Tamar Sanikidze

Collaborative Pianist, Coach, Instructor
a white woman with shoulder-length wavy blonde hair smiles as she stands outside in front of green foliage

A “technically nimble and supportive pianist” (New York Times), Dr. Tamara Sanikidze has performed on the world’s most prestigious stages and serves as the Head of Voice Division, Director, Producer, and Principal Coach of the Butler Opera Center and Artistic Director of Butler Opera International Competition. 

A graduate of the Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and the Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera, Dr. Sanikidze regularly serves numerous music staff positions in San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera working with James Conlon, Nicola Luisotti, Donald Runnicles, and Eun Sun Kim.

As official pianist for “Operalia,” Dr. Sanikidze has performed in 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 Opera Theater in Prague.

As an active recitalist, she partners with Nadine Sierra, Thomas Hampson, Leah Crocetto, Lianna Haroutounian, and Quinn Kelsey. By special invitation, Dr. Sanikidze performed at the White House for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

She frequently coaches for the Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera Center, as well as Young Artist Programs at Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Teatro De’ll Opera di Roma, and Los Angeles Opera. In 2015 she joined the Lehrer Vocal Institute at the Music Academy of the West as Faculty Artist and Audition/Casting judge.

Dr. Sanikidze is the recipient of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. She holds her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is an alumna of the Wolftrap Opera Center, Merola Opera Center, as well as the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Opera Center, Cleveland Art Song Festival, and SongFest.