Turkish girl an international piano talent
İZMİRNehir Özzengin is a 12-year-old girl from the Aegean province of İzmir who has prodigious talent and has won awards in international piano competitions since the age of nine. Her talent was discovered by her family when she was four and began playing piano with the support of her teachers.
A seventh grade student at the Turkish-German Culture and Education Foundation Primary Schools, Özzengin won a scholarship five years ago and received classical piano education at the Yaşar University Music Academy.
Özzengin, who has joined four international competitions and won awards in all of them, has second and third place awards from the International Mozart Academy Piano Competition.
She recently came second at the International Ceser Frank Piano Competition, as well as at the International Ischia Piano Competition, in which 80 people from 26 countries competed.
Practicing piano at least two to three hours a day, Özzengin prefers to go on holiday to facilities with a piano. She wants to own an acoustic piano in order to continue practicing at home.
‘Only piano and I’
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Özzengin, a native of İzmir’s Konak neighborhood, said she feels very happy every time she plays the piano.
“I get excited when I hear applauses from the stage. It also makes me very proud and motivates me. When I sit at the piano after greeting the audience, it is just the piano and I. I forget the audience and all sounds when playing the piano,” she said.
Stating that she gets pleased when she makes Turkey’s name heard with international awards, she added that she won her last award at a competition in Italy.
“The atmosphere was very beautiful in the competition. When it was my turn, I got a bit excited but when I started playing, my excitement disappeared. Then I learned that I represented my country very well and achieved a degree in the competition. This is my fourth award. I have been winning awards every year since the age of nine. I want to become a successful pianist in the future and give international concerts to represent my country,” she said.
Her father, Devrim Özzengin, said he and his wife are very proud of her.
“Nehir first took part in international competitions organized in Turkey. When she got an award on her first competition, our view for her to carry on with the piano professionally became stronger. It makes you very proud when the name of your child is announced in an international platform as a winner. She gives exclusive concerts and receives standing ovations. This feeling is hard to describe. We feel like our efforts were paid off,” he said.
Nehir’s piano instructor, Seçil Saykan Türker, said she was very pleased with her student’s achievements.
“Family support is very important, too. They give her both the financial and spiritual support. If she gets supported more, she will achieve bigger successes,” she said.