On her Greece debut with maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra, Gülsin Onay received standing ovations from the audiences as well as great acclaim from the critics. The French national newspapers Le Monde and Libération both referred to the pianist as “the exceptional Gülsin Onay”, whilst Athens News expressed that the Athenians were ready for a return visit from this formidable and sophisticated performer.

Gülsin Onay, whose collaboration with Vladimir Ashkenazy started in previous seasons with the Schumann Concerto at the Iceland Symphony and continued with Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto at the Bilkent Symphony, now played Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor with the maestro. The debut concert in Greece was within the scope of the Athens Epidaurus Festival at the 5000-seat Herodes Atticus Odeon on the 29th of July, followed by the performance at the Patras International Festival on the 30th.

“Exceptional Gülsin Onay”

The French Le Monde announced the concert as “Greek-Turkish Harmony in Athens” and said, “At the end of the first half of the concert, the exceptional Gülsin Onay enthralled us with a Grieg Piano Concerto brimming with energy, lyricism and great delicacy in colouring.” The review in another leading French newspaper Libération read: “After the Köçekçe orchestral suite by Ulvi Cemal Erkin, the orchestra welcomed the excellent Gülsin Onay in Grieg's Piano Concerto op.16. The internationally renowned Turkish pianist did justice both to the lively and spirited character of the masterpiece, and to the poetic finesse of its nuances.” The Athens News also covered the concert extensively, noting “It was a delight to be introduced to this formidable and sophisticated performer. No doubt Athenians are ready for a return visit from Onay.” The review added, “She played Grieg with great power, buttressed by a strong eye for subsidiary detail. After controlling clamouring chords  that open her first cadenza, Onay added Grieg's developing figurations with such detail and fluid grace it was easy to forget the other hand was still busy pounding away.”

Posted on 16 Aug 2008 by editor

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