..."Mirian Khukhunaishvili and the Alter Orchestra performed my score for Hitchcock's 1929 silent film Blackmail at the Gala opening night of the 2019 Tbilisi International Film Festival, to great acclaim.
As the score came with no click-track, screeners or other visual or aural aids, Mirian had to conduct the orchestra entirely by tempo markings and visual synchronization cues marked in the score. There are over ninety specific synch points dotted through the scores, including doorbells, on-screen actions and even a kiss on the cheek.
That Mirian was able to hit these cues exactly was a tribute to his innate abilities as a conductor, and the detail and intensity of his preparation with the score in advance of rehearsal..."
Neil Brand, 2019
"Isn't it funny how some people just manage to get a bigger sound from the orchestra than others... Inexplicably! and he seems to be one of those conductors, who knows exactly what he wants; got so much power there from the orchestra, that C major chord from the middle of the overture to "Der Freischütz"... Many conductors had to take again but he was there, for him the first time .... "
Andrew Mellor - music journalist and broadcaster, Gramophone's editor