Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 (premiere date)

Oral History with Soso Kopaleishvili of the Ranina Quartet


How to watch...

You can interact with the artist via text chat exclusively on Facebook during and immediately after the premiere:

The Ranina quartet is a new music ensemble from the country of Georgia (Sakartvelo), created out of a love for Georgian traditional music, including urban songs, folk songs, and chants. The current members include Tornike Kandelaki (first voice), Soso Kopaleishvili (second voice), Saba Peikrishvili (baritone), and Beka Kemularia (bass). They have been singing since they were little children, and individual members have performed in many ensembles including such well known groups as Erisioni, Sakhioba, Didgori, Lasharela, Ertoba, Orbeli, Aghsavali of Mamadaviti church, the state choir of N. Sulkhanishvili, and others. Their repertoire includes classic pieces from various genres including Georgian traditional folk songs, liturgical chants, and popular songs. Another source of inspiration is the American barbershop quartet, which bears a striking resemblance to the Georgian urban-song genre; both genres have roots in late-19th and early-20th century Italian harmony. The group’s friend Nikoloz Kirvalidze from the Shvidkatsa ensemble must be credited with giving them the name Ranina, which comes from the series of vocable syllables upon which traditional singers improvise. The Ranina Quartet regularly performs in Tbilisi, as well as at international festivals, and gives master-classes and concerts for international tourists and choirs. Ranina is committed to popularizing good quality music as a form of social outreach, and the members are thrilled to sing in nursing homes, kindergartens, public schools, penitentiaries, and other venues where they can bring their music to vulnerable members of society.

Ranina’s concert will be presented by John Graham, a scholar, entrepreneur, traveler, and teacher. Graham lives in Tbilisi, Georgia. He sings in a church choir, supports local musicians and NGOs with his voice in the Tbilisi community, regularly travels the region, and organizes performance tours in the United States for folk ensembles from Georgia. John Graham holds a bachelor's degree in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, and masters and a doctorate in historical musicology from Princeton University.

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2021 concerts will stream on the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, Wednesdays from March 10 - September. Artists will be present in the chat area to say hello and answer questions during the concert and for a few minutes after it ends. Video will also be posted online here and on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.