Natela Svanidze

From Unearthing The Music

Natela Svanidze (Georgian: ნათელა დამიანეს ასული სვანიძე, Natela Damien asuli Svanidze; Russian: Натела Дамиановна Сванидзе, Natela Damianovna Svanidze) (born 4 September 1926) is a composer.


Natela Svanidze was born in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. She studied composition at Tbilisi State Conservatoire with Andria Balanchivadze, graduating in 1951. She was awarded the title of Honored Artist of Georgia in 1981.[1][2]

Svanidze began her composition career in the 1940s. While her pieces originally followed the general trends popular in the Soviet Union at the time, from 1963 onwards her interest shifted towards new 20th century composition techniques which she strove to integrate with influences from folk music from her native Georgia. [3]


According to Svanidze's own opinion, her style was significantly influenced by the characteristic polyphonic approach of West Georgian folk music. Her music synthesizes the European and Georgian polyphonic peculiarities, as well as non-orthodox twelve-tone techniques (with diffuse connections to modal/tonal systems), mixed with sonority, controlled randomness and polystylism. Svanidze’s original attitude to the serial technique is manifested in the merger of series and the construction of folk intonations in intervals.

The forms and means characteristic of European polyphony are frequently encountered in Svanidze’s scores (e.g. serial fugues and passacaglia from Symphony 1). Also noteworthy is an imitation polyphony less typical of Georgian folklore.[3]


Svanidze composes for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo instrument and experimental performances. Selected works include:

  • 1949 – "Symphony Dances" for orchestra
  • 1951 – "Samgori" symphony poem
  • 1963 – "Kvarkvare" symphony poem
  • 1965 – "Burlesque" for piano, wind and percussion instruments
  • 1967 – Symphony for piano, string and percussion instruments
  • 1968 – Symphony-ballet for symphony orchestra
  • 1983 – Symphony No. 2
  • 1954 – "Garden of Kartli" cantata for mixed chorus and symphony orchestra. (in three parts), text by Giorgi Leonidze
  • 1970 – "Pirosmani" chamber oratorio for reader, contralto, male sextet and instrumental ensemble (in five parts), texts by Boris Pasternak, Pavel Antokolsky, Titsian Tabidze
  • 1975 – "Poem of Never-to-be-forgotten" oratorio for reader, female sextet, two choruses, organ, violin, 12 cellos, flute and tape (in six parts), text by Irakli Charkviani
  • 1956 – Improvisation for violin and piano
  • 1960 – "Fairytale" eight variations for piano
  • 1972 – "Circle" piece for two prepared pianos
  • 1952 – "Zoia" ballade for bass and piano, text by Ioseb Noneshvili
  • 1954 – "Daybreak" for female chorus a cappella, text by Giorgi Orbeliani


  1. "Сванидзе, Натела Дамиановна". Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  2. Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  3. Nadareishvili, Marika. "MUSICAL IDENTITY IN NEW GEORGIAN MUSIC: NATELA SVANIDZE – EKA CHABASHVILI". Published in GESJ: Musicology and Cultural Science 2015| No.2(12)