- Leah Dolidze
(b Akhaltsikhe, southern Georgia, Sept 4, 1926). Georgian composer. She studied composition with Andria Balanchivadze at the Tbilisi State Conservatory (graduating 1951) before continuing her education with Fortunatov and Peyko in Moscow. From 1956 she has devoted part of her time to teaching music history and theory at the Georgian Institute of Theatre and Cinema, and later was made a professor. A board member of the Georgian Composers’ Union, she became an Honoured Artist of Georgia in 1981. She was among the most receptive to the radical renewal of Georgian music in the early 1960s, which came about through the contacts, newly enjoyed by Soviet composers, with international festivals of contemporary music. Svanidze’s composing career proper began in the 1960s, when having broken away from the Georgian Romantic school, she began an arduous path to creative maturity and individuality set in a broad stylistic base. A sense of freshness and experiment in her works is the result of her inclination towards the new, the artistic avant garde, and speaks of her keen awareness of the spirit of an era. Her employment of dodecaphonic, serial, sonoristic, aleatory and electronic techniques, in the spirit of the Polish avant garde, is combined with collages of episodes of old Georgian chorales, ritual laments and songs from the towns. In her music the chaotically complex atmosphere of contemporary life enters into a dialogue of eternal artistic values; hence the eclecticism and dramatic use of montage that obtain a sense of generalization and lend the effect of a linking-together of past and present times. The genres that she has principally employed are the symphony and oratorio, although chamber music has played a role in the development of her more recent style. Among the most conceptually significant of her works are the First Symphony (...