Dimitrii Arakishvili

Arakishvili, Dimitrii Ignat’evich


(Arakchiev). Born Feb. 11 (23), 1873, in Vladikavkaz; died Aug. 13, 1953, in Tbilisi. Soviet composer, musicologist and ethnographer, journalist, and public figure. People’s Artist of Georgian SSR (1929); academician of the Academy of Sciences of Georgian SSR (1950). One of the first Georgian professional musicians.

In 1901, Arakishvili graduated from the Moscow Philharmonic School, where he studied composition with A. T. Grechaninov. Beginning in 1897 he wrote about music for the Russian and Georgian press. Beginning in 1901 he participated in the work of the music and ethnography committee at Moscow University. Arakishvili was one of the organizers of the Moscow People’s Conservatory (1906). He wrote down and published more than 500 pieces of Georgian folk music. Arakishvili was the author of the first works on Georgian musical folklore (A Brief Outline of the Development of Georgian and Kartalino-Kakhetian Folk Songs, Moscow, 1905; The Folk Song of Western Georgia [Imeretii], Moscow, 1908; Georgian Folk Music, Moscow, 1916).

Beginning in 1918, Arakishvili lived in Tbilisi. He was a founder of the second Georgian Conservatory (1921; 1923, merged with the first conservatory), where he was a professor. Many Georgian musicians were Arakishvili’s pupils. He was the first chairman of the Union of Soviet Composers of Georgia (1932).

The birth of the Georgian classical romance (with words by Pushkin, Fet, Khetagurov, Khafiz, and Kuchishvili) is associated with Arakishvili. The best romances are based on the intonations of Georgian urban folklore.

Arakishvili was the author of the first Georgian opera, The Legend of Shota Rustaveli (produced in 1919 in Tbilisi), which led to the formation of the Georgian music theater. He composed three symphonies, choral pieces, and other works. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1950) and four orders, as well as medals.


Begidzhanov, A. D. I. Arakishvili. Moscow, 1953.