Giya Kancheli: “When speaking about Armenia, I remember Dilijan and my Armenian friends”
Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, the author of seven symphonies and numerous orchestral and chamber works, is easily recognized by listeners. He is the author of music for famous Soviet films “Mimino” and “Kin-dza-dza” as well as a few dozen other movies and performances. In 1991, Giya Kancheli moved from the Soviet Union to Berlin. In 1995 he moved to Antwerp, Belgium, at the invitation of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra where he lives up to now. Kancheli’s works are performed all over the world.
Giya Kancheli says he will be happy to visit Armenia again. Kancheli is tied to Armenia by Dilijan and six famous symphonies. Kancheli visited Yerevan last year. He did not expect that he would again visit Armenia, a country to which he is linked by his memories and close friends.
“I am glad that I am alive and that I happened to come to this city, which I had visited many times and where I have many friends. I think this is my last visit. I mean the state of health, if God gives me this chance, and I will get there again, I will be happy,” said Kancheli.
The friends of Georgian composer are outstanding Armenian musicians – Avet Terteryan, Edward Mirzoyan, Lazar Saryan, Alexander Harutyunyan and others. Six famous symphonies of the maestro were composed in the house in Dilijan, where his friends-composers often gathered.
The program of the concert in Malta contained Kancheli’s works composed during different years: the opus “Chiaroscuro” for violin and string orchestra, and the cycle “Letters to Friends” for the viola and chamber orchestra.
“I composed this music for films and plays, and the addressees of these letters are directors, composers, artists – all my old friends. It seems to me that the public should know about this,” he explained. “However, I composed ‘Chiaroscuro’ for myself, not for someone. 14 letters is a certain genre, dedicated to friends.”
Speaking about his visit to Armenia, Kancheli expressed his special gratitude to the conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra Sergey Smbatyan for hosting a three-day festival dedicated to his music: “I wrote six symphonies in Armenia, each took 2.5 years, and if we multiply six by 2.5, we will get the number of years I spent in Armenia. When I was in Armenia, I had an opportunity to visit Dilijan, but I did not want to, because Dilijan remained in my memory as a flourishing garden, and I did not want to be disappointed to see how the buildings of the House of Creativity, where used to live, have changed. I wanted to leave in my memory the old Dilijan. Speaking of Armenia, I remember my Armenian friends who are no longer alive, and I remember my work in Dilijan.”