Ensemble “Rustavi” Administration Press Release, October 10th, 2020



Don’t miss!..

Connecting with the 50th anniversary of the Ensemble “Rustavi”, there has been published a very important anthology – “400 Georgian Folk Songs”.



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Government meeting of the Republic of Georgia, June 17th, 1998

The sound recording of the designation of the State Honored Ensemble “Rustavi” by the status of “Academic Ensemble”.


President Eduard Shevardnadze:

I’d like to greet the invited guests and express my belief that I won’t take too much time. I think that’s a necessary and pleasurable question in common.


Valeri Asatiani (The Minister of Culture):

We are introducing a question about the designation of the State Honored Ensemble “Rustavi” of Folk Song and Dance of Georgia by the status of “Academic Ensemble”:

Mr. President!

The Ensemble’s authority and merit are so great that we do not feel it is necessary to describe and talk about them in detail. I will only say that today in Georgia, we have three academic theaters, these are: The Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Rustaveli Theater and the Marjanishvili Theater. Connecting with state concert organizations: Iliko Sukhishvili Georgian Academic National Ballet received the status of academic ballet in 1970. The State Honored Ensemble of Song and Dance under the guidance of Mr. Jemal Chkuaseli – in 1990. Today we are bringing up the question about the “Rustavi”. Taking into account its great endowment, I mean upbringing of generations, establishment of new traditions, foundation of numerous groups, recording of songs, their decoding, production, we talked about time and again and which caused deep resonance in our republic as well as beyond her, for exceptionally productive tours abroad, for the fact the Ensemble has a really great biography, in this case we make our choice and decision to designate the Ensemble “Rustavi” the status of “Academic Ensemble”. This question, of course, is brought up by the City Hall of Rustavi and through this we will honor the folk art in general and emphasize the Ensemble’s merit and truly productive and significant performance of its administration. Today I can’t but mention that in spite of actually existed difficulties, during the recent years, the Ensemble hasn’t ceased its working even for a single day, many of its colleagues patiently and with great courage overcomes the obstacles in the fields of science and culture. The Ensemble’s successful activities connecting with its tours are very active and intense. We can say the Ensemble “Martve”, 20th anniversary of which was widely celebrated by the public about two weeks ago, was given life and invigorated by the “Rustavi”. It is personally Mr. Anzor Erkomaishvili’s endowment that the movement of children and the youth towards studying of the folk song, its popularization and development got very impressive scales.

Taking into account all of the said, we see the basis to support the Ensemble. Why have we bothered such a representative audience? Because such events occur very seldom, and I feel we don’t have to be satisfied only by signing of the document. I consider this is the event in the Ensemble’s life and, generally, in the Georgian culture, which had to be marked and approved on such a high level.


Giga Lordkipanidze (Director):

– It goes without saying, the Ensemble “Rustavi” has a huge contribution to the success of the Georgian song and dance and the whole Georgian theatrical world joins and approves this absolutely right decision about the designation of it by the status of “Academic Ensemble”… E. Shevardnadze – I absolutely agree with you.


Jemal Chkuaseli (Choirmaster):

– Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, it will be difficult for me to express better what has been said. But personally, I can say only one thing, this is a wonderful Ensemble which contributed to the Georgian folklore a lot, and it will continue its activities in the same way.

Besides, several times each day, through TV or radio, they sweeten us with their recordings. It’s very active, persistent Ensemble. In addition to that, in front of you, I can’t but express my personal gratitude to Mr. Anzor Erkomaishvili for his great nobility, and as I know he is an Academician, too. He is a lovely man. And our Mr. Pridon is a real phenomenon; I think if not late, it’s absolutely timely the Ensemble has been designated by the status of “Academic Ensemble”. Thank you for your attention.

Shevardnadze: thank you. Does anyone wish to deliver a speech, too? Mr. Djano!


