“Yvette Grimaud and Georgian Song”

Presentation of the book “Yvette Grimaud and Georgian Song” will be held at the Grand hall of Tbilisi State Conservatoire at 19:00 on June 13, 2019.

Yvette Grimaud is a legendary French ethnomusicologist, who, after 7 years of correspondence with the Conservatoire professors Shalva Aslanishvili and Grigol Chkhikvadze and interference of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, managed to overcome the obstacles of the KGB and came to Georgia to record unique folk songs.

Grimaud was a composer raised in the best traditions of European musical culture and pianist who was predicted a brilliant artistic career. But to the surprise of French society she made an unexpected decision, refused the applauses and being admired by the audience in favour of researching the exotic folk music of “East European Georgia”.

She justified the hopes: visited almost all parts of Georgia together with Prof. Grigol Chkhikvadze, in “full of controversies” and “fractured” epoch, as she notes, in “harmonious and refined forms” of Georgian song she discovered the values which had been lost in the West.

Before coming to Georgia, Grimaud fundamentally studied our country’s ancient history. In her essays about traditional music she writes not only about the ancient origin of Georgian songs, but also about the Pelasgians of ancient Colchis, Chaldea and the Kardukhs, the connections of Georgian culture with ancient Assyrian, Hittite, Babylonian and Sumerian, finding in it mythical Hyperborean traces ….

In the 1970s-1980s Grimaud actively publishes scientific articles in multilingual “Review Cartvelology”, systematically participates the programs on “Rradio France”. Her texts carry the feelings of a true artist, musician, painter, and as well as those of a philosopher, mystic. They metaphorically tell about eternal tradition of oral legacy and present it as the medium connecting the heaven and earth, message of which is understandable only for them, who can “listen with hart”

The Georgia-English book presents Yvette Grimaud’s original works about Georgian traditional music and 331 folk examples, which she recorded in 1967 together with Prof. Grigol Chkhikvadze in different parts of Georgia. The reader will also learn interesting details from her biography and read the interview recorded from her in 2010, which shows that alive are the impressions of her encounter with the people who in the 1960s still lived “in Old Testament”.

The concert participant folk ensembles: Adilei, Anchiskhati ensemble, Basiani, Chanting University Choir, Ialoni, Kimilia, Mcheli, Mtiebi, Sakhioba, Shilda will perform the unique repertoire recorded in 1967.


Tbilisi State Conservatoire International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony

The Folklore State Centre of Georgia

Georgian Chanting Foundation


The book was prepared for publication with the financial support of Georgian Chanting Foundation

Was published for Frankfurt Book Fair as part of a special project by the Georgian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport

Concept author and Project director Nino Razmadze

Compiler and editor Rusudan Tsurtsumia

Editor of the audio material Anzor Erkomaishvili

Song texts processed by Nino Razmadze, Maka Khardziani, Teona Lomsadze

Grimaud’s essays translated from French into Georgian by Sibyle Geladze, from Georgian into English by Maia Kachkachishvili

English text edited by Matthew Knight

Digitizing of the audio material Akaki Kutelia

Sound engineer Mikheil Kilosanidze

Designer Sandro Chkhaidze

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