Archive for September 3rd, 2023

René Girard @100: the Girard Quartet comes to San Francisco on Sept. 13 for a free concert! Be there!

Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

Grégoire Girard and Agathe Girard-Vitani (violins), Hugues Girard (viola) and Lucie Girard (cello)

The Book Haven has written much about French theorist René Girard – and this year is the centenary of his birth. I’ve celebrated the occasion with a new Penguin Classic anthology of his “essential writings.” (And I’ve also written about the centenary at Zócalo Public Square “Are We Ready to Listen to René Girard?” – read that article here.) Now the extended Girard family, in America and in France, would like to invite you to a memorial concert, sponsored by the Consulat Général de France à San Francisco. (You can listen to the quartet perform Schubert’s String Quartet #14, in D Minor here, or Beethoven’s 16 opus 135 “Vivace” here.)

Here’s the announcement from the French consulate, in English and French:

His hundredth birthday this Christmas Day

This year is the centenary of the birth of French theorist René Girard (Avignon, December 25, 1923 – Stanford, California, November 4, 2015). The Girard family and the Society of Friends of Joseph René Girard are honoring him with a public concert. The event is free, but you must register here.

On September 13, 2023 at 7 p.m., the Quator Girard will perform at a memorial concert for René Girard, at the Théâtre du Lycée Français de San Francisco (1201 Ortega street, San Francisco). The Girard Quartet includes the grandchildren of the Stanford professor’s older brother, Dr. Henri Girard of Avignon. Including on the program are Bach, Lekeu, and Mendelssohn.

His fellow immortel at the Académie Française, Stanford Prof. Michel Serres, called Girard the “new Darwin of the human sciences.” Girard, a prolific author, began as a literary theorist but eventually ventured into and history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, religion, psychology and theology. All were woven into his work.

Although René Girard was very humble about his attachment to music, it nourished him greatly and forged a very strong link between him and the Quartet. The quartet includes: Grégoire Girard and Agathe Girard-Vitani (violins), Hugues Girard (viola) and Lucie Girard (cello). The quartet was awarded at the Geneva Competition in 2011, and has been invited to prestigious halls and festivals in France, such as the Auditorium of the Musée d’Orsay. The quartet is also in demand abroad – particularly in Switzerland, Morocco, and Japan.

This event is possible thanks to the support of the Lycée Français de San Francisco, the Consulate General of France in San Francisco, and the Villa Albertine. It is also sponsored by the Académie Française.


À l’occasion du centenaire de la naissance de René Girard (Avignon 25 décembre 1923 – Stanford (Californie) 4 novembre 2015), la famille Girard et la Société des amis de Joseph René Girard ont souhaité lui rendre hommage publiquement.

Le 13 septembre 2023 à 19h, le Quator Girard se produira lors d’un concert hommage à René Girard, au Théâtre du Lycée Français de San Francisco (1201 Ortega street, San Francisco).

Son immortel collègue et professeur à Stanford, Michel Serres, l’appelait le nouveau Darwin des sciences humaines. L’auteur, d’abord théoricien de la littérature, se passionnait pour tout. L’histoire, l’anthropologie, la sociologie, la philosophie, la religion, la psychologie et la théologie se retrouvent
dans son œuvre.

Si René Girard exprime très humblement son attachement à la musique, il n’en reste pas moins que celle-ci l’a intensément nourri et qu’elle a été un lien très fort entre lui et le Quatuor. Composé de Grégoire Girard & Agathe Girard-Vitani (violons), Hugues Girard (alto) et Lucie Girard (violoncelle). Il est lauréat du Concours de Genève en 2011. Invité de salles et de festivals prestigieux en France tel que l’Auditorium du Musée d’Orsay, le quatuor est également demandé à l’étranger notamment en Suisse, au Maroc ou au Japon.

Cet évènement est possible grâce au concours du Lycée Français de San Francisco, du Consulat Général de France à San Francisco et de la Villa Albertine. Il est de plus parrainé par Académie Française.

L’événement est gratuit, mais vous devez vous inscrire ici.

The Girard Quartet.