Ankara Polyphonic Choir to represent Turkey in international competition in Hungary
Turkish capital Ankara’s Polyphonic Choir will represent Turkey in well-known Béla Bartok International Choir Competition in Hungary which is one of the most important choral events that leads “competition of competitions,” European Choral Grand Prix.
“There are few competitions that will lead to Grand Prix. We are aiming to have a good result in this competition and we hope to be qualified to attend Grand Prix,” choir’s conductor Nilgün Tuzkaya said HDN on June 5.
The international choral event Bela Bartok International Choir Competition will be held between July 5 to 8 in Hungary’s province of Debrecen this year, where 18 choirs from 11 countries will compete in 6 different categories.
Bela Bartok competition is one of the six European choral competitions, winners of which are qualified to attend annual choral competition the European Choral Grand Prix, which is regarded as “competition of competitions.”
Even though its name is European, the competition is not limited to European choirs, as most prominent choirs in the world attend the prestigious event.
“It is an accomplishment itself that we have qualified to compete in Bela Bartok Competition. We have worked hard, and we hope to get results from our efforts and represent our country in the best way possible,” Tuzkaya said.
Ankara Polyphonic Choir will compete in “Mixed Choirs” category with 7 different choirs from Russia, Ireland, Spain, the U.S. and Denmark.
Muzaffer Arkan’s memory
The Ankara Polyphonic Choir was founded as Ankara Radio Child Choir in 1965 by Turkey’s esteemed conductor Muzaffer Arkan.
The choir gave many concerts in the 1960’s, they even had a radio program in TRT called “Children’s Hour.”
As the child chorists grow up, it was renamed as “Ankara Youth Choir” in 1973 and had their first international experience in International Guido d’Arezzo Polyphonic Contest in Italy’s Province of Arezzo Italy. A competition which is among the six competitions that lead Grand Prix.
It had taken its current name “Ankara Polyphonic Choir” in 1985 since then attended many festivals and competitions in Turkey and abroad.
Under the conduct of Arkan, the choir had marked many accomplishments in years including a third price in the same Bela Bartok International Choir Competition in 1990.
After Arkan was laid to rest in 2006, the works of the choir were paused.
Choir’s current conductor Nilgün Tuzkaya is Arkan’s daughter and she had revived the choir in 2012 with amateur members in tribute to his father’s memory.
“We wanted the choir which had marked many successes in the past keep alive,” Tuzkaya said.
Despite the fact that the Bela Bartok Competition will be the first international event of the amateur members of the new choir, Tuzkaya is confident.
“I am lucky to have this team which is composed of very hardworking people who are willing to contribute,” she said, adding “they exceeded our limits.”