MALKHAZ ERKVANIDZE
MALKHAZ ERKVANIDZE is the renowned choir director of the Anchiskhati Church Choir, which has toured throughout Europe, Russia, and North America. Since 1988, Anchiskhati has been at the forefront of the revival of medieval polyphonic Georgian sacred music, with many unique recordings and publications to their credit. Malkhaz is considered the driving force behind this organization and recognized as the foremost expert of Georgian sacred music.
Born in the central mountainous region of Imereti, Malkhaz grew up singing folk music in his family and with a local master-singer named Benia Mikadze. Graduating from the Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1988, Malkhaz formed Anchiskhati with several friends, and begun a lifelong passion to discover, research, and promote the forgotten tradition of three-part polyphonic church chant indigenous to the pre-Communist Eastern Orthodox Church in Georgia. Malkhaz is a deeply spiritual man, and has tirelessly promoted sacred music by training young chanters, editing and republishing chant books, and directing.
His unique background growing up in a family singing tradition allowed Malkhaz the opportunity to develop an ear for indigenous Caucasus tuning systems, and as a result, the Anchiskhati Choir is one of the few professional church choirs that attempts to sing in these 'old modes.'
Malkhaz teaches at the Tbilisi State Conservatory when he is not on tour with Anchiskhati, and is a consultant for several choirs including the up and coming Sakhioba Ensemble www.sakhioba.ge. In 2006, Malkhaz founded the first school dedicated primarily to the history and practical study of Georgian church singing since these schools, once widespread, were shut down by the Russian Church in the 1820s.