Southern Turkish city prepares to host music festival

Southern Turkish city prepares to host music festival

MERSİN - Hürriyet Daily News
Southern Turkish city prepares to host music festival

Cristina Branco

The 11th annual Mersin International Music Festival, which kicks off April 30, will be a festive celebration with both national and international music programs, according to Mersin Gov. Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu. 

“It is not easy to continue an international festival in an Anatolian city for 11 years. Mersin’s music festival has become one of the leading festivals in Turkey,” he was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency. 

The festival will feature a composition competition, entitled “Mersin looks for its folk songs in opera form,” which aims to encourage Turkish composers to produce new songs. 

A Festival City Award will be presented to Eyüp Aygar, who built multiple dormitories and schools throughout the city, during the festival. Opera artist Nuran Apanoğlu will receive the Festival Art Award while violinist and Presidential Symphonic Orchestra member Nurperi Yücesoy will receive the Nevit Kodallı Young Talent Award. 

The festival gained international recognition after it was inducted into the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 2007. A total of 1,370 artists from Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Germany, Moldova and the United States will participate in the festival. This year’s festival features 22 events held in 11 venues, with 12 of the events being free of charge. 

Mersin’s significant cultural and tourism sights, such as the Italian Catholic Church of Mersin, the ruins of the ancient city of Soli-Pompeipolis and the St. Paul Museum in the Tarsus district will host festival-goers along with festival activities set to be held in the city center. 
The festival program includes classical music and chamber orchestra concerts, Turkish folk song concerts, ballet recitals and other dance shows. A Beijing dragon and lion street show will also be a part of the festival, keeping with the “Year of Chinese Culture” currently occurring in Turkey. 

Festival program

The festival will open with a concert by the Artemisia Chamber Orchestra, known for their distinguished repertoire of famous musicians. Conducted by Alpaslan Ertüngealp, the Artemisia Chamber Orchestra performance will be the first time violinist Cihat Aşkın and flutist Halit Turgay share the same stage.

Mersin State Opera and Ballet will perform the ballet “Zorba” on May 3 while the Cenk Erdoğan Trio will take the stage May 7 at the Mersin Cultural Center. 

The MozART Group, a comedy string quartet, is scheduled to perform at the Mersin Culture Center on May 8. The group takes on a classical composition as their canvas, analyzes its structure and theme, before surrounding it with musical associations. While listening to the final composition the listener will be consistently surprised and amazed, moving from laughter to tears with a single note. 

The same venue will also host the Voice of Anatolia, which will perform Turkish folk songs and classical music polyphonically on May 9.

The Arkas Trio, comprised of Tuncay Yılmaz on violin, Emre Elivar on piano and German cello soloist Gustav Rivinius, will perform May 9 at the Italian Catholic Church of Mersin. 

Cristina Branco, who is known as the princess of fado, combines Portuguese music with the works of famous poets as lyrics to create new initiatives in fado, a type of Portuguese music. Branco has arranged poems by Shakespeare and famous Dutch poet Slauerhoff with fado music. Contrary to the pain, longing and desperation found in traditional fado, Branco creates joyous songs. She will take the stage at the Mersin Culture Center on May 11. 

The World Ballroom Dancing champions of Braunschweiger Tanz-Sport-Club will perform various dances on May 12. The team holds eight world championship titles, 10 European championship titles and 14 German championship titles. 

On May 14 Polish jazz master Artur Dutkiewicz will present contemporary jazz crossed with Polish folk dances of his own composing that are taken from his latest album “Mazurkas.” Dutkiewicz’s album combines the influence of Chopin and Polish folk music with modern jazz improvisation. 

The Turkish Tanini Trio and the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra will also perform at the festival on May 15 and 17, respectively. 

The closing concert will be performed by soprano Michele Crider on May 18. She will be accompanied by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra.