Konstantine Gamsakhurdia (May 3, 1893 - July 17, 1975) was a Georgian classical writer of
the 20th century and a famous public benefactor, Academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences
(GAS), Ph.D. of the Berlin University, and Laureate of the Shota Rustaveli State Prize of Georgia.
Zviad Konstantinis dze Gamsakhurdia, (March 31, 1939 - December 31, 1993) was a dissident, scientist and writer, who
became the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era.
Particularly in Soviet-era sources, his patronymic is sometimes given as Konstantinovich in the Russian style.
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria: (March 29, 1899 – December 23, 1953), was a
Soviet politician and chief of the Soviet security and police apparatus.
George (Giorgi) Jordania - conductor at Z. Paliashvili Tbilisi State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and has been the principle conductor of the Georgian State Chamber Orchestra. After finishing his studies in Tbilisi Conservatory and the Leningrad Conservatory in 1989, Jordania continued his education in the United States, completed his Master's Degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He worked as an assistant conductor while at the University, conducting numerous symphony concerts.
Professor Dodona Kiziria teaches Beginning Georgian at SWSEEL (Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and
Central Asian Languages) Indiana University. She is also a full-time professor at IU, where she has been teaching
since the 1970s. Her courses include Russian and Soviet Film, Central European Cinema, and courses on Russian literature
and Georgian language.
Zurab Sotkilava: (March 12, 1937) - musicant, tenor, compositor; Professor at the Moscow State Conservatoire.
Ilia Vekua (April 23, 1907 – December 2, 1977) was a distinguished Georgian mathematician, specializing in partial differential
equations, singular integral equations, generalized analytic functions and the mathematical theory of elastic shells. Vekua studied
at Tbilisi State University. He was made a professor there in 1940. He was also deputy-director of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics
(1954–1959), the first rector of Novosibirsk State University (1959–1964), and vice-president (1964–1965) and president (1972–1977) of the
Georgian Academy of Sciences.
Aleqsandre Basilaia - composer, people’s artist of Georgia, founder and group leader of vocal ensemble "Iveria".
Famous Filmography: "Ostrov pogibshikh korabley" (1987); "Argonavtebi" (1986); "Vesyolaya khronika opasnogo puteshestviya" (1978);
"Suveniri" (1986); "Chiora" (1984); "Chkhikvta qortsili" (1984); "Sizmara" (1983); "Iveria, da sikvaruli" (1978);
"Mkhiaruli mogzauroba" (1978);
Levan Gotua (March 10, 1905 - January 30, 1973) was a famous Georgian writer. He has written fabulous historical novels.
One of his most famous works was "Gmirta Varami", which is fueled by the writer's great love of his country and the rich history
Zaza Pachulia - (February 10, 1984) sportsman. After distinguishing himself in Skerspor squad, Pachulia was drafted in the second round by Orlando Magic in 2003 NBA Draft. Zaza ended up spending the 2004-2005 season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Position Center, Power Forward; League NBA; Height 6'11" (211 cm); Weight 265 lbs (120 kg); Team - Atlanta Hawks; Nationality - Georgia; Born - February 10, 1984; Tbilisi, Georgia; Draft 2003 NBA Draft; Pro career 2003 – present
Robert Sturua (July 31, 1938) is a Georgian theater director, who gained international acclaim for his original interpretation of the works of Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekhov. He is based at the Shota Rustaveli Dramatic Theater in Tbilisi, and has staged productions throghout the world.
Zhiuli Shartava (March 7, 1944 - September 27, 1993) was a Georgian politician who was killed by Abkhaz rebels during the ethnic
cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia in 1993. He was officially honored as the National Hero of Georgia posthumously in 2004.
Levan Tsaguria - was the first ever European sumo wrestler to enter the topmost division in sumo: the makuuchi. Known by the shikona, or ring name, Kokkai, which is Japanese for "Black Sea" he has made his presence felt in the upper layers of sumo rankings.
