Giya Kancheli

Giya Kancheli is Georgia's leading composer. 

Throughout his distinguished career, Giya Kancheli has written extensively for film and theatre and collaborated with many of Georgia's leading directors including Robert Sturua, Eldar Shengelaya and Georgi Danelia. A book of the composer's themes for stage and screen was published in 2009, 'Simple Music for Piano' with drawings by Rezo Gabriadze. 

BGS is celebrating Kancheli's 75th year at London's exciting and newest Georgian Restaurant, Tinatin Tuskadze's Little Georgia. During the weekend, films with Kancheli scores will be screened and on Sunday evening the Georgian pianist Alisa Tavdidishvili will perform some of the 33 pieces from 'Simple Music for Piano' by Giya Kancheli.


Eldar ShengelayaAracheveulebrivi Gamefona (An Unusual Exhibition) 1968 directed by Eldar Shengelaya, written by Rezo Gabriadze, with Guram Lortqifanidze, Valentina Telechkina and Salome Kancheli 95 minutes. 2.30pm Saturday 17 December, Downstairs at Little Georgia, DVD screening in Georgian. "A sculptor gives up the dreams of art for a dose of reality. While fathering a brood of children, he learns to find the accidental sweetness in a life of sacrificed ambitions. The film is a spiritual autobiography of the post-war generation in Soviet Georgia." (Pam Renner)

Giorgi Danelia

Ar Idardo! (Don't Grieve) 1969 directed by Giorgi Danelia, written by Rezo Gabriadze, with Vakhtang (Buba) Kikabidze, Sergo Zagariadze and Sophiko Chiaureli 80 minutes. 4.30pm Saturday 17 December, Downstairs at Little Georgia, DVD screening in Georgian. "The film that made me fall in love with Georgian cinema. A tragi-comedic tale of a country doctor and his exploits in a rugged land, where patients often pay in live chickens." (Pam Renner)

Imber: England's Lost VillageImber: England's Lost Village 2004 directed by Mark Kidel, documentary, 70 minutes. 6.00pm Saturday 17 December, Downstairs at Little Georgia, DVD screening in English. A BBC4 documentary telling the unusual story of the 'ghost' village of Imber in the middle of Salisbury Plain, and how it formed the inspiration for Kancheli's moving score. The film combines testimonies from surviving villagers, conversations with Kancheli in his native Tbilisi and archive footage from Imber's past and present. Kancheli's evocative music is woven throughout the film, culminating with its live performance in the ancient church of St Giles. The project was conceived by Jeremy Herbert, James Macdonald and Artangel. Blue Mountains 1985

Blue Mountains, or an Unbelievable Story (Tsisferi mtebi anu daujerebeli ambavi) 1983 directed by Eldar Shengelaya, written by Rezo Cheishvili, with Ramaz Giorgobiani, Vasil Kakhniashvili and Teimuraz Chirgadze 97 minutes. 2.30pm Sunday 18 December, Downstairs at Little Georgia, DVD screening in Georgian with English subtitles. A comically absurd tale in which a young novelist tries to get his manuscript read by his familiar publishing house, only to have it pushed aside, lost, damaged, stolen, ignored again and again as the employees go about their meaningless, repetitive work. A late-era Soviet Georgian tale where the ceiling of the publishing house is caving in - literally and metaphorically. 

Mimino 1977

Mimino 1977 directed by Giorgi Danelia, written by Rezo Gabriadze, with Vakhtang Kikabidze, Frunzik Mkrtchyan and Yevgeny Leonov 97 minutes. 4.30pm Sunday 18 December, Downstairs at Little Georgia, DVD screening in Georgian/Russian with English translation. Mimino, meaning sparrow hawk in Georgian, is the nickname for a helicopter pilot working for a local airline flying between small villages. But he dreams of piloting large international aircraft and goes to Moscow for a refresher course. In the hotel in Moscow he meets an Armenian truck driver and they have various adventures. Despite fulfilling his dream and becoming a pilot of a Tupolev Tu-144 jet liner flying all over the world, he becomes homesick and finally returns to his home town of Telavi and friends and family. This popular comedy won the 1977 Golden Prize at the Moscow International Film festival.

BGS Christmas Party and Book Launch

Ramaz Chkhikvadze as Richard III directed by Robert Sturua with music by Giya Kancheli

Giya Kancheli's

'Simple Music for Piano'

with a recital by

Alisa Tavdidishvili

Sunday 18 December

6.30pm for 7

The new 'Little Georgia' 

14 Barnsbury Road, N1 0HB


£5 entrance to help cover piano hire, wine and canapes.

Optional dinner from 8.15pm - to be booked independently (0207 278 6100)

RSVP - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With thanks to Tinatin Tuskadze from Little Georgia, Nino Andjaparidze from Tbilisi International Film Festival, Mako Abashidze from BGCC and Marksons Piano Hire. View summary of timings (as pdf).



