Bardanashvili, Josef

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BARDANASHVILI, JOSEF (1948– ), Israeli composer. Born in Batumi, Georgia, Bardanashvili studied at the Music Academy in Tbilisi under Alexander Shaverzashvili, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in composition in 1976. He was the director of the Batumi College (1986–91) and cultural vice minister of Adjaria (1993–94). He settled in Israel in 1995 and was composer-in-residence of the Israel Sinfonette Orchestra of Ra'anannah from 1996 to 1999. He taught at Camera Obscura College in 1998–99, at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv, in 1998–2000, and at the Bar-Ilan University and Sapir Academy College. He served as musical director of the Tel Aviv Biennale for Contemporary Music in 2002 and 2004.

Bardanashvili composed the first Georgian rock-opera, Alternative (1976), and rock-ballet, Tutor (1982). Among his other works are three operas, Moving Stars (1982), Eva (1998), and A Journey to the End of the Millennium (2004); two ballets (1972, 1991); two symphonies (1980, 2001); concertos for guitar, flute, piano, and violin; a triptych for voices and orchestra, Children of God, with texts from the Talmud, Koran, New Testament, and Book of Psalms (1997); Time to Love with texts from the Song of Songs, the Evangelists, Samuel ha-Nagid, and Nahapet Kuchak (1999); string quartets, quintets, piano trios, piano sonatas, choir music, and music for over 20 films and 40 theater productions. Having been influenced by Schnittke's polistylistic music and Kancheli's music, Bardanashvili was one of the first postmodern composers in the former Soviet Union to build his compositions on Georgian folklore and the music of Caucasian Jews.

Bardanashvili's compositions have been successfully performed all over the world by famous soloists, conductors, and orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Marinsky Theater, the Berliner Symphoniker, Jerusalem Symphony, Dochnanyi (Hungary), and festivals in Israel and abroad. Among his honors are the title of Honored Artist of Georgia (1988), the Paliashvili Award (1997), the akum Composer Prize (1998), the akum Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2002), the Margalit Prize (1999) for incidental music for the Dybbuk, the Israeli Prime Minister's Award (2000), and Israel Theater Music Oscar (2003).

[Dushan Mihakek (2nd ed.)]