Me Rustveli / მე რუსთველი

Ensemble was established in 1996, in the  monastery named after Archangel Michael, Rustavi. The aim of collecting ensemble members was the strong desire of participation (performing  chants) in divine service. Since the first days of its establishment the  ensemble has started an intensive work on searching and studying Georgian chants. The repertoire included chants of annual cycles of divine service and  celebration songs.

From the beginning the band consisted of 5 members. Later the number has increased, the majority of which were the students  of conservatoire. The ensemble worked on learning both chants and Georgian folk  songs. Gradually the band repertoire has increased and the desire of creating  folklore band created a unique ensemble named “Me Rustveli”.

In 2000 rector and faculty members of Tbilisi Vano Sarajishvili State University gave the band the status of conservatoire folklore ensemble. Since then, it has  started its active concert work not only within Georgia but beyond its borders as well.

Strong ties with conservatoire have had great influence on the ensembles  professional development (promotion), the repertoire has become more colorful,  more concert experience has been gained and the membership has become more complete.

The present-day membership is: Nugzar Arveladze (leader), Mikheil Edisherashvili, Tamaz Mamaladze, Teimuraz Janelidze, Teimuraz Kilasonia, Giorgi Janelidze, Giorgi Tsivtsivadze, Shalva Maisashvili, Lasha Maisaia.

Even today the ensemble continues its service  in the chapel named after Saint Ioakim and Anna, and its concert work gains  more popularity in Georgia  and beyond its borders. It also continues its active cooperation with conservatoire.

“Me Rustveli” has a great potential to search  and perform ancient folklore works. It plans to record CDs with its unique  performance, and to participate in various folklore festivals sand concerts.

This is what Anzor Erkomaishvili writes about “Me Rustveli”: Today many bands have taken performance of  seldom works of Georgian chants in their repertoire. Young people try to  penetrate the depth and restore the far-forgotten song tradition. “Me Rustveli” is within such bands; despite its age, the ensemble has already gained enough  authority and an audience respect, as its members serve the national work and  continue the best traditions brought up to day by our ancestors.

Ensemble is hardly based on the national ground  and has quite refined performing skills. Its members have the great ability to penetrate the depth of the best  works of any region and to please the audience. That makes their songs easily  accessible and pleasant to listen.

The repertoire, except  church songs, includes the songs of every region in Georgia. They are performed on  concert stages. The ensemble tours a lot in various cities of Georgia, holds meeting-concerts,  participates in church celebrations and uses all opportunities to popularize Georgian songs.

The majority of the ensemble members are  professional musicians. They have been brought together by their huge love of  songs and their national obligation of rescuing spiritual treasure of Georgian  people. Today their names are identified with the ensemble concept. It seems  like they have to share same life and destiny. The daily life and tensed work  has created an amazing unanimity that stresses the dignities of their moral.

Concerts and tours:
2002, International festival of songs in Sachkhere (Georgia).
2003, “Me Rustveli” opens Beethoven international festival in Bonn (Germany).
2003, Aram Khachaturian International festival in Yerevan (Armenia).
2004, International Symposium of Folklore in a huge  hall of Tbilisi conservatoire (Georgia).
2004, International festival of Georgian wines and  cuisine in San-Francisco (U.S.). Solo concerts in various cities of California (U.S.).
2006, Solo concerts in Belgium  and Holland.
2007, International festival of burdon music (Latvia).

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