Culture & Art

  • Anthim the Iberian Antimoz Iverieli; secular name: Andria; 1650 — September or October 1716 - was a Georgian theologian, scholar, calligrapherphilosopherand one of the greatest ecclesiastic figures of Wallachia, founder of the firstprinting press in Romania, and Metropolitan of Bucharest in 1708-1715. 
  • Sayat-Nova (1712–1795), poet, musician and ashug who had compositions in a number of languages
  • Gabriel Sundukian (1825–1912), outstanding playwright, the founder of modern Armenian drama
  • Hovhannes Tumanyan (1869–1923), the greatest Armenian poet and writer
  • Prince Artchil Gourieli-Tchkonia (1895-1955), who emigrated to the United States in 1937, and his wife Madam Helena Rubinstein (1882-1965), known as the queen of cosmetic products, became a successful business couple. They launched Gourelli Apothecary with two new lines of expensive cosmetic products for women and men. The prince also established the "Prince Machiabelli" line, which included "Cachet" in 1970, and "Chimere" in 1980. These perfumes continued to remain popular after the prince's death.
  • George Papashvily (1898-1978) was an author who married American Helen White after immigrating to United States in the 1920s. Together they wrote Anything Can Happen (1944), which chronicled his immigrant experiences. The book was a bestseller, and was made into a 1952 movie by Paramount Pictures. Papashvily and his wife also published the novel All the Happy Endings (1956) and Home and Home Again (1973), which included their impressions of Georgia after a visit during the 1960s.
  • Aleksandr Porfiryevich Borodin (Gedeanishvili) - major nationalist Composer of the 19th century. He was also a scientist notable for his research on aldehydes. Borodin's father was a Georgian prince (Luka Semyonovich Gedeanishvili) . As a boy he received a good education, including piano lessons, but he was eventually to earn a doctorate in medicine at the Medico&150;Surgical Academy, the later home to Ivan Pavlov, and to pursue a career in chemistry (just as his comrade Cesar Cui would do in the field of military fortifications). As a result of his work in chemistry and difficulties in his home-life, Borodin was not as 
    prolific in writing music as many of his contemporaries were -- hence his own description of himself as a "Sunday composer." He died during a festive ball, where he was participating with much vigor; he suddenly collapsed from heart failure. He was interred in Tikhvin Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, 
    in St. Petersburg, Russia. 
  • Aram Khachaturian (1903–1978), prominent Soviet Armenian composer. Khachaturian is best known for his ballet music—Gayane (1942) and Spartacus (1954). His most popular piece, the "Sabre Dance" from Gayane, has been used extensively in popular culture and has been covered by a number of musicians worldwide.His style is "characterized by colorful harmonies, captivating rhythms, virtuosity, improvisations, and sensuous melodies."
  • George Balanchine (1904-1983), was born Balanchivadze, and was a noted ballet master and choreographer. He was considered the most influential and finest choreographer of the twentieth century. Balanchine was the cofounder and artistic director of the New York City Ballet Company, worked for the New York Metropolitan Opera, created more than 200 ballets, and choreographed several Broadway musicals and movies. He also wrote a book about 101 ballet stories.
  • Prince Teymuraz Bagration (1913-1992), a descendant of Georgian royalty, became president of the Tolstoy Foundation in New York City after World War II and remained in this position until his death. He was known for his efforts to resettle Georgian, Russian and other ethnic refugees from the Soviet Union and East European countries. He was also involved in the resettlement of refugees from Vietnam, Cuba, Uganda, and other countries. As a member of Care and Interaction, a coalition of more than 100 charitable organizations, Bagration was instrumental in assisting displaced persons who wanted to start a new life in the United States.
  • Sergei Parajanov(1924-1990), film director and artist who made significant contributions to UkrainianArmenian and Georgian cinema.He invented his own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism (the only sanctioned art style in the USSR). This, combined with his controversial lifestyle and behaviour, led Soviet authorities to repeatedly persecute and imprison him, and suppress his films.
  • Mikael Tariverdiev (15 August 1931 – 24 July 1996) was a prominent Soviet composer of Armenian descent. He headed the Composers' Guild of Soviet Cinematographers' Union from its inception. He is an author of over 100 romances and 4 operas, including the comic opera Graf Cagliostro and monoopera "The Waiting". But he is best known for his music in many popular Soviet movies.
  • Devorah Bertonov (1915–2010) was an Israeli pioneer of dance and stage arts.She was awarded the Israel Prize in 1991. She was the daughter of Yehoshua Bertonov, one of the founders of Habima Theatre in Moscow, who also won the Israel Prize. Bertonov was born in Georgia. Her family immigrated to Palestine in 1915 and settled in Tel Aviv. She studied dance in Berlin in 1929–1932.Making Way for a Green Leaf is a documentary about Bertonov filmed when she was 85.
  • Tamar Mamistvalov – Kezerashvili - a writer, a professional journalist, translator and a public figure, was born in 1933, in a town of Tskhinvali / Georgia /, into a family of a well-known rabbi, a great expert on Torah, who had translated from Hebrew into Georgian a number of psalms of David and other holy books.
