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Taktakishvili, Otar Vasil’evich
Born July 27, 1924, in Tbilisi. Soviet composer and public figure. People’s Artist of the USSR (1974). Member of the CPSU since 1951. Member of the Central Committee of the Georgian Communist Party (1963). Minister of Culture of the Georgian SSR (1965).
Taktakishvili graduated in 1947 from the Tbilisi Conservatory, where he studied composition under S. V. Barkhudarian, and that same year joined the faculty of the conservatory. From 1962 to 1965 he served as the conservatory’s rector, and in 1966 he was made a professor. Taktakishvili was conductor of the State Chorus of the Georgian SSR, and he served as the chorus’s artistic director from 1952 to 1956. He became secretary of the Composers’ Union of the USSR in 1957.
Taktakishvili has composed major operas, vocal and orchestral works, and symphonies. His opera Mindiia, based on motifs from the poetry of Vazha Pshavela, was staged in 1961. Three Novellas, staged in 1967, is a triptych of one-act operas—Two Verdicts and The Soldier, both based on short stories by M. Dzhavakhishvili, and Raise the Banners Higher!, based on poems by G. Tabidze. The opera’s second version (1972) was re-titled Three Lives, and the third section, Chikori, was rewritten. Taktakishvili’s other works include the opera Abduction of the Moon (1974), the television opera The Award (staged 1963), two symphonies (1949 and 1953), the symphonic poem Mtsyri (1956), concerti, including two for piano (1951 and 1974), and other symphonic works.
Other important compositions by Taktakishvili include the oratorios The Living Hearth (1964; revised version, 1970), the song cycles In Rustaveli’s Footsteps (1964) and Nikoloz Baratashvili (1970), and the cantatas Gurian Songs (1971), Mingrelian Songs (1972), and Love Songs (1974). Taktakishvili has also composed choruses, romances, and music for plays and motion pictures. He often conducts his own works.
Taktakishvili has been awarded the State Prize of the USSR three times (1951, 1952, and 1967). He was a deputy to the fourth and fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and he became a member of the Committee on Lenin Prizes in 1963. He has been awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.
REFERENCEPoliakova, L. Otar Taktakishvili. Moscow, 1956.
E. P. MESKHISHVILI