A young talent shining through his violin

A young talent shining through his violin

Cenk Erdem - ISTANBUL
A young talent shining through his violin Istanbul’s Cemal Reşit Rey Concert (CRR) Hall will host a very special classical music feast with the brilliant Turkish Yıldızlar Topluluğu Orchestra tonight. 

The orchestra, which is made up of international Turkish stars who are taking their musical education abroad in the footsteps of acclaimed composers such as Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Cemal Reşit Rey, Hasan Ferit Alnar, Necil Kazım Akses, will shine through under the baton of acclaimed conductor Gürer Aykal. Also, Emre Engin on violin and Can Çakmur on piano will play works by Mozart. 

Young violinist Engin started playing violin at the the Uludağ University State Conservatory and finished his bachelor of music with a “First Class” diploma at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Prof. Itzhak Rashkovsky. 

Pursuing his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music with Maestro Pinchas Zukerman and Patty Kopec with a full scholarship, he is now a violinist on an international level. He considers playing Mozart much harder than playing works of Paganini, yet he is to perform Mozart. 

Engin thinks that Mozart was a composer made up of passion and love.  

Luckily, I had a chance to ask him a few questions just before his performance with Turkish Yıldızlar Topluluğu Orchestra. 

As a young talented violinist, you say Bach inspires you a lot, but when it comes to today’s scene, which composers inspire you too?

Unfortunately, I have no time to get into today’s scene but of course there are some composers who are still alive and I’m listening to (and) admiring. John Adams, Essa Pekka Salonen and John Corigliano are the few that I really love from the scene. But if you ask what nourishes my music, I still can’t give up on Bach.
You said you consider concertos of Mozart so hard to play in your very first interviews but you are going to play his work. What do you think about his concertos now?

I still find them very hard to perform. I even consider playing Mozart is much harder than playing works of Paganini. Mozart never had a superficial and enjoyable lifestyle. He experienced tough conflicts in his personal life. He had to earn money (and) he had to prove himself to the high class, though he didn’t want to. Mozart was a composer made up of passion and love. Besides he always took care of the childish innocence in his music. So it’s hard to perform his pieces in a naive but also very sophisticated way. Playing his pieces require musical and personal maturity. 
What about the pieces that trigger powerful emotions in you?

Tchaikovsky “Symphony No.4. Senfoni” and Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata.”
You always mention the support of your teachers, Professor Itzhak Rashkovsy, Laura Samuel and Maestro Pinchas Zukerman. So, what would you like to advise to young musicians dreaming of influential schools like the Royal College of Music and Manhattan School of Music?

Most of all, hard work, hard work, hard work… Of course it is vital to listen to so much music. To have an interest in other branches of art and trying to have as much knowledge as possible would take you in a higher place. But good communication skills in human relations are crucial, too. There are so many talented people who disappear from the scene just because of their poor communication skills in human relations. Last but not least, always moving forward and keeping your motivation alive…
Sure, you enriched your talent in such cities like London and New York as a young musician, but what about Istanbul?

Istanbul is a very special city to me with all its beauties and charm. But the venue where I will perform, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, is also so special to me because it is the first ever venue I debuted as a professional performer when I was only 10 years old taking a part in Cihat Aşkın’s Project CAKA (Cihat Aşkın and his little friends).