Born in Paris in 1936 of a Georgian father and a half-Russian, half-German mother, Nicolas Zourabichvili de Pelken began studying music (piano, music theory, harmony) in 1946 at the Bordeaux Conservatory. In 1956 he entered the Sorbonne in Paris, where he earned a BA, a DES (postgraduate degree), and a C.A.P.E.S. (graduate teaching certificate) in Russian. While completing his university program, he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger, then with Max Deutsch. From 1970 to 1997, he taught Russian at a national center for distance learning and directed the Serge Rachmaninoff Conservatory in Paris from 1986 to 1988. Nicolas Zourabichvili de Pelken has composed works for symphony orchestras ("Mtskheta," "Seven Days," etc.); chamber orchestras ("Eight Trinkets," "Aus ödem Traumland", etc.); works for various instrumental ensembles; several works for solo piano, violin or flute; and exercise books of works for children. The Ministry of Culture, Radio France and various festivals (Royan, Avignon, etc), commissioned many of these compositions. Since 1984, Nicolas Zourabichvili de Pelken has composed the music for all of Otar Iosseliani's films. In addition, he has published a complete translation of Mussorgsky’s Correspondence, in association with Francis Bayer (Editions Fayard, Paris, 2001). He has won various prizes, such as the Lili Boulanger Prize in 1970 and 1975, and the 1986 Arthur Honegger Prize for "Elegy for Thelonious Monk".