Gidon Kremer mourns Giya Kancheli

Gidon Kremer mourns Giya Kancheli


norman lebrecht

October 02, 2019

The violinist and director has written us this reminiscence of a great composer who died today:

There are many creative personalities I was lucky to meet and cooperate with in my life. Giya Kancheli belonged to those rare friends whose spirit and music allowed-and will always allow us- to enter different dimensions of “messages”.

Kancheli’s scores -and this is audible- have a deep meaning for me. Each of his beautifully written manuscripts – his refined handwriting was itself a work of art – and the way he was able in the most sophisticated way to put together ideas, motives, “chords of kindness and hope” and statements differentiated him and his music from many strong craftsmen in the world of composition, who prefer to hide themselves behind thousands of masterfully arranged “dots” in an abstract world.

Giya Kancheli’s thoroughly sincere music will always remind us that, despite the tragedies around us, we must all preserve our human nature, our feelings, our honesty.

I was privileged for almost 30 years to be close to Giya as a friend and a musician. Many scores he did write for me, my colleagues and Kremerata Baltica – the orchestra he loved and felt very close to – were intensely performed by us around the world and (luckily) recorded.

Giya’s Kancheli shared with us through sounds the most valuable messages. In seemingly simple writing (but in fact very sophisticated scores) his music, often very sad, allows us to enter the world of ourselves with its wide range of emotions. His music appeals to us to make the world better and to remain truthful. Not many composers were and are able to express this in such a powerful way.

Let his soul rest in peace. My love goes to his wonderful family. We all will miss Giya’s presence, his humour, his voice and smile , but I am sure Giya Kancheli’s music will stay and- as long as we live -will be a source of consolation and inspiration.



  • Thank you Gidon for sharing your thoughts

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Given our perverse way of honoring composers only after they have died, can we now hope for a new, complete set of the symphonies with first-class orchestra and a big name (and sympathetic) conductor in great sound? I appreciate what there is, but Kancheli deserves better. Sounds like a good project for BIS and Andrew Litton.