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Nodar Gabunia (Piano, Composer)

Born: July 9, 1933 - Tbilisi, Georgia
Died: August 31, 2000 - Amsterdam, the Netherland

The Georgian pianist and composer, Nodar Gabunia [Gabuniya, Gabunija], studied in 1951 at the conservatory of Tbilisi (Georgia), but in 1954 moved to the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied piano with his piano with Alexander Goldenweiser and composition with Aram Khachaturian. Immediately after completing his studies in 1962, he began to teach at the State Conservatory in Tbilisi. In 1966 he was Lecturer, in 1976 he became Professor, and finally, in 1984, he was appointed Rector, a post which he held until his death. Internationally, he joined the Royal Conservatory in The Hague as a visiting lecturer.

Nodar Gabunia was also active as a concert pianist. Apart from performing his own works, his repertoire was quite broad and included alongside works by J.S. Bach and L.v. Beethoven, newer music by Béla Bartók, Prokofiev and others. In addition, he operated at times in the Soviet and Georgian Composers' Union. During his life, he received both Georgian and international medals and awards. Gabunia died in Amsterdam, but was buried in his hometown.

As a composer, Nodar Gabunia's works are strongly influenced by the quest for an original Georgian-influenced sound. He tried to play Georgian music unadulterated by Romantic and European influences. Here he opposed other methods particularly those of Béla Bartók, a composer whom he highly appreciated. Gabunia also attacked contemporary style means, but nevertheless remained a more temperate modern composer. His works are based on an enlarged, shaped modal tonality. Even neo-classical influences can be found in his works. Characteristic virtuoso element is also not rare. As a composer, he preferred to work in the Chamber Music and Symphonic genres. He composed 3 symphonies, 3 piano concertos, concerto for violin and orchestra, 2 string quartets, 3 piano sonatas, a piano trio, 2 song cycles and numerous other compositions. One of his acclaimed works, music for theatre and films, the Fable by Sulkhan Saba (1964) has been awarded the Grand Prix of Unesco International Music Competition (1973).


Symphony No. 1 (1972, revised 1974)
Symphony No. 2 (1984)
Symphony No. 3 Sinfonia Gioconda for chamber orchestra (1988)
Poem-Elegie for chamber orchestra (1963, revised 1974)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1961)
Piano Concerto No. 2 (1976)
Piano Concerto No. 3 (1986)
Violin Concerto (1981)
Stage and Film Music

Kwarkare Tutaberi, Music Comedy (1973)
Der Baum ächzt ("The tree groans"), Music Comedy (1979)
Die Fabel: Die Baumeister des Dorfes ("The fable: The architects of the village") for soloists, speaker, and 7 instruments (1964, revised 1984)

String Quartet No. 1 (1979)
String Quartet No. 2 (1982)
Piano Trio (1997)
Adscharische Festliche for piano trio (1998)
Violin Sonata (1961)
Sonata for trumpet, piano and percussion (1980)

Piano Sonata No.1 (1966)
Piano Sonata No.2 (1968)
Organ Sonata (1987)
Sonatina for Piano (1961)
Improvisation and Toccata (1962)
Small pieces
Pieces for Children

Source: Website; German Wikipedia Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (August 2009); Bits & pieces from other sources
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2009)

Nodar Gabunia: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Nodar Gabunia (

Nodar Gabunia (Wikipedia) [German]

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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