Sulkhan Tsintsadze began his musical career in the 1940s as a cellist in the Georgian State String Quartet. His first composition, based on Georgian folksongs and made up of a collection of miniatures for string quartet, scored immediate success. He also wrote several operas, ballets, symphonies and concertos, but it was his compositions for string quartet that came to take pride of place in the composer’s output, making a notable contribution to Georgian music. One of Georgia’s leading composers, Tsintsadze was Chairman of Georgian Composers Union and Rector of the Georgian State Conservatory. He was awarded the titles of ‘People’s Artist of Georgia’ and ‘People’s Artist of USSR’, the USSR State Prize, the Shota Rustaveli Prize and the Zaqaria Paliashvili Prize.
Tsintsadze’s quartet miniatures (arranged for string orchestra by the composer himself), composed at different points in his life, are exemplary transcriptions of Georgian folk tunes. Using traditional performance means, he brings out the harmonic colours and sounds of Georgian national instruments such as Salamuri (winds), Chianuri (strings) and Doli (drums).