Celebrating 25th anniversary with Turkish classical music

Celebrating 25th anniversary with Turkish classical music

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Celebrating 25th anniversary with Turkish classical music

AA photo

The Culture and Tourism Ministry Istanbul State Turkish Music Ensemble celebrated its 25th anniversary Jan. 29 with a concert at the Cemal Reşit Rey (CRR) Concert Hall. 

Art director and soloist of the ensemble Aylin Şengül Taşçı said the ensemble was formed in 1987 by tambour artist Necdet Yaşar. 

“The ensemble was made up of 20 people when it was first formed,” she said. “This number has reached 32 through time. But our understanding has not changed. By giving some small ensembles prominence, we have tried to show Turkish music. There is not a chief in our ensemble. The ensemble sings a song all together. We try to perform works from all composers from past to present day. We also perform music in various types such as sufi music; we want to bring Turkish music to wider masses of people.”

Taşçı said the ensemble had performed countless numbers of concerts on stage and on television. “Last year, we released an album called ‘Mehtabiyeler’ for the first time. We will also release a new album ‘Ustadan Çırağa’ (From Master to Apprentice) for our 25th anniversary. In March, the third album ‘Baba ve Oğul Besterkarlar’ (Father and Son Composers) will come.” 

Taşçı said she did not agree with the idea that the interest of young people in Turkish music had decreased. “If you give high-quality music to people, regardless of their age, you definitely get its return. The half of the audience in our concerts is young people. There are very talented young people in conservatories. This is why I don’t give credit to people saying ‘Turkish music will be forgotten sometime later. The young generation does not want to listen to this type of music.’” 

She said every country in the world had a popular music type. “But besides that, there is always classical music. This is the same in our country, just like in the West. Classical music has a special audience all the time. So, every type of music should exist, in my opinion. Some of them will be permanent, and some of them will be forgotten.” 

Taşçı said Turkish music was performed very softly. “When it is performed successfully, Turkish music relaxes the human soul. This is the purpose of Turkish music.”

Taşçı does not accept the claims that there are no more new composers and interpreters in Turkish music. She said, “Just like many other things, time causes changes in Turkish music, too. This is normal. Music forms were very different in the past and they changed through time. The effect of Western music was dominant in the Republic period. Later on, Münir Nurettin Selçuk created a different style and then came choirs in Turkish music. This change still exists today.”