Fazıl Say to play with Orpheus at Carnegie Hall
ISTANBULIn the final concert of its annual series at New York’s Carnegie Hall this season, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will be joined by Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say for the New York premiere of his new Chamber Symphony, Op. 62, commissioned by Orpheus as part of its American Notes initiative.
Say also performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major with Orpheus as a soloist. Making his Orpheus debut this season, Say last performed in the U.S. at the Met Museum in April 2012. Orpheus will also perform Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Haydn’s Symphony No. 80 in D minor, both signature works from its Deutsche Grammophon catalog.
The concert will take place at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium on April 11 at 7 p.m.
Orpheus Executive Director Krishna Thiagarajan said, “The Mozart piano concerto is well-suited for Fazıl Say because he is very much like a young Mozart, as an excellent pianist-composer who is outspoken, energetic and worldly. In some ways Fazıl has taken a path not unlike the earlier composer, who left his hometown of Salzburg, absorbed new ideas in the cultural capitals of Europe and finally found his niche in Vienna. Our performance of this concerto will play up the showmanship and spontaneity that defined Mozart’s musical life.”
As a composer, Say has written over 80 original works and arrangements and his compositional style often features a fantasia-like structure with a variable, syncopated and often dance-like rhythm, a continuous, driving pulse and melodic ideas that often can be traced back to themes from the folk music of Turkey and its neighbors.
Say has taken inspiration from the poetry and lives of 20th-century Turkish writers such as Nâzım Hikmet and Metin Altıok, as well as 11th-century Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet Omar Khayyám.
“Fazıl likes to try things out, mix genres in his compositional style and use cultural influences from the Middle East,
especially Turkey. We rarely hear the Turkish influence in classical music publicly at this high level of art form. In our changing, globalizing world, Fazıl is a very important musician and composer, and the perfect collaborator with Orpheus,” said Thiagarajan.
Say’s Chamber Symphony, Op. 62 is the third work premiered this season as part of Orpheus’ American Notes commissioning initiative.
“We are thrilled to be touring with Fazıl Say in Germany, which we return to as often as Japan, as well as in Italy and Austria. Orpheus has built its career in Europe, with most of the recordings in our catalog having been released by Deutsche Grammophon. Artists and audiences in Europe identify with us as much as they do in the United States; it is a cross-pollination of ideas. The cultures in Europe and the U.S. are distinct and varied, thus staying in touch is essential,” Thiagarajan added.