Djansug Kakhidze (Conductor):

…I think not only this high audience, but the whole Georgia knows everything about the life of the Ensemble “Rustavi”. I’d also like to join my voice to what has already been said for I am a big fan and lover, if we can say a man who is deeply experienced and raised with this folklore, a man who has been active in this field since his early years, still in 50s, since the “Shvidkatsa” (Ensemble). Then appeared the “Gordela”, then the “Rustavi” and today we have the picture that this is the best, brilliant Ensemble. Our cooperation with them is very active and productive. Recently we have recorded about 300 songs performed by the “Rustavi” to CDs that are sold all over Europe. This fact caused a huge interest from various countries where the “Rustavi” is often invited. Recently the “Rustavi” returned from the tour of Bergen (Norway), before that they participated in the most prestigious festival in London the name of which is “Proms”, etc. I will not bother you and only say that on the example of the Ensemble “Rustavi” and the Boys’ Ensemble “Martve”, which devotedly continues the “Rustavi” ’s traditions, today thousands of Georgian children sing the Georgian song and this is Anzor Erkomaishvili’s greatest endowment. The Georgian song is the same as the Georgian language, if not more, and for its maintenance, for its revival Mr. Anzor built a monument for himself in his life. I express my deep respect to his personality, and I don’t doubt the Ensemble will be designated by the status of “Academic Ensemble” today. Thank you for your attention and I congratulate Mr. Anzor on the designation of the Ensemble by the status of “Academic Ensemble” in advance.


Eduard Shevardnadze:

I would express my attitude like this: an independent state has its necessary attributes. These are not only the flag, the hymn and the coat of arms, neither the parliament nor the president. Everything, all the fields and all the spheres needs the state’s eye, the state’s ear, its attention, especially in such a small country as Georgia is. Special significance has, despite the fact does any collective attract someone’s attention or not, the state’s attitude towards it, in relation to the person and in general, to a collective. I consider this is the question of national and state importance…

Connecting with the “Rustavi”, I think there is no any other viewpoint. Who are here besides the representatives of the field of art? – I see Tamaz Janelidze is sitting here, and we all remember well how the “Shvidkatsa” was starting. Even at that time, there were done good things; the festivals held on the level of the union, the republic or the world. As I know, the great ensemble we call the “Rustavi” today was developed on the basis of the “Shvidkatsa” by itself. I think we would not be able to find anyone in Georgia who values and has a respectful attitude to the art and at the same time has a negative approach in relation to this decision: in addition to that, I’d like to join to the orators who spoke here, Mr. Jemal, Mr. Djano and others, to remark Mr. Anzor’s personal endowment, his personal merit and a huge authority. To my mind, he is an outstanding person indeed, an illustrious worker, devoted, a man without claims, and especially when such people require to notice them, to notice him, and this must be done by the state and her structures first of all. I can’t but mention his special contribution with regard to working with the youth. Even if you watch and listen to the “Martve” and the “Martve” ’s predecessors thousands of times, perhaps you won’t be able to leave the performances without tear, and through this we make the deed our grandchildren and motherland will have a huge benefit from. Besides, in the restoration and revival of the great traditions of the Georgian songs, with his few colleagues, he has really huge contribution. This time I wouldn’t like to mention him separately, as now we talk about the great Ensemble by itself, but I can’t but use this opportunity, our meeting to express my sincere thanks to him, at least the gratitude from the President and the country, from the state for what he has done and what he is doing. He is still a young man and has a promising future. I think our decision is unanimous.

(Applause). I suppose it is the first time we have applause at the government meeting (he is laughing), I wish to thank the inhabitants of Rustavi as well as Tbilisi, everyone who supports the Ensemble, approves these successful attainments and creates an appropriate foundation for them. Thanks, I congratulate you and please send my congratulations to each member of the group.



An excerpt from Eduard

Shevardnadze’s traditional

“Monday Interview”


Nato Oniani: Mr. Eduard, you attended Hamlet Gonashvili’s evening. Hamlet Gonashvili is a person who will be remembered by generations and follow the generations, I suppose even them, who have never listened to him, as it was in case of Vano Sarajishvili at one time. My generation didn’t have an opportunity to listen to him, but today everyone knows who was Vano Sarajishvili.


Eduard Shevardnadze: that’s a very good comparison. I express my gratitude to the organizers of this wonderful, unforgettable concert, first of all, to an interesting worker of the present day Mr. Anzor Erkomaishvili and his colleagues. The Ensemble “Rustavi” still remains one of the invaluable pearls of the Georgian culture.

It has fairly been mentioned, that such highly gifted people as unforgettable Hamlet Gonashvili was, are born once a century. It seems the genius of the Georgian folk song merged with this person and revived in him. There were lots of unforgettable things in this person and all this was mentioned at that evening. The Georgian folk song, I would say like this, is a great achievement of our national culture. Hamlet Gonashvili gave special brilliance to the Georgian song, his voice will be Georgia’s inseparable part for ever.



February 21st, 2000