The Royal Philharmonic concert, dedicated to Turkey’s most famous classical composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun, brings Gülsin Onay once again to London. Renowned universally for her definitive interpretations of Saygun, the pianist will play her teacher’s 1st Piano Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic under the baton of Gürer Aykal.

The music of Ahmed Adnan Saygun, whose birth centenary fell last year, is celebrated in England on 12 February Tuesday at the Cadogan Hall. At this all-Turkish evening, the Royal Philharmonic will play under the baton of Gürer Aykal accompanying Gülsin Onay.

Saygun’s music is colourful and atmospheric and marries sympathetically the tradition of western classical music to the fertile heritage of Turkish folk music. In his obituary, the Times (London) recalled him as “the grand old man of Turkish music, who was to his country what Sibelius is to Finland, what de Falla is to Spain, and what Bartók is to Hungary”. His centenary in 2007 was celebrated with concerts and symposia not only in Turkey but also abroad.

Gülsin Onay, who has featured the composer’s works in her programmes in the 57 countries in which she has performed so far, was again playing Saygun in 2007 to much critical acclaim throughout the world. Critic Geoff Brown from the Times wrote already of Gülsin Onay’s recital at London's Wigmore Hall (December 2002) : “... With Saygun, however, Onay was championing someone genuinely interesting. In the 1930s Saygun and Bartók travelled in the Balkans, the Near East and North Africa. The older master might have made a more gnarled and hammering treatment of the finale’s Black Sea dance. But Saygun is no Bartók-and-water; he has his own inquisitive personality, and Onay proved a powerful advocate.”

Londoners familiar with Gülsin Onay’s virtuosity from her recitals at the International Piano Series at London's South Bank and at the Wigmore Hall, will now have the opportunity to listen to Saygun’s 1st Piano Concerto from her.

Another prominent pupil of the composer, Gürer Aykal will be conducting the Royal Philharmonic in this special concert, which will also feature the Variations for Orchestra and the 4th Symphony by Saygun.

The concert, taking place at the Cadogan Hall on 12 February Tuesday 19:30, is preceded by a talk by the distinguished Turkish musicologist Dr. Emre Aracı, author of the definitive biography “Ahmed Adnan Saygun – a musical bridge between East and West”.

Posted on 10 Feb 2008 by editor

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