Ahead of its Nov. 10 performance at Williams Center for the Arts, the Georgian choral group Ensemble Basiani met with students in Music 103: Introduction to World Music Traditions.
The 12-member, all-male choir of Tbilisi Holy Trinity Cathedral Church in the Republic of Georgia, gave a lecture and demonstration for students in visiting professor Akiva Zamcheck’s class.
Music 103 explores the history, styles, and performance practices of music from African, Asian, Indian, Eastern European, and South American cultures, according to the course catalog.
“It’s always thrilling to connect the international artists on the Performance Series with relevant coursework, and Ensemble Basiani’s visit was no exception,” says Hollis Ashby, artistic and executive director for Williams Center for the Arts. “The musicians were eager to share their artistry and the special attributes of Georgian polyphony with Prof. Zamcheck’s class. Earlier this fall, DakhaBrakha from Ukraine also engaged with students in Music 103 before their performance on Sept. 15. It’s a powerful experience for students and makes the concerts all the more meaningful to our community when this happens.”
Ashby says Lasha Geladze ’26 and Lekso Borashvili ’23—who are both from Georgia—very graciously volunteered to serve as interpreters for the class and Ensemble Basiani, and after the concert in the lobby when many members of the audience gathered around to chat with the musicians.
Audience members traveled from Philadelphia, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and other locales for the concert. In the lobby after the concert, Ensemble Basiani performed an encore—“Kutaisuri Serenada–Serenade from Kutaisi” by Joseph Kechakmadze, a Georgian choral composer.