Merab Kostava (May 26, 1939 – October 13, 1989) was a Georgian dissident, musician and poet; one of the leaders of the
National-Liberation movement in Georgia. Merab Kostava was active in the underground network of Samizdat publishers, co-publisher
of the Georgian underground periodical "Okros Satsmisi" ("The Golden Fleece"). He was the author of many important literary and
Lia Eliava (May 28, 1934) - famous actrees, the People's Artist of Georgia (1975). Leading star of Georgian cinema. With her
husband Otar Koberidze formed one of the successful star-couples in USSR.
Geno Adamia (March 8, 1936 – September 28, 1993) was a Georgian military commander who fell in the war in
Abkhazia. One of the most energetic and popular Georgian commanders, he refused to surrender when Sukhumi
fell on September 27, 1993. With a tiny force, he continued to fight in the vicinities of Sukhumi and was
killed at the action at the Kelasuri Bridge on September 28, 1993.
Arnold Chikobava (March 14, 1898 - November 5, 1985) was a Georgian linguist, philologist and public
benefactor, one of founders and Academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (GAS), founder of the
scientific school of the Iberian-Caucasian linguistics, Meritorious Scientific Worker of Georgia, Doctor
of Philological Sciences, Professor.
Giorgi Eliava (January 13, 1892 - 1937) - famous scientist, bacteriologist, worked at the Paris Pasteur Institute where he came across
with Professor Felix D'Herelle the discoverer of bacteriophages.
Eldar Shengelaia (January 26, 1933) - creative artist and famous producer and his Blue Mountains, or Unbelievable
Story (Tsisperi mtebi anu daujerebeli ambavi) (1983) are Classic satire about the attempt of a young writer to
have a story published in a literary magazine, in the midst of absurd bureaucracy.
Akaki Khorava (April 29, 1895 – June 23, 1972) was famous actor and honoured worker (cultural workers) was awarded
several times as honor the USSR Prize laureate/winner in 1941, 1943, 1946 and 1951; People’s Artist of USSR (1936).
Irakli Pirckhalava (September 13, 1977) - creative talanted artist, hip-hop singer and dancer. He was dreamed to be a bootball player...
Shalva Eliava - (September 18, 1883 – December 3, 1937) was a Georgian Old Bolshevik and Soviet official who
contributed to Sovietization of Central Asia and Caucasus but fell victim to Stalin’s Great Purge. He was a deputy
People’s Commissar of Foreign Trade and a deputy People’s Commissar of Light Industry of the Soviet Union.
Etheri Gvazava (March 14, 1970) - great opera singer who gained world fame by singing in film productions
of famous operas. She worked with Giorgia Strehler and sang a leading part in Andrea Andermanns film version of
the Traviata a Paris.
Etheri Lamoris Chkonia
Etheri Lamoris Chkonia is great singer comes from Georgian family of a great musical background.
She studied with her mother Lamara Cicognia (famous opera singer in formed USSR), Renata Scotto,
Ruthilda Boesch and Dolores Ripolles (a pupil of Elvira Hidalgo).
Kako Topuria was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, on December 8, 1960. Graduated from the arts history and
theory department of Tbilisi State University in 1983. Took up painting in 1979. Has been living and working
in France since 1990. He is prominent French based artist. Claudia Schiffers favourite painter.
Maya Chachava is Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing. She was born in Tbilisi,
Republic of Georgia in 1961. In 1993 she moved to United States. She has accepted a
position at CWU in 2005 and is currently teaching Painting and Drawing at the Art Department.
Alexander Korsantia Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Alexander Korsantia began his musical studies at an early age. Among
his mentors are his mother, Sventlana Korsantia and Tengiz Amiredjibi, Georgia's foremost piano
instructor. In 1992, he moved his family to the United States and joined the famed piano studio
of fellow Georgian, Alexander Toradze, at Indiana University. Korsantia resides in Boston where
he is a professor of piano on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.
