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MUSIC > Turkish composer hopes to move to Japan

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Composer and pianist Fazıl Say speaks to press members before the concert at the New York Metropolitan Museum. He says that he has plans to move to Japan. AA photo

Composer and pianist Fazıl Say speaks to press members before the concert at the New York Metropolitan Museum. He says that he has plans to move to Japan. AA photo

Turkey’s world renowned composer and pianist Fazıl Say gave a concert at New York’s famous Metropolitan Museum on April 21.

Say, who was invited to the museum for the promotion of the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Southern Asian galleries which opened in the museum’s Islamic Arts section last October, took the stage at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

He performed the piano sonata of Leos Janacek and Sergei Prokofiev for the first part of the concert and his works of his own composition in the concert’s second half. Among the audience at the concert were Paul Wolfowitz the former president of World Bank, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General Kim Won-soo and Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ertuğrul Apakan.

Speaking to press members before the concert, Say said that he had previously performed in the concert hall of the museum. “Culture and arts is worn out the most by economic crises in the world. Limitations start with culture and art events,” he said.

Say said that he felt the effects of the economic crisis in the U.S. during his trip and saw such things as the closure of orchestras and a reduction in the number of concerts. “I’ve come to the U.S. for the first time after the crisis. An earthquake has occurred here, I feel it,” he said.

He said that he would return to Istanbul from New York and then go to Europe for concerts scheduled to be held in Russia, Germany and Luxembourg.

The composer has a tour of U.S. cities planned for next year. “I know that I have been a bit neglectful of the U.S., I was bored of the U.S. after living there for seven years. I have played with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra 15 times, the highest point that a U.S. musician can reach,” he said.

‘This is not an escape’

Living in New York was not east after the Sept. 11 attacks, said Say, adding that he left New York with his family after seven years to raise his daughter.

In recent years it has become difficult to live in Turkey as well, he said, as he was exposed to insults because of personal views that he shared on Twitter.

“Even though we speak the same language, we don’t understand each other. The best thing to do here is to stay away for some time. Where I want to go is Japan, but I don’t know if I can do it. I love Japan so much and I think that I will be comfortable there. But it is too far. [Living there] means having to reduce the number of concerts [I give] in Europe and Turkey. And of course I want to see my daughter grow up, and she will stay here [in Turkey],” Say said.

“This is not an escape,” he said.

Say said he was preparing his third symphony, “Evren” (Universe) after “Istanbul” and “Mesopotamia,” adding that the Mesopotamia symphony would be performed in Istanbul on June 23 and “Universe” in Austria in October. He said that the three symphonies would be played by orchestras in many countries.

April/23/2012

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