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HomeBTA Activities


February 2024

by Esther Keller-Pickup

Some of us from BTA went to St George's Church on Thursday 15 February to attend a BBC Radio 3 piano concert by Georgian pianist Giorgi Gigashvili. 

George was born in Tbilisi (Georgia) in 2000 and studied piano without even thinking about a professional career as a pianist.
He is passionate about the folk songs of his country, which he enjoys arranging and singing. He even participated in the Georgian “Voice” and won the competition at the age of thirteen! However, he continued his musical studies at the Paliashvili Central Music School for Gifted Children and entered the Tbilisi State Conservatory in the class of Revaz Tavadze.

Giorgi's pianistic career took a decisive turn in April 2019 when he won first prize at the Vigo International Piano Competition with Marta as president of the jury and Nelson Freire at her side. A few months later, Giorgi won the Third Prize and the Audience Award at the Sixty-second Busoni Competition.

The night before the concert, Derek took Georgie out to lunch.

The BBC has recorded the performance and it will be broadcast on radio on Thursday 29 February 2024 at 1pm.
Below is a link to the radio program, as well as some photos of George taken last week.


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Peter Nasmyth talk about his latest book about the Georgian character

December 2023 

by Esther Keller-Pickup

Thursday 7 December at 6:15 pm in City Hall

Peter has recently returned to the UK after spending several months in Georgia.

Peter Nasmyth is a writer, photographer and former arts journalist published in most major UK magazines and newspapers, along with American publications such as the Washington Post. He has lived between Tbilisi and London for more than thirty years and co-founded the first English language bookshop, Prospero, in Tbilisi. Georgia in the Mountains of Poetry is probably his most well known book which if you haven’t read it already, put it on your book list.

Each year for the past 25 years Peter has produced a calendar with fabulous photographs of Georgia’s mountains, countryside, cities and historic architecture. More recently with the threats to Georgia’s historic buildings he became one of the founders of the Georgian National Trust. 


Members of the BTA were pleased to attend a talk given by Peter Nasmyth in City Hall last night. The Lord Mayirvof Bristol, Cllr Paul Goggin, was also in attendance. 

Peter updated on projects undertaken by the the National Trust of Georgia, where he is the Co-Chair.  Some stunning photographs were shown of Georgia’s breath-taking landscape. http://www.nationaltrustofgeorgia.org.ge/about-us/

Furthermore he provided a synopsis of the book he has co-written with Aka Morchiladze , which describes the character of Georgians. 

Those who attended enjoyed a glass of Georgian wine and nibbles. 

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BTA members attended the opening of the exhibition of Georgian artist David Robakidze in Cardiff

November 2023

by Esther Keller-Pickup

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2023 BTA AGM and talk by Tony Anderson

November 2023

by Esther Keller Pickup 

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Following the AGM, which was quite short and which was chaired by the Lord Mayor of Bristol there was a talk by the well known writer, Tony Anderson. This year Tony has chosen the following title of his talk, “ British travellers to Georgia and the Great Game"

Tony has been a regular visitor to Georgia since the early '90s and in the summer of 1998 set out to walk through the mountain areas of Georgia, which resulted in him writing his book, “Bread and Ashes”. Tony is one of the founders of the British Georgian Society and has led many Groups through Georgia. More recently Tony has been researching a much bigger book on Georgia and has shared with us in past presentations some of his stories.  


If you are interested in Tony's book Bread and Ashes, it is available on Amazon.co.uk via the link on BTA website: 


Members of the BTA travelled to Birmingham to attend a piano concerto at the Birmingham Conservatoire

November 2023

Esther Keller-Pickup 

Renowned pianist Peter Donohoe, hailed for his commanding technique, joined rising star Salomé Chitaia, recent winner of the Anthony Cross Memorial Prize for a night of dazzling piano perfection. 

Salomé was borne in Tbilisi, her parents are great friends of the BTA and have supported BTA visits to Tbilisi. Salomé performed at our annual Supra last year in 2022, when we celebrated the 35th anniversary of the twinning arrangement between Bristol and Tbilisi. She is studying for her PhD in Birmingham at the moment. 

Sophiko Katsarava, the Georgian Ambassador also attended the concerto.

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2023 Annual Supra

October 2023

Esther Keller-Pickup  

The BTA held its annual Supra on 27 October. 

The event was attended by 64 guests including The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Steve Pearce, The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs. Peaches Golding, the High Sheriff of Bristol, Liss Sharon Foster and The Georgian Ambassador to Bristol, Ms Sophiko Katsarava.

Entertainment was provided by Borghali, Bristol’s very own Georgian choir. Borghali enthralled the choir with numerous Georgian songs

Georgian dishes were on the menu and the copious amounts of wine were kindly provided by the Georgian Embassy and Swirl wines

A hugely successful evening once again. Role on next Supra in 2024. 

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Party on the Green

June 2023

Esther Keller-Pickup

Bristol, as a city, is celebrating its 650th anniversary this year.

On Sunday 18 June, Bristol Cathedral organised a free festival to celebrate County status being  granted to Bristol by Edward III on 8 August 1373. There was a day of fun, games and Music on College Green

The Bristol International Twinning Association hosted a stall to raise awareness of the our twinning with 7 cities around the globe. 

The BTA ran a ‘know your twin cities’ quiz. The Lord Mayor of Bristol visited all stalls. 



2022 BTA AGM followed by Derek Pickup's talk about the recent BTA trip to Tbilisi.

November 2022

by Nina Bendukidze and Derek Pickup

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Annual General Meeting started at 6:00 pm on Thursday 24 November at Bristol Council House. It was the first offline BTA meeting since COVID-19 restrictions. The BTA secretary Esther Keller-Pickup managed to connect BTA executive committee member Nina Bendukidze who was in Prague by Zoom. This technology may allow BTA members to attend BTA events remotely and expand opportunities for BTA members if for some reason they cannot come to AGM meetings. 

Please find The BTA chairman's annual report here 

The meeting was followed by Derek Pickup's talk about the BTA trip in Tbilisi in September 2022. See also Bristol Tbilisi Association - Tbilisi Twinning Visit October 2022

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