West Side Story with the Pekinel sisters

West Side Story with the Pekinel sisters

West Side Story with the Pekinel sisters Internationally-renowned Turkish pianist sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel will perform a recital accompanied by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra percussionists Raphael Haeger and Simon Rössler on Dec. 15 in Istanbul. The recital, entitled “West Side Story with Pekinels,” will be held at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Hall.

During the recital the Pekinels will focus on works by composers who witnessed World War II and reflected the basic values of humanism in their works. 

Considering the current tragedies in the world, the works in the recital will offer a different meaning as a kind of invitation to fight against unjust sufferings. 

Under the auspices of composer Leonard Bernstein, the “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story with Pekinels” was written by his assistants, Paul McKibbins and Robert Phillips, for the Pekinel sisters. “Ciaconna” is another work which was composed for the sisters by Stanislaw Deja under the auspices of composer Krzysztof Penderecki. 

The Turkey premiere of a two-percussion version of Witold Lutoslawski’s “Variations on a Theme by Paganini” will be performed in the concert. The two works were included in their latest DVD titled “Zubin Mehta and Güher & Süher Pekinel,” which was nominated for the German Records Critics’ Award Quarterly Critics’ Choice 1/2015. Leading names in music such as the Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam/Andris Nelsons, the Staatskapelle Dresden/ Christian Thielemann, Evgeny Kissin, Menahem Pressler and Penderecki are among the other nominees for the award. 

The live record of the concert will be included in the “Best of Pekinels” CD/DVD series to be released in October 2016. 

Within the scope of the series, the Pekinels will go on a European tour in 2016, which will include Germany and Switzerland. They will perform with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival and Zürich Tonhalle. 

In 2017, the sisters will go on an Asian tour. They will take the stage with the Tokyo New Japan Philharmonic, the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Seoul KBS Symphony Orchestra. 

The recital on Dec. 15 will open with Bartok’s “The Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion” and continue with Penderecki’s “Ciaconna,” Dorman’s “Spices, Perfumes, Toxins,”  Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” and Lutoslawski’s “Variations on a Theme by Paganini,” respectively. 

Following their musical training, Güher and Süher Pekinel were first discovered by Herbert von Karajan in 1984 and engaged to appear at the Salzburg Festival. They have since embarked on a worldwide career and played with leading orchestras at the most important festivals in the world.

West Side Story with the Pekinel sisters