Dimitri Arakishvili / დიმიტრი არაყიშვილი

Dimitri Arakishvili (February 11, 1873 – August 13, 1953) was a Georgian composer and ethnomusicologist considered as one of the founding fathers of modern Georgian music. He was also known by his Russified name Dimitry Ignatyevich Arakchiev.

Born in Vladikavkaz (now North Ossetia, Russia), he graduated, in 1901, from the School of Music and Drama operated by Moscow Philharmonic Society where he was tutored by Alexander Grechaninov and Willem Kes. In addition he graduated from the Moscow Archaeological Institute in 1917. He helped found the Moscow People’s Conservatory and offered free musical classes in Arbat Square in 1906. From 1908 to 1912, was editor-in-chief of the journal Muzika i zhizn. One of his major interests was Georgian folk music and he traveled throughout Georgia collecting traditional music and over 500 folk songs from 1901 to 1908. When Georgia established an independent republic in 1918, Arakishvili moved to Tbilisi and founded a conservatory which was merged with the Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1923. He taught and composed, and directed the Conservatory from 1926 to 1929. He was actively involved in collecting and popularizing Georgian folk songs and published books on Georgian folk music. Since 1932, he chaired the Union of Georgian Composers. In 1950, he was awarded the Stalin Prize.

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