Dear friends and colleagues,

As 2009 draws to an end, I once again feel most grateful to music and the piano for filling each day with many wonders and inspiration.

2009 has been another exciting year for me - full of concerts, almost every week in a different part of the world. After playing in 60 countries across all continents, the opportunity to perform somewhere completely new doesn't often arise, but still this year I had the chance to visit Montenegro, Argentina, Uruguay and Taiwan all for the first time and all to the most welcoming musical circles.

I also had the joy of making music for the first time with some fine conductors along the way: Maestro Hobart Earle with the Odessa Philharmonic, Maestro Uros Lajovic with the Macedonian Philharmonic and Maestro Shou-Ling Wu on my Taiwan debut with the Taipei Symphony. Music can say it all; and the enthusiasm of both the orchestras and the audiences at each of these concerts showed that music did!

I always feel lucky to get to know people through music, and this year offered many opportunities not only with my fellow musicians but also with the audiences. From Uruguay (where they followed me to a restaurant after the concert and gave a standing ovation as I was leaving after my dinner) to Japan (where they always listen with such concentration it is as if they absorb every vibration and admire every single note) each audience is different and they enrich my life and my music.

The Gümüşlük International Music Festival is yet another thrilling experience that enriches my life as well as the Turkish cultural life. Our seemingly modest venue, the old Orthodox Church of Eklisia, turns into a magical realm during the festival, creating an uplifting experience for everyone. This summer we had the 6th edition with again some of the finest performers of the international stage and an ever-growing circle of admirers and supporters, who all contribute in creating this magic. I am happy to announce here that we have almost completed planning our 2010 edition.

The current concert season began at whirlwind pace with already 26 concerts in 11 countries and leaves even more to look forward to in 2010. My first concert of the New Year will be launching the Chopin Year in Turkey with Maestro Marek Pijarowski and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. More Chopin concerts will follow during the year, including those at the Miami, Deutschlandsberg, Bayreuth and İstanbul Music Festivals.

As 2010 will again take me all over the world for concerts, I believe that we will meet somewhere sooner or later; and I sincerely hope that meeting will find you in best health, happiness and success!

Gülsin Onay

Posted on 28 Dec 2009 by editor

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