  • David Iakobachvili (1957) is one of the founders of the largest Russian company – JSC Wimm-Bill-Dann – the manufacturer of dairy products,juices and beverages.
  • Tamir Sapir (birth name Temur Sepiashvili); 1946/1947 – September 26, 2014) was an American immigrant from the former Soviet republic of Georgia who made millions bartering fertilizer and oil with the Soviets in the 1980s; he took most of his money and put it into New York real-estate. He was included in The 400 Richest Americans List of September 2008 (#246), with a net worth of $1.9billion. In March 2010, he ranked 721st on Forbes' list of billionaires, with a net worth of $1.4 billion.
  • Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili (born May 20, 1956), a Russian writer ofGeorgian origin. He is best known as writer of detective and historical fiction, but he's also an essayist and literary translator. Grigory Chkhartishvili has also written under pen names Anatoly BrusnikinAnna Borisova and Akunin-Chkhartishvili.
  • Nikolay Tsiskaridze was a premier dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet. Ethnically Georgian, he was born in Tbilisi on 31 December 1973. He joined the Moscow Ballet School in 1987 and was admitted into the Bolshoi Ballet in 1991. After winning applause of true ballet legends Galina UlanovaMarina Semyonova and Yuri Grigorovich, he became the youngest person to be named a People's Artist of Russia (2001). He received the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2001 and 2003 and the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1999.
  • Ketevan "Katie" Melua (born 16 September 1984) is a Georgian-British singer, songwriter and musician. She moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then to England at fourteen.Melua is signed to the small Dramaticorecord label, under the management of composer Mike Batt,and made her musical debut in 2003. In 2006, she was the United Kingdom's best-selling female artist and Europe's highest selling European female artist.
  • Alexander ToradzeThe Toradze studio have received high praise for their contributions to the piano world, and has developed into a worldwide touring ensemble that has gathered critical acclaim on an international level. In the recent season the Studio appeared in Salzburg, New York, Rome, Florence, Venice, Ravenna, Lisbon, Ruhr Festival, among others. Mr. Toradze continuously appears with worlds leading orchestras such as Berlin Philharmonic, Kirov Orchestra, La Scala Philharmonic, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, City of Birmingham Symphony, London's Symphony, Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras, NHK in Japan, Czech, Hungarian, Israel, Rotterdam, Warsaw Philharmonics, the radio orchestras in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Italy. 
  • Manana Japaridze simply known as Manana, is an Azerbaijani popular singer.She has been an Honorary Artist of Azerbaijan since 2009.Having represented Azerbaijan in many song competitions, she has won three "Grand Prix"
  • Ulvi Rajab (born near Batumi – 2 January 1938, Baku) was an Azerbaijani stage actor.
  • Giorgi Latso (born 15 April 1978) is a Georgian-American classical pianist,composer and doctor of musical arts. He has won piano competitions and received awards in many countries. His concerts have been broadcast on radio and television is Europe, Asia and America. He has been an American citizen since 2012. 
  • Giorgio Gomelsky (born 28 February 1934) is a film maker, impresario, music manager, songwriter (as Oscar Rasputin) and record producer. He was born in Georgia, grew up in Switzerland, and later lived in Britain and the USHe owned the Crawdaddy Club in London where The Rolling Stones were house band, and he was involved with their early management. He hired The Yardbirds as a replacement and managed them. He was also their producer from the beginning through 1966. In 1967, he started Marmalade Records(distributed by Polydor), which featured "Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity", The Blossom Toes, and early recordings by Graham GouldmanKevin Godley and Lol Creme, who became 10cc. The label closed in 1969. Gomelsky was also instrumental in the careers of The Soft MachineDaevid Allen and GongMagma, and MaterialHe now lives in New York City.
  • David Komakhidze known as David Koma(stylized as DΛVID KOMΛ) is a Georgian fashion designer based in London,UK. He graduated in 2009 with a distinction in MA Fashion from Central Saint Martins after studying and completing his BA in Fashion Womenswear in 2007.
  • Marina Nadiradze (born 1978) is a Georgian pianistShe studied at the State Conservatoire in Tbilisi. As a precocious nine-year-old she won the first of her international awards in Vilnius, Lithuania and since then has gone on to amass an impressive list of competition successes, including 2nd Prize in the inaugural Tbilisi International Piano Competition in 1997, 1st Prize in the highly prestigious LASMO Staffa Award in 2000, and 2nd Prize and the Lawrence Glover Silver Medal at the Scottish International Piano Competition in 2001. Later she studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in GlasgowScotland.
  • Ivane (Vano) Nanuaschvili or Jan Nanuashvili (January 011902Georgia – 1974USA) was a Georgian military activist, officer of the Polish Army, political emigrant. Vano Nanuashvili contributed to the popularization of the Georgian culture and history, as well as the Georgian question in the USA.