In a momentous occasion sponsored by the esteemed Académie française, the Consulat Général de France in San Francisco, Villa Albertine, and the Lycée Français de San Francisco, the centenary of René Girard‘s birth will be marked by a series of events on both sides of the Atlantic. René Girard, a renowned philosopher, anthropologist, and literary critic known for his groundbreaking theories on mimetic desire, violence, religion, and the phenomenon of scapegoating in human societies, will be celebrated in a unique tribute.

René Girard’s love for classical music was widely known, and he particularly enjoyed the musical accomplishments of the Quatuor Girard, a quartet formed by his grandnephews in Avignon. To honor his legacy, the Quatuor Girard will travel from Avignon to San Francisco to deliver a concert featuring René Girard’s favorite compositions and interludes that evoke his intellectual spirit.

René Girard (1923 – 2015) was a native of Avignon who later became a prominent figure in the United States. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1947, he became a university professor, teaching at institutions such as Bryn Mawr, Duke, Johns Hopkins, SUNY Buffalo, and Stanford, where he taught until his retirement in 1995. His groundbreaking work earned him a place in the Académie française in 2015.

The Quatuor Girard, consisting of Grégoire Girard, Agathe Girard-Vitani on violins, Hugues Girard on viola, and Lucie Girard on cello, gained recognition by winning the Concours de Genève in 2011. They honed their craft under the guidance of esteemed quartet mentors like Alban Berg, Artis, Keller, Lindsay, and Talich. The quartet was privileged to reside for three years at the Chapelle Royale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium, affording them unique exchanges with the Artemis Quartet.

Having performed in prestigious venues and festivals across France, including the Auditorium du Musée d’Orsay, La Folle Journée de Nantes, and the festival of Deauville, as well as internationally in Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Morocco, Russia, Japan, and China, the Quatuor Girard has gained international acclaim. Their commitment to music education led to the establishment of the “Les clefs du bonheur” academy for children in 2018 and the creation of the “Rosa Musica” Provençal festival in 2020.

The Quatuor Girard’s latest albums, including “Saint-Saëns” (B Records 2019) and “Les Fleurs du Paradis” (HORTUS 2022), have garnered praise from critics. All four members of the quartet perform on instruments crafted by the Parisian luthier Charles Coquet.

This celebration of René Girard’s centenary through music promises to be a testament to his enduring influence on both philosophical thought and the cultural world

Date: September 13th, 2023 at 7 pm
Address: 1201 Ortega Avenue – San Francisco
Free Upon Registration – Click here

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