Due to the 300th anniversary of musician Buhurizade Mustafa Itri’s death, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared 2012 the “International Itri Year.”
Itri lived between 1640 and 1712, and is regarded as the master of Turkish classical music. He will be commemorated in Turkey and abroad in various concerts and conferences throughout the year. The Itri Music Research Center at the Yenikapı Mevlevi Lodge in Istanbul will host many events, and documentaries on Itri will also be broadcasted on television.
Itri was a prolific composer, with more than a thousand works to his name, although only about forty of these have survived to this day. He is believed to have been a Mevlevi, and composed religious music for this order. He lived through the times of five Ottoman Sultans. As with most composers of his day, Itri was also a poet. He used poetic forms based on the classical Ottoman school of poetry (Divan), as well as those based on syllabic meters identified with folk music and poetry. Unfortunately, most of his poetry has not survived to this day. He was also known for being a calligrapher.
Itri’s portrait is depicted on the reverse of the 100 Turkish Lira banknote, issued in 2009.