International piano festival kicks off in Antalya
Gökhan Aybuluş and Gürer Aykal.The 15th International Antalya Piano Festival will be held from Nov. 7 and 29, featuring 20 concerts by 26 virtuosos from nine countries, eight master classes, 20 workshops and six talks in the Mediterranean Turkish province.
For the first time this year, the festival will host promising young pianists selected from all conservatories in Turkey, according to a written statement issued by the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality.
The young pianists will meet with the festival’s famous guests during master classes. Along with free public concerts, workshops and talks will be organized in cultural centers, schools and shopping malls for the people of Antalya.
Renowned Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say, who was the festival’s art director in previous years, was replaced this year by conductor Gürer Aykal. The general coordinator of the festival is Seren Akyoldaş.
The 15th Antalya Piano Festival will open with a concert by the Antalya State Symphonic Orchestra tonight, featuring pianist Gökhan Aybulus as the soloist. Works by Turkish composers including Ulvi Cemal Erkin and Ferit Tüzün will be performed in the concert.
The festival will continue with Evren Kutlay’s “Piano in the Ottoman Palace” in the first week, with classical music star Christian Zacharias taking the stage to perform the piece. The Tord Gustavsen Quartet will also be among the guests of the first week.
The second week of the event will present French singer Indila on Nov. 18, while Nov. 21 will see Emir Gamsızoğlu and one of the best living Beethoven performers, Paul Lewis, who will perform Beethoven’s final three piano sonatas.
Antalya will welcome famous Brazilian jazz master, pianist-singer Eliane Elias, on Nov. 22, while concerts from Gülru Ensari and Herbert Schuch will end the week on Nov. 23.
The festival will continue in its third week with a concert from the Mediterranean Philharmonic Orchestra on Nov 24, with soloist Hüseyin Sermet performing Mozart works. Fahir Atakoğlu and Ara Dinkjiyan will bring together Anatolian melodies at a concert on Nov. 26, while virtuoso Freddy Kempf will be accompanied by the Mediterranean Philharmonic Orchestra on Nov. 28.
The closing concert of the festival will be given by The 5 Browns, which is made up of two male and three female siblings.
Free public concerts will also be organized during the Antalya Piano Festival at five venues. Başar Can Kıvrak and Cem Babacan, graduates of the Moscow State Conservatory, will perform works by Rachmaninov on Nov. 11 at the AKM Aspendos Hall.
An annual tradition of the festival, the “Young pianists’ concert in the memory of Kamuran Gündemir,” will be performed this year on Nov. 17 at the AKM Perge Hall.
The Mediterranean University AKS will host recitals by Sermet on Nov. 20 and Kandemir Basmacıoğlu on Nov. 28, while Kemal Cem Yılmaz will give a recital on Nov. 24 at the ATSO Fine Arts School.
Meanwhile, the public concerts series features a very special event this year: The premiere of “Mera,” composed by Andres Portera especially for the festival. The special work tells the culture of the Mediterranean, while young pianist Doruk Görkem Tokur will perform it at the Antalya Aquarium on Nov. 22.
Musicians attending this year’s master classes will be hosted by the festival committee, and the classes will be given by Sermet, Portera, Aybulus, Alexander Lonquich, Christian Zacharias, Herbert Schuch and Freddy Kempf. The festival’s guest of honor, Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel, will come together with students on Nov. 23 to give a class. Brendel is considered one of the best performers of Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart.
Workshops will also be held at schools, the Antalya Cultural House, shopping malls, the Erdem Bayazıt Cultural Center and the festival tent, as part of the festival.
Ticket prices are fixed this year to reach people of all classes. The price is 15 Turkish Liras for students and 35 for others. People from state conservatories and fine arts schools will each pay 5 liras.