Photo by Giorgi khutsishvili


The International research Centre for Traditional Polyphony of Tbilisi State Conservatoire is saddened by the passing of Islam Pilpani – legendary in his lifetime folk musician. Long and fruitful activity made him a musical symbol of his native region. It was incredible, for Georgian and foreign musicians or simply music lovers to bypass Islam and his family. A brilliant choir master, singer and inimitable connoisseur of Svan musical instruments, a number of folk musicians were raised under his direction in ensemble Riho, which is known not only in Georgia, but in most remote foreign countries as well.

Islam hosted everyone who visited Svaneti, tirelessly shared his rich experience to all- both Georgians and foreigners, willing to learn Sval songs, including the participants of the International Symposia on Traditional Polyphony.

Islam was a distinguished and unique, his personality as thou united millennia-old history and contemporaneity of Svan culture, for this his every appearance on the stage made mesmerizing effect on the audience. This is an immense lost for Georgian culture. May he rest in peace!

With the financial support of the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and Rustaveli National Scientific Fund, Tbilisi State Conservatoire, The Folklore State Centre of Georgia and the International Centre for Georgian Folk Song  holded 8th International symposium on traditional polyphony at Tbilisi State Conservatoire. The Symposium was held under the patronage of Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia.

Among the participants of the 8th Symposium were 22 scholars from 21 countries of all 4 continents, including 15 Georgian researchers. Concerts of folk polyphony, held at the Grand Hall of State Opera House of Georgia, Recital Hall of Rustaveli Theatre and Recital Hall of the Conservatoire, add particular colour to the Symposium’s scientific sessions. The concerts were held with the participation of Georgian and foreign performers of Georgian polyphony, family ensembles, and ensemble Concordu Lussurzesu from Sardinia.

At the symposium were presented two films by Renato Morelli (Italy): “Two Generations of a Cuncordu Singing During Holy Week in Cuglieri (Sardinia, Italy) and “Mravalzhamier: a Singing Journey in Svaneti (Georgia) with Pilpani Family and Melbourne Georgian choir” and the film by Hugo Zemp (France) and Nona Lomidze (Austria/Georgia) “Table Songs in Kakheti”.


The deadline of the registration for the 8th International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony expired on 15 April, 2016; On 25 April Symposium Program Committee announced results of the discussion of abstracts.

55 scholars have been selected to participate in the 8th symposium to be held at Tbilisi State Conservatoire on 26-30 September, 2016; of these 32 foreign scholars from 17 countries of the world and 23 Georgian scholars.

International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony of Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire and the International Centre for Georgian Folk Song are pleased to announce that The scholars working on the problems of polyphony are invited to participate in the 8th International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony will be held on 26-30 September, 2016, in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Please, carefully read the TIMLINE section and pay

attention to the on-line form of CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE 

Call for papers of the 8th Symposium for Traditional Polyphony, Tbilisi, 26-30 September 2016

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Since 2011 the International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony of Tbilisi State Conservatory has been a member of the international organization – European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM). Since 2016 – a corporate member of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM).

IRCTP actively collaborates with both organizations.

In 2013 the Centre’s account on folk-musical and ethnomusicological life of Georgia was published in the April volume of the ICTM Bulletin