Position: Founder, Art Director
Anzor Erkomaishvili is a full professor of Tbilisi Institute of Culture, People’s Artist of Georgia, the laureate of Shota Rustaveli, Zaqaria Paliashvili, Dimitri Arakishvili, Iakob Gogebashvili, Eqvtime Takaishvili and Niko Berdzenishvili awards. Dr Erkomaishvili is a prize-winner of Albert Schwarzer’s award (together with the Ensemble Rustavi) as well as the state prize laureate with boys’ ensemble Martve. Dr Erkomaishvili is the Head of the Georgian Folk Song International Centre.
Anzor Erkomaishvili is a progeny of a three-hundred-year-old musical dynasty. His ancestors were prominent singers and choirmasters. He has a profound knowledge of Georgian folk musical culture and its performing traditions.
One year after entering the Tbilisi State Conservatoire in 1961 Erkomaishvili with his friends founded folk ensemble Gordela, which under his guidance became a world folk festival laureate in 1968. The same 1968 year Erkomaishvili founded the legendary Rustavi Choir and started working as a musical director.
He was a presenter of the famous TV show Mravalzhamieri dedicated to the Georgian folk music preservation. He has taken part in various radio and TV-shows and music festivals. Among them it is worth to be noticed BBC Music festival in 1992 and 1997.
In 1976 Anzor Erkomaishvili founded boys’ ensemble Martve. With Martve he successfully travelled to many countries of Europe, North America, likewise, several times to Japan. Until now, the generations grown from Martve boys’ choir are famous conductors of various folk ensembles in Georgia. With the establishment of the ensemble he laid foundation to the development of folk music among younger generations.
Dr Erkomaishvili has published numerous interesting articles and books such as: Babua (Grandfather), Khma Utsnauri (Strange Voice), Mival Guriashi Mara and many others. For more than 40 years he worked at locating and reviving old folk songs and religious hymns from 1901-30, which finally were illustrated on CD.
From 2001-06 Dr Erkomaishvili was a member of UNESCO folk committee. In 2001 he prepared and presented the project Chakrulo to UNESCO. As a result, UNESCO recognized Georgian folk music as “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of the Humanity”.
Dr Erkomaishvili travelled through the whole Georgia for decades gathering unique samples of Georgian folk songs from old folk singers. Finally, in 2006 he produced unique folk songs collection CD from 1901-50. It's worth to be noted the note repertoire of Artem Erkomaishvili, a famous Georgian singer and choirmaster, who was the grandfather of Mr Erkomaishvili.
In the same 2006 professor Erkomaishvili published his article about the unique recording of Georgian folk songs from 1901-14.
Dr Erkomaishvili has taught and continues teaching Georgian folk songs to many foreigners from Japan, the USA, UK, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Canada and others.
During many years Rustavi Choir and Martve was the only ensemble and Anzor Erkomaishvili the only choirmaster who has been engaged in active educational activities. He dedicated all his professional life to Georgian folk song research and the contribution of this person in popularization of Georgian polyphony abroad is really invaluable.
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March 20th, 2007
To Mr Anzor Erkomaishvili
As you know, on April 12th 2006, there was enacted ‘2003 Convention of the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage’. Nowadays 74 member countries have ratified this international document. This ensures for the member countries the mechanisms which will help them in the protection and identification of a live heritage and passing of it from generation to generation what is so important for keeping cultural diversity.
By the enactment of the convention of 2003 (clause 31), UNESCO has finished the recognition programme of ‘The Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage of the Humanity’. According to the 16th clause of the convention, in order to pass from the programme to the convention, the masterpieces were enrolled to the representative list of the masterpieces of intangible heritage of the humanity.
Due to your assistance and your wise recommendation, I was able to choose 90 items of the forms of cultural expression and cultural space from 70 countries of the world, which occupies all the regions of the world from the recognition programmes of 2001, 2003 and 2005. Actually, more than 100 hundred countries have participated in this innovative programme of UNESCO.
The announcement of the masterpieces has substantial result. They officially approved the programme. On the one hand, it directed the international society’s attention to the factors, which threaten the diversity of cultural expression, and on the other hand – to the elaboration of different methods and means of its protection. Governments of some countries have implemented lots of initiatives, among them establishment of the organizations of the protection of intangible cultural heritage, making inventory and elaboration of national law.
The recognition programme gave impetus to the enhancement of knowledge and implementation of the protective measures. This ensured faster enactment of the convention. The experience accumulated since 2001 enabled us to perform effective and concrete measures in relation to the maintenance of the heritage. This is the steady fundament on which has to be built future intergovernmental committee which will be responsible for the implementation of the convention.
I’d like to emphasize with great pleasure, that by the enactment of the convention, the recognition programme has reached its aims. Nowadays, from 90 proclaimed masterpieces about 50 of them, mostly from developed countries, receive financial and technical assistance from UNESCO. It’s apparent, that the protecting measures of the recognized masterpieces will continue.
Now, when the recognition programme has been finished and the international judges have expired their mandate, I’d like to express my deep gratitude to you for the priceless work you have done and for your splendid contribution to the recognition programme as you also were one of the judges. Your active cooperation has been crucial for the success of the programme. I hope, you will continue your support to UNESCO activities in the maintenance of the forms of cultural expression .This requires our collective responsibility and firm mobilization.
I have the honour to pass you the result of the recognition programme – the brochure published in 2005. There are presented the 90 chefs-d’oeuvre approved by UNESCO. The Department of Intangible Heritage will always give you additional information connecting with the programme and the results of the activities performed in the framework of the convention.
Let me once again express my sincere thanks for your active co-operation while being one of the judges of the recognition programme and wish you success in your future activities.