Monday, October 15, 2012

Girma Yifrashewa, Ethiopian Pianist and Composer Born October 15, 1967

Elilta (Cry of Joy): Ethiopian Classical Music by Girma Yifrashewa
Elilta (7:06), Ambassel (9:40), Chewata (9:31), Sememen (9:50), My Strong Will (7:32), The Shepherd with the Flute (8:50)
Girma Yifrashewa, piano
Doroteya Dimitrova, violin
Lyubomir Nikov, cello
Mikhail Zhivkov, clarinet
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Dian Tchobanov, Conductor
Balkan Multimedia Center (2006)

Girma Yifrashewa has an informative website at:  He is an Ethiopian pianist and composer who has been profiled at for several years, and has often been featured on AfriClassical. He was born in Addis Ababa October 15, 1967. As a youth he played the kirar, an Ethiopian instrument. On his first day of music school, at age 16, he saw a piano for the first time. Girma endured severe hardships while earning his Master's degree in Piano Performance in Sofia, Bulgaria, but persevered. Subsequently he became the first Ethiopian classical pianist to perform widely in Africa. Girma played in 11 countries on his debut tour of Africa, and has since perfomed often in Europe, Australia, the U.S. And elsewhere.

We continue to take pleasure from Girma's 2006 CD Elilta. is proud to have a 1-minute audio sample of each of the 6 tracks on the recording. Four are solo piano; one is a quartet; and one is an orchestral work with the Sofia Philharmonic, conducted by Dian Tchobanov. Hear them at the Yifrashewa page or the Audio page. With this CD, Girma Yifrashewa has demonstrated the feasibility of incorporating Ethiopian themes within Western classical forms.

We enjoyed interviewing Girma Yifrashewa in 2009, while he was in Los Angeles for the conference “Africa Meets North America” at UCLA.

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