Professional course Isabelle Courroy

Transmutation of a breath

Over 25 years ago, Isabelle Courroy set off from France to the Balkans on a search for playing modes of kaval flutes, which are traditional shepherd flutes played all around Eastern Europe and Anatolia. Kaval is the Turkish name for flutes, derived from « q-w-l » meaning « word » in Arabic. From this twofold origin, animal and sacred, kaval flutes draw vast, complex powers.

Between memory and project

Inspired by the sources of her instrument in Turkey and the Balkans, Isabelle Courroy has now extended her journey to Central Asia so that she has gathered a wide repertory devoted to kavals. She has devised a more feminine way of playing, which she has pioneered in Western Europe. Her work involves researching and collecting original compositions and creating personal arrangements.

From the heart of the kaval

Exploring both the subtlety of the various styles characteristic of oblique flutes and the vigorous, organic sound carved from the raw material of air, she probes the whole potential of her instrument, including experiments in instrument making.

Creation within tradition

A pastoral instrument of age-old tradition in her hand, Isabelle Courroy is involved in contemporary creation, free from any nostalgia for a fantasy world or an idealized past.

Whether they belong to the scholarly realm of ancient, contemporary or cross-cultural music, or that of traditional music, the many projects she initiates or is invited to join demonstrate her plastic playing, her diverse culture, her unique language.


With an inner compass pointing South-SouthEast, Isabelle Courroy’s journey is marked by musical affinities smoothed by time and punctual artistic collaborations. So, with Aksak, Panselinos, Rassegna, Canticum Novum, L’Immobile voyage, Françoise Atlan, Keyvan Chemirani, Panselinos, Vanghelis Dimoudis, Maria Simoglu, Bijan Chemirani, Kevin Seddiki, Hristina Beleva, la Cie Rassegna, Bruno Allary, Zaman Fabriq, Sinan Çelik, Djamchid Chemirani, Mahmut Demir, Shadi Fathi, Wassim Halal, Katerina Papadopoulo, Sokratis Sinopoulos, Nabbankur Bhattacharya, Maitryee Mahatma, Maya Mihneva, Yanaki Benetto, ,Gaguik Mouradian and Zad Moultaka, she feeds the flow of a polymorphic creation.

Isabelle Courroy tours all around France and regularly performs abroad : Yemen, Turkey, Hungary, Albania, Greece, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Algeria, Spain…

Cultural mediation

Between memory and project, creation and transmission are at the core of Isabelle Courroy’s journey. She teaches the kaval in various sorts of workshops, courses and masterclass sessions.