Tamara Sanikidze Headshot
  • Director of Butler Opera Center & Principle Opera Coach
  • Associate Professor of Practice
tsanikidze@austin.utexas.edu
Office Phone: 512-471-0835
Office Location: MRH 5.264
Specialties:
  • Opera Studies

“Technically nimble and supportive pianist” (New York Times), “Accompanist with wondrous tact and virtuosity” (San Francisco Chronicle), “Vigorous and versatile” (Washington Post) and “Extraordinarily sensitive collaborative synch throughout the evening” (VOICE Magazine) Tamara Sanikidze gave her first performance with the Georgian Symphony Orchestra at age eight and has since appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the Republic of Georgia, Russia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Since 2009, in capacity of an official pianist for Plácido Domingo’s annual World Opera Competition “Operalia” Dr. Sanikidze has performed in such renown opera houses as Hungarian State Opera house in Budapest, La Scala in Milano, Galina Vishnevskaya's Opera Centre in Moscow, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Royal Opera house in London, Dorothy Chandler Auditorium in Los Angeles, Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, São Carlos in Lisbon, and National Theater in Prague.   

As a winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying she has performed regularly in the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s “The Song Continues…” and “On the Wings of Song”. Active Song Recitalist she has partnered with such luminaries as Thomas Hampson, Nino Machaidze, Isabel Leonard, Quinn Kelsey, Marjorie Owens, Elizabeth Futral, Nicole Cabell, Leah Crocetto, Nadine Sierra and Amanda Majeski in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall and other prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. By the special invitation, she has traveled to Beijing, China to perform with Mo. Plácido Domingo and also has performed at the White House for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

In May 2019 Sanikidze will join much acclaimed Camerata Pacifica ensemble for a concert tour throughout South California.

Between 2007- 2012 Sanikidze was a Young Artist Coach at the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, where she served as an Assistant Conductor and Coach for productions of Don Giovanni (Mo. Plácido Domingo), Rigoletto (Mo. Giovanni Reggioli), Hansel and Gretel (Mo. Steven Gathman), La Traviata (Mo. Plácido Domingo and Mo. Dan Ettinger), Carmen (Mo. Julius Rudel), Turandot (Mo. Keri-Lynn Wilson), Falstaff (Mo. Sebastian Lang-Lessing), La fanciulla del West (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), Aida (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), The Makropulos case (Mo. Jiří Bělohlávek), Die Walküre (Mo. Donald Runnicles), Carmen (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), and Xerxes (Mo. Patrick Summers).

Upon finishing the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program, Sanikidze joined the Music Staff at both San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera where she works closely with Mo. Plácido Domingo, Mo. James Conlon and Mo. Nicola Luisotti. In the capacity of a Pianist, Prompter, Coach and an Assistant Conductor she has prepared and performed a wide range of operatic repertoire, including Simon Boccanegra starring Plácido Domingo, Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, La Cenerentola, Falstaff, Evgeny Onegin, Die Zauberflöte, Billy Budd, Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Un ballo in maschera, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Aida, Turandot and Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

She will be returning to 2019 season of San Francisco Opera to work on productions of Rusalka and Manon Lescaut.

Sanikidze is a prize-winner of numerous national and international piano competitions. She has received top scholarships, including a personal scholarship from the former president of the Republic of Georgia Edward Schevardnadze. She has also received the Vocal Piano Fellowship Award from the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and participated in summer programs at Wolf Trap Opera Company, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, SongFest, Cleveland Art Song Festival and Aspen Music Festival. She has made several recordings for the Excelsior label and her performances have been broadcast on NPR, as well as Georgian and Russian National Television and Radio.

Sought after for her coaching skills and extensive experience, Sanikidze has been invited to work with young singers at the Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera Center and the Young Artist Programs both at Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera.

In 2015 Tamara joined faculty of Butler School of Music at University of Texas, Austin and Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA.

In January 2019 Sanikidze became Director of Butler Opera center.

Tamara Sanikidze holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.