14 May 2003, 15:53

Paliashvili, Zakhary Petrovich

Prominent Georgian composer, musician, and pedagogue.

Born August 16, 1871, in the city of Kutais. The Paliashvili family was extremely musical. The composer's father was a singer in a church choir, and three of his brothers became known musicians. Zakhary Paliashvili received his primary music education under his brother Ivan's guidance, who later became a remarkable conductor. Studied piano from Georgian pianist and pedagogue F. Mizandari. Since the age of eight, Paliashvili sang in a church choir and studied to play organ. Since 1887, he worked in the Georgian Folk Choir of L. Agniashvili for three years, and since 1895 until 1889 studied in Tbilisi Music College in French horn class and composition theory (with the college's director N. Klenovsky). This time is marked by his first attempts to compose music. Paliashvili obtained his music higher education degree in Moscow Conservatoire (from 1900 to 1903) under the guidance of S. Taneev. Upon return to Georgia in 1903, Paliashvili started vast creative, pedagogic, performing (as organist and conductor) and musical public activities, took active part in founding Georgian Philharmonic Society (1905), organized a choir and an orchestra, and then headed the music school of this society (1908-1917). Since 1919, Paliashvili was a professor of Tbilisi Conservatoire and later its director.

The main part of Paliashvili's creative heritage are his three operas which started a new epoch in the history of Georgian music arts: epic tragic opera Abesalom and Eteri (1919), lyrical dramatic opera Daisi (1923; the first opera to be written in Georgia since the establishment of the soviet power), and heroic patriotic one Latavra (1928). Paliashvili also authored Ceremony Cantata dedicated to the decade of the October Revolution (1927), Georgian Suite based on folk motives for an orchestra (1928), romances and choir compositions, as well as an adaptation of a Georgian liturgy for a large combined choir. The composer collected and recorded about 300 Georgian folk songs; a part of them was published in the Collection of Georgian Folk Songs compiled by him (40 songs, 1910).

Zakhary Petrovich Paliashvili deceased on October 6, 1933, in Tbilisi.

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