Nicolas Namoradze : Honens 2018 Winner

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Born in Georgia but raised in Hungary, the pianist-composer Nicolas Namoradze launched his international career when he became the winner of the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition.

This Calgary-based contest offers one of the biggest prize packages in the world, and has been rewarding top talent every three years since 1992. Namoradze, at 30, is the latest laureate, and he has already established himself as an artist who is here to stay.

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Namoradze’s schedule is packed, including the release of a debut disc for Hyperion, appearances at the Toronto Summer Music Festival and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, as well as a recital tour in Japan. Prior to Honens, Namoradze made the bold and unconventional decision to step out of the limelight for four years to find his voice as an artist. For anyone who has ever listened to Namoradze play, the results of his retreat speak for themselves.

Namoradze recollects: “I was always well aware of the dangers of starting a career too early. For me, it wasn’t only about making sure I had built up a large enough repertoire. I also wanted to ensure I had really found my voice as an interpreter, knowing what pieces I wanted to perform, and how. This period also allowed me to be more daring—not only in my repertoire choices but also in simply the activities I pursued, whether it was my focus on composition, delving into electronic music, or even investigating a number of non-musical subjects.

“The most difficult part of this whole process was maintaining one’s belief and confidence without the affirmative feedback one gets from concerts and competitions. I simply had to believe everything would work out fine despite the uncertainties, and be patient until I felt the moment was right to step back out.”

Musical Approach

When asked about his philosophy of music, Namoradze said that he wants the audience to get “a sense of discovery—whether it is a reappraisal of a piece through an interpretation or even opening new doors with works they might be hearing for the first time.”

True to his philosophy, Namoradze’s programming often features well-known composers. Favourites include Bach and Scriabin—alongside some rarer masters.

Wide-ranging influences

Namoradze counts his piano teachers and mentors as his most obvious influences: Emanuel Ax, András Schiff, Elisso Virsaladze and Zoltán Kocsis, among others. Beyond the piano.

The 2022 Honens Competition: Find out who will be crowned winner from among the 10 semifinalists in Calgary, Oct. 20-28.


This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Carol Xiong is ever-interested in connecting disparate cultures and human experiences. She holds a Master of Music from the Unversité de Montréal, a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, as well as an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is currently pursuing her DEPA in piano performance at the Université de Montréal. You may find out more about her here:

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