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The 100th Birthday of Alexi Matchavariani

Hochgeladene Datei

Matchvariani, born on 23 September 1913 in Gori, a pioneer of modern music in Georgia and one of the most important composers of his homeland, died on New Year's Eve 1995 in Tbilissi. Georgian folk music was always of the greatest importance for this composer. In his first works, composed during the 1930s, he treated the rhythmical and melodic elements of Georgian folksongs. But the progressive tendencies of the Soviet contemporary music of that time also influenced his work. Matchavariani's style is thus shown to be a polystylistic dialogue, a mixture of traditional Georgian music and contemporary compositional techniques.

Alexi Matchavariani studied at the Conservatory in Tbilissi and graduated in 1936. He taught music theory there starting in 1940 and was appointed Professor of Composition in 1963. His creative production comprises a very broad spectrum: chamber music, romances, symphonies, operas and ballets. The composer's first great success was the Piano Concerto of 1944, but his real breakthrough only came in 1950 with the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, a very lyrical work that has a special charm thanks to its combination of diatonic folk music and chromaticism. Matchavariani also received recognition for his ballet “Othello” in symphonic style. Matchavariani’s music can be understood to be a reflection of his lifelong search for a synthesis between national musical influences and new compositional techniques. Only a few years after the magnificent success of his ballet “Othello” in the year 1957, Matchavariani decided to attempt an opera based on Shakespeare's “Hamlet”.

“My father was a person with strong principles and values as regards truth and democratic ideals”, states Vakhtang Matchavariani. “He frequently came into conflict with the Soviet state.” The result was a ban on Matchavariani's works in Georgia. Exactly at the moment, however, when the Georgian government had stopped the performance of the opera “Hamlet”, the Leningrad Kirov Theatre produced his ballet “The Warrior in the Tiger Skin” despite the contradictions.

In 2008 the book “Creator and Time” by Alexi Matchavariani was introduced; the composer had completed it shortly before his death and it was published posthumously in Georgia.

Concerts and special events will be presented in 2013 in honour of Alexi Matchavariani on this special jubilee at a number of locations. The 100th anniversary of his birth is being commemorated in spectacular fashion in his home city of Tbilissi.

Thus three major symphonic concerts with works of Alexi Matchavariani will be given there on 15.9., 23.9. and 30.9.2013, at which symphonies, ballet suites and orchestral songs, some of them posthumous premieres, will be presented. In addition, there will be six chamber music concerts offering a cross-section of the chamber works of Matchavariani.

There will be a Matchavariani Symposium held on 17 October 2013 at the Conservatory of the Georgian capital. In October there will also be an international piano competition with his piano composition “Chorumi” as the mandatory piece.

At the end of the year, there will also be a Matchavariani birthday concert at the Mariinski Theatre in on 12 December 2013.

Matchavariani Birthday Concerts in Tbilisi:

15 September 2013
Conservatory, Great Concert Hall
Six Songs on words by Galaktion Tabidze and Alexi Matchavariani for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra
Six Songs on words by Nikoloz Baratashvili for soprano and chamber orchestra
Symphony No. 4 “Youth Symphony“
S. Gordeladze (soprano)
N. Jibladze (mezzo-soprano)
Georgian Sinfonietta
Vakhtang Matchavariani (conductor)

23 September 2013
Philharmonic Hall, Great Concert Hall
Georgian Festival Overture
Suite No. 2 from the ballet “Othello“
Gertrude’s Monologue from the opera “Hamlet“ – World premiere
Suite from the ballet “The Taming of the Shrew“
Suite from the ballet “Pirosmani“
Two Songs for baritone and orchestra – World premiere of the orchestration by Vakhtang Matchavariani
Vocalise and Finale from the ballet “The Knight in the Tiger Skin“
Nino Surguladze (mezzo-soprano)
Lado Ataneli (baritone)
Orchestra of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Vakhtang Matchavariani (conductor)

Matchavariani Concerts in the Small Concert Hall at the Conservatory:

24 September (vocal works)
25 September (violin works)
26 September (piano works)
27 September (choir works)
28 September (cello and violin works)
29 September (string quartets)

30 September 2013
Rustaveli Theatre, Great Hall
Hamlet Monologue from the opera “Hamlet“ – World premiere
Fresco from the ballet “The Knight in the Tiger Skin“
Five Monologues after words by Vazha-Pshavela
Symphony No. 5 “Ushba“
Anzor Khidasheli (tenor)
Lado Ataneli (baritone)
Orchestra of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Vakhtang Matchavariani (conductor)


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