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Biography

Zurab Lavrentievich Sotkilava (Russian: Зураб Лаврентьевич Соткилава, Georgian: ზურაბ სოტკილავა; 12 March 1937 – 18 September 2017) was a Georgian opera singer and football player, and People's Artist of the USSR recipient who was born in Sukhumi, Georgia (SSR) and was a 1960 graduate of the Tbilisi State Polytechnical Institute.

In 1965 he graduated from the Tbilisi Conservatory where he was under guidance from David Andguladze and from 1965 to 1974 he was a soloist of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Zakaria Paliashvili. From 1966 to 1968 he was a student at La Scala where his teacher was Dinaro Barra and after that, he became a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory where he remained untill 1988. Six years later he became chairman of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and was a member of the Bologna Academy of Music, He became known for his singing of Giuseppe Verdi's works. By 2000 he became Kinoshok chairman of the Anapa Film Festival which was hosted throughout the CIS and Baltic States.

Since childhood, he played football, was in Dynamo Sukhumi at age 16. In 1956 he became captain from Georgia national team, under the age of 20 years. Two years later, he played for Dynamo Tbilisi. Injuries in 1958 and 1959 ended his football career.

Bolshoi Theatre
Il Trovatore — Manrico
Tosca — Mario Cavaradossi
Iolanta — Vaudemont
Aida — Radames
Sadko — Indian merchant
The Abduction of the Moon — Arzakan
Un ballo in maschera — Riccardo
Cavalleria rusticana — Turiddu
La Molinara — Barone Caloandro
Boris Godunov — The pretender
Khovanshchina — Galitzine
Nabucco — Ismaele

Awards
2nd prize International Tchaikovsky Competition (1970)
Honored Artist of the Georgian SSR (1970)
People's Artist of the Georgian SSR (1973)
People's Artist of the USSR (1979)
Shota Rustaveli Prize (1993)
Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", 3rd class (2007)
Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", 4th class (2001)
Order of the Badge of Honour (1971)
Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1976)
Order of Honor (Georgia, 1997)
Ovation (2008)
Russian Federation Presidential Certificate of Honour (2012)
Honorary member of the Academy of Music Bologna (Italy) - elected "for a brilliant interpretation of the works of Verdi"
Academician of the Academy of aesthetics and Liberal Arts (Moscow)

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