Talk and Book Launch of 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela' on 1 March 2019 @ Asia House

On 1 March 2018 Asia House, the BGS and the Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will host a an evening of events inspired by the late 19th and early 20th century century Georgian poet Vazha Pshavela. This will a book launch of 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela', poetry readings, talks and Georgian polyphonic singing. 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela' is the most comprehensive book to date of the poet's works in English. The publication is initiated by Georgian/British artist Andro Semeiko as part of his project investigating notions of self and motherland - through landscape, ethnography, and language of Vazha Pshavela. The poems in the book have been selected to illustrate the poet's powerful, tragic, often Shakespearean force, as well as the development of his ideas and approach to nature, very relevant to ecological politics in the world today. They have been translated by Donald Rayfield OBE. The book includes specially commissioned works by the contemporary Georgian writer Ana Kordzaia-Samadashvili.

2018 Annual Rustaveli Day and AGM - 27th November 6pm at the Royal Asiatic Society

The BGS Rustaveli Day and Annual General Meeting will be held at 6pm on the 27th November 2018 at at the Royal Asiatic Society. The AGM will be followed by a talk 'The British-Georgian actress Miki Iveria – the story of Princess Gayane Mickeladze' by Dr Henry Sanford and a book presentation by Professor Elguja Khintibidze. The event will be followed by Georgian wine & canapes provided by Tamada Restaurant.

British Author Katie Ruth Davies New Book Set In Georgia

According to HE Tamar Beruchashvili Katie Ruth Davies "is a prominent author, journalist and supermum. She’s an expert in many things, including vampires!’’. Editor-in-Cheif of Georgia Today, Katie now lives in Georgia with her partner and 3 children. She is author of the Blood Omen books and is on a publishing tour of the UK (next week she will be in Bristol) promoting her first young adult book set in Georgia Angel (book one of the new Dark Wings series). Robert Edgar was at her London book launches at the Georgian Embassy and Primrose Hill Library and wrote in Georgia Today

Discovering Places: Georgia at Royal Geographical Society

The Royal Geographical Society is having an event on Georgia, on Wednesday 21st February 2018, 7pm - 9pm. It is part of their Discovering Places series and has an expert panel of Donald Rayfield (writer, historian and regular BGS speaker), Olia Hercules (chef and author of Kaukasis), and Marta Hills (a sustainable tourism expert and regular backpacker). Follow this link for further details.

Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Blu-ray And Special Screening At ICA

Sergei Parajanov’s celebrated masterwork The Colour Of Pomegranates paints an astonishing portrait of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, the ‘King of Song’ and now arrives on Blu-ray for the first time, presented in a stunning new restoration by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia.

The film arrives as The Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Box Set, a luxury two-disc collector’s set on Blu-ray complete with a 112-page perfect-bound book, a host of brand new special features, archive material, short film, documentaries and both the Armenian and Russian versions of the film. It arrives on 29 January 2018.

There will be a special screening of the film on January 27th at 4.15pm at the ICA, introduced by Daniel Bird.Please see the link here.

BBC Radio 4 Food Programme on Georgia

Two excellent programmes presented by Dan Saldino are available on BBC iPlayer Radio. Feast Like a Georgian: A Food Guide to the Caucasus., first broadcast on 4th September, features food writer Carla Capalbo, author of Tasting Georgia (published earlier this summer), guiding Dan through a supra. Zero Compromise: A (Georgian) Natural Wine Story., broadcast on 11th September, has Dan Saladino travelling into the Caucasus in search of "zero compromise" natural wine makers. He finds them in Georgia, thought to be the birthplace of wine, and home of the qvevri.

Armand Wang's photos of BGS events available on Facebook

Photographer Armand Wang, a BGS member, wonderfully captures the atmosphere at BGS events in his descriptive photos and regularly posts them on the BGS Facebook page. Here are links to recent events Conversation with the two Ambassadors and Second Annual Charity Festival hosted by Tamada

Cancellation of 12 June event at Pembroke College

On behalf of the British Georgian Society, the board would like to update you about this year's BGS Cambridge Seminar at Pembroke College. The event at Pembroke on Monday 12 June is now cancelled. The keynote speaker, Georgian Defence Minister Levon Izoria, had to call off his visit to the UK in mid June. We apologise for any inconvenience - and hope you will understand the organisers' decision in the circumstances to put the event off for a future occasion.

A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili 27th April 2017 Asia House

As the first month of spring slowly comes to an end, on Thursday 27th April, 18.45 at Asia House Donald Rayfield remembers Georgian poet Nikoloz Baratashvili  (1817-1845). On the occasion of his 200th birth anniversary, Donald Rayfield Emeritus Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary University of London will give a talk, A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili. For further information and tickets go to the Asia House website.

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Direct Flights From London To Georgia

There have been recent announcements that various airlines will operate direct flights from London to Georgia. The Hungarian owned low cost Wizz Air will commence bi-weekly flights from Luton to Kutaisi from 18th June 2017. This will be followed by Georgian Airlines (Airzena) flying directly from Gatwick to Tbilisi, also twice a week. Start dates to be confirmed. There is also an article on the online outlet that Ryanair will also commence flights from London to Tbilisi.