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Famous Like Me > Composer > K > Gia Kancheli

Profile of Gia Kancheli on Famous Like Me

Name: Gia Kancheli  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 10th August 1935
Place of Birth: Tbilisi, Georgia, Soviet Union
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Giya Kancheli (Georgian: გია ყანჩელი), born August 10, 1935 in Tbilisi, is probably Georgia's most famous living composer and cultural export. Known for his deeply spiritual, sometimes dissonant, large-scale works, Kancheli draws inspiration from Georgian folklore as well as from religion. Typically, his musical language consists of very slow, haunting scraps of minor-mode melody against long, subdued, anguished string discords, occasionally punctuated with outbursts of martial brass and percussion. Some commentators talk about his style in cinematic terms; one can find in his music equivalents of pan, zoom, abrupt cuts, and so on. Rodion Shchedrin speaks of Kancheli as "an ascetic with the temperament of a maximalist; a restrained Vesuvius".

Kancheli has written seven symphonies, and what he terms a liturgy for viola and orchestra, called Mourned by the Wind. His Fourth Symphony received its American premiere, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, under Yuri Temirkanov, in January 1978, not long before the cultural freeze in the United States against Soviet culture. Glasnost allowed Kancheli to regain exposure, and he began to receive frequent commissions, as well as performances within Europe and America. His Sixth Symphony is considered by many to be his most notable work to date.

Championed internationally by the likes of Dennis Russell Davies, the late Jansug Kakhidze, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Kim Kashkashian, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Kronos Quartet, Kancheli has seen world premieres of his works in Seattle, as well as with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur. He continues to compose: new CDs of his recent works are regularly released, and his piece Warzone was performed at the 2003 Proms in London, England.

In Georgia, Kancheli is well-known for his work in the theatre, from which he draws much of his musical composition. For two decades, he served as the music director of the Rustaveli Theatre in Tbilisi. His opera Music for the Living, written in collaboration with Rustaveli director Robert Sturua, has been praised within Europe and the former Soviet Union since its premiere in June 1984, and in December 1999, the opera was restaged for the Deutsches National Theater in Weimar.

Since 1991, Kancheli has lived in Western Europe: first in Berlin, and since 1995 in Antwerp, where he is composer-in-residence for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Gia Kancheli