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Great-grandson of Joseph Stalin makes conducting debut

A great-grandson of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin made his conducting debut with the Georgia State Symphony Orchestra

TBILISI, November 20. /TASS/. A great-grandson of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (born Dzhugashvili) and his namesake made his conducting debut with the Georgia State Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, drawing much attention from specialists and music fans.

The renowned orchestra was led by 23-year-old Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. In a conversation with TASS on Monday, the young musician said he has been conducting the student orchestra of the Tbilisi Music Seminary since 2012. He graduated from the seminary in 2014 and is now in the fourth year at Tbilisi State Conservatoire, studying with Professor Revaz Tavadze.

"It was a great honor for me to conduct this team of virtuoso musicians at the invitation of the leader of the Georgia State Symphony Orchestra, renowned composer Nikoloz Rachveli," Joseph said.

Joseph said he had passion for music since childhood. "In future, I want to continue studies abroad if the opportunity arises," he spoke of immediate goals. "I have a lot of creative plans of which it is too early to speak so far," he added.

Joseph Dzhugashvili was born in Tbilisi on December 28, 1994. He has a 17-year-old brother, Vaso, who finishes school this year and plays tennis. Their father, film-maker Vissarion Dzhugashvili has been working in the US for the past few years and now and then visits Tbilisi, where his sons live with their mother Nana Dzhaparidze.

Joseph debuted on stage of Tbilisi State Conservatoire as pianist in June 2006. He was 11 at the time, studying at a children’s music school. His grandfather, retired Colonel Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, was among spectators then. Yevgeny was Stalin’s grandson and the son of Yakov Dzhugashvili, who was captured by the Nazis and died in a concentration camp in 1943. Yevgeny Dzhugashvili passed away in Moscow at the age 80 in December 2016.