Akaki Tsereteli

Akaki Rostomovich Tsereteli was born on June 21, 1840, in the Imeretian village of Svikhtori. His father was Duke Tsereteli and his mother was the granddaughter of Imeretian King Solomon (1735 – 1784). For the first six years of his life he was raised in a peasant family, which greatly influenced his creativity. Later, he proudly recalled: “If there is anything good and kind in me, then I owe it primarily to the fact that I grew up in the village, among the sons of peasants.” Tsereteli’s first work, “Folk Songs” was published in 1858 in the Georgian magazine “Tsiskari.” From 1852 to 1859 Tsereteli studied at the Faculty of Eastern Languages. Akaki Rostomovich later became famous as a playwright (his most famous works being “Kudur-Khanum” and “Treacherous Tamara”) and as a poet (“Tornike Eristavi”, 1884, and “The Story of Kikola”, 1889). Tsereteli was a fervent opponent of Tsarism and tirelessly fought for the revival of Georgian press, theater, and culture through the enlightenment of the “poorest class.” The Georgian song “Suliko” was written to Akaki Tsereteli’s lyrics in 1895. In 1898, “Suliko” was first recorded by the English company “Phonograph.” Akaki Rostomovich passed away on February 8, 1915.

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