Legendary Georgian Composer Giya Kancheli Dies at the Age of 84

The internationally acclaimed, legendary Georgian composer Giya Kancheli has died at the age of 84. He fell very ill during the last few years; he even celebrated his 84th birthday on August 10 in the hospital.

The Georgian maestro who was widely recognized worldwide, composed music for Georgian theater and cinema for years and his works have accompanied some of Georgia’s most iconic cinematography. Kancheli’s music perfected international films, too such as  Kin-Dza-Dza! (1986), The Tree of Life (2011) and Pasport (1990). Throughout his life, Kancheli has composed more than 37 orchestral pieces, 10 chamber music pieces, and 10 choral operas. Kancheli lived in Western Europe since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. When he moved to Antwerp, Kancheli became composer-in-residence for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

In his recent interview with OK! Magazine Georgia, Giya Kancheli, while looking back at his life, said that he had lived it happily, having seen his music perform in one of the best music halls in the world (Seattle, NYC, etc.) Yet he mostly wrote sad and tragic music. He revealed the reason in the interview: “I write tragic music because, despite my happily-lived life, everything that is happening around me - in my motherland, in the world –never gave me the right to write the music of another kind.”

 Georgia’s international phenomenon has earned international recognition and has been named among the world’s greatest movie composers alongside Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota. Georgia today, along with the rest of the world, grieves the great loss of Giya Kancheli – a talented musician with an outstanding personality.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source: ECM Records.


02 October 2019 10:01