most collegial of performers, the soloist Lisa Batiashvili proved herself the true star of the evening, and at least the Philadelphians under their music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin seemed happy to share the limelight. Batiashvili was joining the orchestra for Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto, in a performance better than any I have ever heard of this work – indeed, a performance that must have left many wondering whether they had ever heard the violin quite so mesmerisingly played.

The Georgian-born violinist dug deep into the opening Nocturne's grief-laden emotions while retaining the utmost poise. Her superb tone seemed to contain every one of the instrument's possible colours while never being overtly rich.

READ THE FULL Telegraph REVIEW