Composer / Pianist
I haven’t had an inclination to play my own pieces for a long time. In that regard I would like to thank to Erkin Aslan who helped me composing “Fantasy on Istanbul Tunes” in 2006; to Chen Halevi, Natalie Clein and Marina Chiche for supporting me by playing that same piece; to Pulitzer Prize winner composer David Del Tredici for encouraging to compose more after seeing my previous work; to Burak Bilgili for supporting me by singing my lieds and to Cem and Deniz for supporting my projects. You can just google their names in order to find more about the musicians who are a part of this project. They are all highly accomplished artists in their fields. Here, I would like to introduce them with my own words.
Burak is the most important Turkish opera singer, after the great soprano Leyla Gencer, born and bred in Turkey. He was the first Turkish Opera singer at Metropolitan Opera. In 2009, after his performance in “Il Trovatore” at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, his fans were waiting for him at the backstage door to tell him that they were waiting for him to come back to MET. And that Burak Bilgili showed interest in my art songs and between all the tiring travels from Geneva to London, to Washington, to Toronto, he creates time to rehearse, share his experience and knowledge for my work. He is a true friend and a great artist. http://www.burakbilgili.com
Chen has been a well known virtuoso for many classical music venues all around the world since he was a teenager. He plays with all the starts of the classical music world, at the most famous festivals and concert halls with the most well known orchestras. Our thoughts about recording are quite similar. While he’s constantly rejecting big recording companies’ offers, he aims to expand clarinet repertoire with recording the pieces composed for himself, the recordings are released from his own recording company. Almost 10 years ago I gave him a recording of a clarinetist to see if he’d like to take her as a student. After listening to the recording he asked about the accompanist which was me, and asked if I’d like to play concerts with him. That was such a surprising question to me and since then we perform together whenever we get the chance. He’s not only a master to whom I have great respect but also one of my closest friends ( www.clarichen.com ).
Deniz Toygur (Istanbul Trio)
Deniz Toygür, was born in Ankara (Turkey), studied at Bilkent University’s Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, with Feruza Abdullaeva. In April 2005, she took the first prize in “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov- 6th International Competition of German and Austrian Music”,organized in Bourgas, Bulgaria. At the same competition, she was specially awarded by her performence of German composer Jeannot Heinen’s “Concert Partita”. In October 2006, in “2nd National Gülden Turalı Violin Competition”, Mersin, she received the second prize. She joined to World Youth Symphony Orchestra in Summer 2007 as one of concertmaster, also invited to World Youth Chamber Orchestra in Winter 2007 and Summer 2008. During her education, she has participated numerous master classes of musicians such as Vanya Milanova, Mintcho Mintchev, Vesselin Paraschkevov, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved, Alexander Vinnitski, Alexander Markov, Eduard Schmieder, Alberto Lysy, Igor Keller, Pierre Amoyal, Bruno Canino, Bruno Pasquier, Gunars Larsens, Patrick Genet and Bridget Meyer. After having her Masters degree with Pierre Amoyel in Lausanne, Toygur played as a soloist and a chamber musician in Switzerland, France, Austria, United States and in Turkey with numerous orchestras throughout the country. Toygür’s String Quartet has played radio concerts in Switzerland, concentrating on the 20th Century Turkish Composers’ pieces. She’s been a part of the stage show for kids; “Unwritten on the Scores” at İş Sanat Istanbul with Emir Gamsizoglu and Memet Ali Alabora since 2009.
Deniz Toygur plays Italian c.1936 made violin by Emmanuel Egildo. The violin was given her as a present by a Swiss Lady after her impressive performance in the Academy of Lausanne.
Cem Çetinkaya (Istanbul Trio)
Cem and I met, gave concerts together and performed a big chamber music project in our conservatory years. After the school he went to Germany and I went to France. When I decided to reassemble Istanbul Trio, even though I had concerns about our violinist being in Switzerland, cellist in Germany and I in US, Cem motivated us with his positive attitude and Istanbul Trio made is debut with its new member in with a concert in Istanbul in 2011. Cem is a well known cellist especially in Germany and North Europe. He’s not only a great soloist playing with many different orchestras but also a close friend supporting my work.
Murat Cem Orhan
I know Erkin for more than 20 years. He’s also an ex-sportsman and another weird guy just like I am. If he hadn’t been injured he’d be a wonderful pianist, but his injury led him to composing and he became one of the most preferred, award winner, commercial jingle, film music composers with plenty of artists working with him in their albums. We composed “Fantasy on Istanbul Tunes” together. As a Fenerbahce team supporter, Erkin will work on the technical aspects of this recording and will provide the digital orchestra for “Alla Turca Around the World”.