Learn and perfect the play of kaval oblique flutes game, played from the Balkans to Anatolia by immersing themselves in oral transmission.


  • Kaval flutes in the large family of oblique flutes. Similarities and discrepancies.
  • Exploring stylistic particularities. Different techniques of vibrato and ornamentation.
  • Work on directories. Focus on the regions of Anatolia, Bulgarian and Greek Thrace.
  • Irregular rhythms, the relationship to chants and dances in Balkan music.
  • Practice of the modes used in the repertoire of kaval flutes and modal improvisation.
  • Approach to circular breathing, adapted to the free mouths of oblique flutes.


  • Minimum age: 15 years
  • Open to kaval flutes players.
  • Recommended instrument: Bulgarian Kaval in Re
  • Minimum level: Mastering the sound emission in oblique flutes




Instrumentalist defector of the contemporary transverse flute, whose concert career she has followed, Isabelle Courroy has taken up on an ancestral oblique flute played in Eastern Europe and Western Asia, called Kaval. With this instrument, of which she favors the oblique version for its freedom of mouthpiece, its rare sound palette and its melismatic qualities, she became a pioneer in Western Europe. She feminized the game and developed its innovative plasticity. By putting in tension the different aesthetics that continue to mark her career, she opens new paths of creation. Author, arranger and composer, she also writes for dance, theatre and cinema. She also works in the field of violin making and gives an important place to transmission.

Initial training
In parallel with her studies in Art History and Philosophy, Isabelle Courroy studied oblique flute with Master G. Crunelle, honorary professor at the “Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse” in Paris. She obtained her Gold Medal at the “Conservatoire national à rayonnement regional” of Marseille in the class of Jean-Louis Beaumadier.  In the Musicatreize orchestra under the baton of Roland Hayrabedian, she had the chance to follow the artistic direction of Maurice Ohana, on the occasion of the recording of the  Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias  (Victoires de la musique and Choc du Monde de la Musique 1992). This meeting with the composer who admired “García Lorca’s cante jondo” so much, will strongly mark her career.

Her discography is praised by the Académie Charles Cros, the Victoires de la Musique, Diapason d’or, ffff de Télérama – Choc du Monde de la Musique – Bravo !!!! Trad Mag

Creations in progress

  • LOXIAS – Souffles de cristal (2018)

A solo performance on crystal instruments. In 2016, Isabelle Courroy engaged with Christian Zagaria, info-sceno-plasticien, in the writing of the  “Kaval de cristal “ project: musical and graphic solo staging light, transparency and degrees of opacity. For this creation, she embarked with Ludovic Petit, a scientific glassmaker, in the making of crystal instruments, a material whose major physical properties are to be a conductor of light. Premiere on February 9, 2018 at the “Cité de la Musique“ in Marseille.

  • Creation with Bruno Allary and Patrick Boucheron (2018)

Premiere on May 26, 2018 at the “Théâtre national” of Marseille – “La Criée” as part of the festival “Oh  les beaux jours!” .

  • Melizma (from 2017)

A project of creation with variable geometry which takes shape in the oblique flutes of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the glance which Isabelle Courroy carries today.

  • Kavaldjistan – Lands of Kavals (2018-2019)

A great gathering around oblique flutes – similarities and divergences, transmission and creation.


  • With the Rassegna Company

– Il sole non si muove
Diffusion et création phonographique avec l’Ensemble Multitudes de la Cie Rassegna. Il sole non si muove  (Sylvie Paz, Carine Lotta, Carina Salvado, Fouad Didi, Philippe Guiraud, Bruno Allary and Mireille Collignon, guest violist) looks at the circulation of secular songs within the Mediterranean basin and as far as England in the sixteenth century.

> Editions: Buda Musique. Distribution: Socadisc & Believe digital. MCE Productions. Artistic direction: Bruno Allary.

> Concerts: Sylvanès Abbey, Le Rayol, FAMDT Congress, Au Fil des Voix festival, Le Fruit des Voix festival, Sainte-Croix-en-Jarez musical feast, Calvi festival…

  • With Shadi Fathi

– L’immobile voyage
In duet with Shadi Fathi (Sétar, daf, zarb) and trio with Wassim Halal (percussion). Repertoire of original compositions and personal arrangements.

> Concerts: Les Suds in Arles, De Bouche à Oreille festival in Parthenay, Les Joutes Musicales de Correns, Aux heures d’été in Nantes…

  • With the musicians of the AKSAK Collective

The Aksak quintet – Creative music of the BalkansWith Philippe
Franceschi, Christiane Ildevert, Patrice Gabet and Lionel Romieu, Isabelle Courroy has been digging the furrow of Eastern European and Balkan music since 1989.

> group’s 7th  album:  Les Artisans du temps  (released spring 2017 by Éditions Absilone, Distribution Socadisc & Believe digital, Production Sur le Pont). Other albums:  From Central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean, Migratory Birds, Florina, Balkan Christmases with Bijan Chemirani and Erika Taznady,L’Oreille du voyageur, Portraits.

Panselinos  (traditional Greek music).

Since 1999 alongside Georges Mas, Benoît Capron and Lionel Romieu, Jérôme Salomon and Katerina Cael Karagiani.

> Concerts: many events for the Greek community of the Bouches du Rhône with Hiphaistia. Creation  Kumpania Massalias  (2015) with Vanghelis Dimoudis and Maria Simoglou.

  • With Françoise Atlan

Between 1996 and 1998, alongside Keyvan Chemirani, Isabelle Courroy accompanied Françoise Atlan for the recordings  Noches  and La Rose et le jasmin.

> Awards: Choc du Monde de la Musique, Diapason d’Or and  ffff  de Télérama.

Transversal creations

  • With early music
    Isabelle Courroy joined in 2014 the ensemble Canticum Novum, based in Saint-Étienne. With this protean ensemble, she participates in the broadcasting of the programs  TOPKAPI, music at the court of Suleiman the Magnificent  and  Aashenayi  (meeting in Persian language). She recorded the creation  Aashenayi, published by Ambronay in 2014. In 2016, alongside the voices of Gulay Hacer (Turkey), Maria Simoglou (Greece) and Emmanuel Bardon, she participated in the creation of the  T(h)races programs at the Festival de Puteaux and  Emzara  in Noirlac.

> Concerts: Festival de Radio France de Montpellier, Festival de musiques sacrées de Perpignan, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival de musique ancienne de Vanves, Festival de Pontoise, La Folle Journée de Nantes in 2015.

  • With contemporary music
    Zad Moultaka invites her to an improvisational work directed in the presence of the Armenian kementché player Gagik Mouradian. This residency resulted in  13 Haiku  created at the Royaumont Foundation. At the end of this creation in 2015, Zad Moultaka composes for her Zaïb Rouwakou, a piece for Kaval and fixed sounds.

As part of the duo L’Églantine et la rose  that she formed with Djamchid Chemirani (zarb), she commissioned a piece for kavals, flutes and fixed sounds from the composer Zad Moultaka:  Vent III, Le Vent souffle où il veut,(creation Fondation Royaumont 2007).

  • Contretemps (creation 2018 with Bruno Allary and Patrick Boucheron)