Pianist brings compositions home for BIPO & Say festival

Pianist brings compositions home for BIPO & Say festival

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Pianist brings compositions home for BIPO & Say festival

The concerts of the festival will be held at the Lütfi Kırdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall. DHA photo

Accomplished Turkish pianist Fazıl Say is bringing a number of works inspired by his native land home for the first time with a number of national premieres scheduled for Dec. 14, 15 and 16 in Istanbul.

The concerts, which are part of the second Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra (BIPO) & Fazıl Say Festival, are headlined by the Dec. 14 Turkish premiere of Say’s “Hezarfen,” which was recently played for the first time in Mannheim, Germany. BIPO’s honorary chef, Gürer Aykal, will be conducting the concert.

In the second part of the concert, Say’s “Mesopotamia” symphony, which tells the story of today’s Middle East and the culture of Mesopotamia throughout history, will be performed. During this concert, Burcu Karadağ (reed flute), Aykut Köselerli (percussions), Carolina Eyck (theremin), Çağatay Akyol (block flute) and Bülent Evcil (bass flute) will accompany Say and BIPO.

All concerts at the festival, which was first held in 2010, will be organized at Istanbul’s Lütfi Kırdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall.

Speaking about the festival, Say said they had staged a number of concerts with BIPO and Aykal and that most of his works were being performed for the first time in Turkey. “We have organized Turkish and European tours together. We organize the BIPO & Fazıl Say Festival every two years and the orchestra performs my new works in these festivals. We also make CD recordings,” he said.

Facing prison

While renowned around the world for his musical talents, Say is currently facing prison time for allegedly denigrating religion in Tweets posted on his Twitter account. In a message printed on his Facebook page on Dec. 8, Say said he would prefer to leave the country rather than go to prison.

Say will be accompanied by BIPO at the first and last concert of the event. The Borusan Quartet, the Borusan Woodwind Quartet and sopranos Dilruba Bilgi, Sanem Demircioğlu and Nihan İnan will accompany the pianist in the second concert.

Say’s piano and violoncello sonata “Four Cities” will also be performed for the first time in Turkey on Dec. 15, featuring the artist’s chamber music works. The Borusan Quartet, meanwhile, will play Say’s “The Divorce” while the Borusan Woodwind Quartet will play “Alevi Dedeler Rakı Masasında” with Say at the concert.

The poems of Behçet Aysan, Metin Altıok and Aziz Nesin will also be performed at the event.
The last concert of the event will also be conducted by Aykal. In the first part of the event, Schumann’s La Minor Piano Concerto and Say’s “Silk Road” concerto, which he composed in Berlin at the age of 24, will be performed.

The second part of the concert will feature the Turkey premieres of Say’s “Panther” and “Universe.” “Panther” was commissioned for the 10th year of the Dortmund Concert Hall, and Say composed the work based on Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Der Panther.”

Say’s third symphony, “Universe” was performed for the first time in Salzburg in October. The work is made up of the “Expansion of Universe,” “Storm on Jupiter,” “Venus,” “Earth Like Planet Gliese581g,” “Supernova” and “Dark Matter.” Say uses many new instruments like the theremin, daxophone and vibratone, which have rarely been used in orchestras before.

Ticket prices for the festival range between 50, 100, 150 and 200 Turkish Liras and are available at Biletix.