In 1882, he established the first Georgian folk ensemble and organized the first folk concert in Tbilisi the following year. From 1889–1895, he studied in St. Petersburg Conservatory and authored his first works, including Nana, Shen getrpi marad, Odesac gitsker, and Tamar tsbieri. In 1895–1917, he performed with choirs throughout the Russian Empire and produced numerous theatre plays in St. Petersburg. On his return to Georgia in 1917, he established Kutaisi Music College in 1918 and, later, directed the Department of Music of the Georgian Commissariat of Education, the Batumi School of Music, and the Kutaisi Music College in 1921–1937. His works were instrumental in establishing and developing the modern Georgian opera. His brother, Vasily Balanchivadze (1867–1951), was a prominent stage actor and director.