Georgi Daneliya (August 25, 1930) is a Georgian film director, who became known throughout the
Soviet Union for his "sad comedies" (as he styles them). Multiple winner at Cannes, Venice and
other festivals. His films include I am Walking Along Moscow, Mimino, Autumn Marathon, Seryozha,
Passport, Cheer Up, etc.
Alexander Kordzaia a conductor and pianist, was born into a musical family. At the age
of seven, he began serious study of the piano and composition in Georgia’s premiere music
school. By the age of 12, he was performing as a soloist with orchestras and was considered
a child prodigy as a composer. Soon it was evident to his teachers that Mr. Kordzaia also
had great talent and desire for conducting. By the time he graduated from the Tbilisi
V.Saradjishvili State Conservatoire. Mr. Kordzaia was the Music Director and Conductor
of the Georgia State Cappella and assistant conductor at the Tbilisi Opera House, the
two most prestigious musical ensembles in the nation. Mr. Kordzaia led both of these
groups on triumphant tours of the former U.S.S.R.
Vazha Chachava (April 20, 1933) is the most outstanding ensemble-pianists of our time, famous musician,
graduate from V. Saradjishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire. In 1962-1977 he taught at the Tbilisi State
Conservatoire and worked as an accompanist at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. He is Professor, Head
of the Accompanying Art Chair at the P. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory.
Lamara Chkonia (December 27, 1937) is one of the most popular opera singers (soprano). Performed as a lead
at all important venues from La Scala Milan to Carnegie Hall New York. People’s Artist of USSR (1976). From 1956 to
1960 and from 1968 she was at Georgian Opera and Ballet Theatre, from 1969 to 1968 Ukrainian Opera and Ballet
Theatre. Second Prize in 1967 in Tokyo (Japan) and third in 1963 in Sofia (Bulgaria).
Natela Nicoli Chkonia was born in Georgia into a reputed family of singers. She completed her studies in
piano and voice with distinction and perfected her talent with Renata Scotto, KS Christa Ludwig. After her debut
at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, she moved to Austria, where she has been living since 1991. She was for several
years a permanent member of the Graz Opera, where she performed important roles such as Octavian, Carmen,
Cenerentola, Rosina, Brangäne in "Tristan und Isolde", Meg Page in "Falstaff", Dorabella in "Le
Nozze di Figaro", and Maddalena in "Rigoletto".
Nana Alexandria (October 13, 1949) was born in Poti, Georgia. Awarded the Woman International Master (WIM) title in 1966 and the WGM
title in 1976, she was USSR Women's Champion in 1966, 1968 (jointly) and 1969. Alexandria was the Women's World
Championship Challenger in 1975 and 1981. In 1975 she lost to Nona Gaprindashvili (+3 =1 -8). In 1981 she drew
with Maia Chiburdanidze (+4 =8 -4), with Chiburdanidze retaining her title as champion. Alexandria is now an
administrator to FIDE. She became the chairperson of the FIDE Women's Committee in 1986.
Vakhtang Jordania (December 6, 1942 - October 4, 2005) was a Georgian conductor. Jordania was born in Tbilisi where he
studied piano from the age of five. After graduating from the Tbilisi Conservatory, he studied symphonic and
operatic conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory, graduating with honors. A top prize at the 1971 Herbert
von Karajan Competition catapulted him to the highest circle of Soviet artistry. From his assistantship with
the legendary Yevgeny Mravinsky until his defection to the United States in 1983, Mr. Jordania held positions
as music director of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, the Saratov Philharmonic, and the Kharkov Philharmonic.
Ia Parulava's acting career began at the age 12 when a respected Georgian stage and film director,
Nana Khatiskatsi, discovered her for the part of an orphan in the popular film "A Difficult Beginning".
