Armenian, Turkish youth together again on stage

Armenian, Turkish youth together again on stage

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Armenian, Turkish youth together again on stage

AA Photo

Istanbul’s Bosphorus University will tonight host the Armenian-Turkish Youth Symphony Orchestra, consisting of 56 young musicians from Turkey and Armenia.

The concert will be conducted by the Akbank Chamber Orchestra’s conductor Cem Mansur, with pianist Ashot Khachatourian on stage as the soloist.

Young people from Armenia and Turkey first came together to form an orchestra in July 2010, with the support of Bosphorus University and the Turkish non-governmental organization Anadolu Kültür. Cem Mansur and Nvart Andreasyan were the brains behind the orchestra, and through it aim to contribute to peace between the two countries.

The orchestra performed three successful cztüoncerts at the Bosphorus University, Büyükada Island and Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in its first year.

The orchestra, which has reunited upon the invitation of the Young Euro Classic Festival, will also take the stage on Aug. 3 in Berlin, one of Europe’s most lively cultural cities. Two concerts in Istanbul and Berlin are being organized with support from the German and Turkish foreign ministries, the Enka Cultural Foundation, Tower Tourism and Fineco. Armenian conductor Andreasyan discussed the orchestra in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News in 2010.

“Our plan means gathering young people in an environment where there is no chance to lose. The environment is international and it is based in music,” she said.

Mansur said their aim was for the young musicians to become friends. He took part in a similar project in 2008 and 2009 in South Africa, adding, “In South Africa I conducted an orchestra with youth of different races and saw the power of music. Before the project those young people in South Africa hated each other because of the misunderstandings that their races had gone through. By the end of our project, those young people hugged each other. Through the power of music, hatred left and in its place came love.”

Rehearsal since July 23

Young Armenian musicians have been holding rehearsals with their Turkish counterparts since July 23. At the Bosphorus University concert they will perform works by Beethoven and Alexander Spendiaryan, as well as Turkish composer Ferit Tüzün. Tonight’s soloist, Ashot Khachatourian has performed in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany, the U.S., Spain, Holland and Belgium, and has worked with renowned artists such as Yuri Bashmet, Misha Maisky, Ivan Monighetti, Liana Issakadze and Zakhar Bron.

The concert will take place at the university’s Garanti Cultural Center at 8 p.m tonight.