Khatia Buniatishvili began studying piano under her mother at the age of three. She gave her first concert with the Chamber Orchestra in Tbilisi at the age of six. From the age of ten she gave concerts in Europe, Ukraine, Armenia, Israel and the USA.She graduated from the Tbilisi Central Music School, then entered the Tbilisi State Conservatory in 2004.
Buniatishvili, who has described the piano as a "symbol of musical solitude", chose the piano over the violin despite her perfect pitch. She and her (older) sister Gvantsa learned the piano together and performed duets at home.
Buniatishvili has played with, among other orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France under Daniele Gatti and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. She has also performed chamber music with musicians including Gidon Kremer and Renaud Capuçon.
In 2010 she received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and was included in the BBC series New Generation Artists. The Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus nominated her as Rising Star for the 2011–12 season, and in 2012 she was awarded Best Newcomer of the Year in the Echo Klassik awards.