The young actress’s talent was obvious; she was hired by Kartuli Filmi [Georgian Film] where she acted
in numerous films and television productions, as well as produced and hosted a weekly musical show.
Lela Tsurtsumia (February 12, 1969) is a Georgian pop singer. She's popular since 1999 and nowadays is
the most popular Georgian singer. Her's music is more pop and soul, but there's tunes of ethno/folk music. Earlier in her
career, some electronic tunes too. e.g her track "Idumali Game" was remixed by DJ AKA. In 1999 she has recorded
her first video on her song "Rad mindoda". In 2002 Lela started working with the label "Art Imedi". Lela
has won more than 15 prizes in varous festivals.
Joseph Jordania - Doctor of Music, Professor, Research Associate of the Faculty of Music at the University of Melbourne (Australia).
Graduate of the V.Saradjishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire (1978) he is the author of more than 90 publications in several languages,
including major articles in "The New Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians", "Garland Encyclopedia of World Music" and a book
"Georgian Traditional Polyphonic Cultures" (Tbilisi University Press, 1989). He is one of the organizers of international
conferences "On Problems of Traditional Polyphony" in Georgia (1984, 1986, 1988).
Vladimer Papava (March 25, 1955) is a Professor of
Economics, a Senior Fellow of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies
(GFSIS) and a Member of the Parliament of Georgia (Committee for Finance and Budget). In
2005-2006 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, the Paul H. Nitze
School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of nearly
200 publications, including many influential works on the theoretical and applied studies post-
Communist economies and economic development of the Central Caucasus countries. His
research efforts are underpinned by practical experience gained during his work for the Georgian
Government: from 1994 to 2000, as Minister of Economy he was actively involved in currency
reform, liberalization of economy, including liberalization of foreign trade, institutional
transformations and other ambitious governmental programs.
Mikhail Khvitia (1924 - 1994) graduated from Tbilisi Art Academy under the direction of Professor
Alexandre Tsimakuridze, who is considered to be the first distinguished landscape artist. Mikheil’s collection of
paintings is also dominated by landscapes of Georgia’s nature at different times of the
day, weather and seasons. He has visited every corner of the county of Georgia, clearly evident within his paintings
– “Borjomi Valley,” “Autumn in Raja,” “Maple Trees in Kartli” and many more. The paintings of his home region Samegrelo
are especially distinguished within his body of work.
Meliton Varlamovich Kantaria (5 October, 1920 – 27 December, 1993), Georgian
Hero of the Soviet Union (8 May 1946), was a Georgian sergeant of the Soviet Army credited to
have hoisted a Soviet flag Banner of Victory over the Reichstag on April 30, 1945, 21.50. Despite
Soviet records, the iconic picture showing him fixing a pole with the hammer-and-sickle flag
blowing in the wind was posed on the Reichstag roof two days later, on May 2, 1945.
Radish Tordia (August 21, 1936) is a painter of figurative art from Georgia (was born in Abasha).
He works in oil painting, with particular emphasis on colouristic features. His preferred subject
is women, who he regards as "the most beautiful creation in the world".
Vitaly Daraselia (9 October 1957 - 23 December 1982) was a famous Georgian football player. He played for FC
Dinamo Sokhumi, FC Dinamo Tbilisi and Soviet Union national team. Daraselia is mostly remembered for his wonderful
winning goal for FC Dinamo Tbilisi in 1981, in the final game of UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, rushing into the penalty
area past two defenders, just 3 minutes before full time whistle. He died in a car crash in 1982, the same year
he played his only World Cup, at the peak of his career.
Zurab Zhvania (December 9, 1963 – February 3, 2005) was a prominent Georgian politician and former Speaker
of the Georgian Parliament. From November 25, 2003 to February 18, 2004 he was Minister without Portfolio. He was
the Prime Minister of Georgia from February 18, 2004 until his death. Zhvania had a wife and three children, and in
addition to his native Georgian, he spoke English, German, and Russian.
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