Nino Sanikidze

Prior to joining the Shepherd School of Music as Artist Teacher of Opera Studies in the fall of 2023, Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze was a Head Coach for the Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program since the program’s inception in 2006. She also served on the LAO Music Staff as a pianist and a prompter, working closely with Music Director James Conlon.

Dr. Sanikidze has been engaged with such companies as Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Royal Opera House Muscat, Teatro Municipal di Santiago, Bard Summerscape, Wichita Grand Opera, and Cleveland Opera.

A frequent collaborator with the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, her notable concert appearances include a recital with tenor Marcelo Álvarez and a recital with mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča. In addition, she has performed in a recital with world-renowned guitarist Ángel Romero at Palm Springs Life Festival and mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera on Canary Islands’ “Zarzuela en el Mundo” recital tour. Since 2008 she has been an official pianist for “Operalia” World Opera Competition. 

Dr. Sanikidze serves on a judging panel of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and Richard Tucker Music Foundations’ Study and Career Grant Auditions, as well as the Daegu International Opera Awards, Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition, Classical Singer Convention, Music Center Spotlight Awards, and Center Stage Opera Competition. 

 Dr. Sanikidze is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. A sought-after clinician, she regularly visits universities and conservatories for master classes and residencies. She is a Faculty Artist at a prestigious Music Academy in Santa Barbara, CA.

Her early musical education began in Tbilisi, Georgia, at a special music school for gifted children, after which she received a bachelor's degree in Solo Piano and a master's degree in Vocal Accompanying at Georgian State Conservatory. In the late ‘90s, she followed her sister Tamar Sanikidze to the University of Northern Iowa to pursue a master’s degree in Piano Performance, and in 2001 moved to the University of Maryland to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano. She attended such prestigious festivals as Music Academy of the West, Cleveland Art Song Festival, Songfest, and Aspen Opera Center. 

She became the Young Artist coach at Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera in 2003 and started working professionally at various opera companies in 2004. 

In addition to her work at opera theaters and music schools, Dr. Sanikidze’s talents have been engaged in various capacities, ranging from translating and diction coaching choral recordings of a video game hit “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” to coaching classical voice finalists for “America’s Got Talent” to performing at nation-wide televised events, such as “Late Night with James Corden” (with Ailyn Perez and Luca Pisaroni) and at a funeral of the former First Lady Nancy Reagan (with soprano Ana María Martínez), just to name a few. 

Dr. Sanikidze serves as a Founding Board member of the Georgian Cultural and Educational Center.

More Information

Nino Sanikidze , Artist Teacher of Opera Studies
B.M. (1995), M.M. (1997) Georgian State Conservatory; M.M. Piano Performance (2001) University of Northern Iowa; D.M.A. Collaborative Piano (2010) University of Maryland
217 Brockman Hall for Opera