“A fascinating recital of piano music by contemporary Turkish composers […] Anybody who wants to explore new things should savor this” – Leonard Link (Arthur S. Leonard)
“I am listening to Istanbul, intent, with my eyes closed.” This is how Orhan Veli, the great Turkish poet of the 20th century, began his most celebrated poem about Istanbul. What Veli heard more than half a century ago was a romanticized soundscape of the oriental city at the Bosphorus: the bells of water carriers, the busy sounds of the Grand Bazaar, pigeons in the yard of a mosque, fishing nets drawn out of the water, and banging hammers of workers in the docks.
Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Turkish pianist Seda Röder listens to Istanbul once more; intently, with open ears and eyes for an emerging new era. What she hears in 2010 while the city bears the title of the “Cultural Capital of Europe,” are captivating and exciting sounds of a new generation of Turkish composers. Filled with energy and innovative creative force, their music represents the vivid and quickly changing atmosphere that the melting pot of Turkey radiates into the world.
In an effort to introduce this unexplored world of Turkish contemporary music to a wider international audience, Seda Röder has commissioned six works by the most important composers from Istanbul, which she presented to the world in a series of concerts in the United States, and Europe.
Turgut Erçetin’s compositional focus lies on post-spectral as well as computer-aided music. By using unconventional instrumentations such as didgeridoo, throat singing, kora, viola de gamba, and electric guitar and so forth, he introduces a wide range of soundscapes into his works.
After finishing her studies at the Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, Zeynep Gedizlioğlu studied with Wolfgang Rihm in Karlsruhe, Theo Brandmüller in Saarbrücken, Ivan Fedele in Strasbourg, Daniel Teruggi and François Donato at the Group de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris.
Özkan Manav is one of the most prolific Turkish composers of the younger generation. Amongst his teachers were influential Turkish composers such as Adnan Saygun and Ilhan Usmanbaş. In addition, he worked intesively with American composers Lukas Foss and Marjorie Merryman at Boston University where he earned his DMA.
Tolga Tüzün’s compositional studies started in Istanbul with Pieter Snapper and Mark Wingate and continued in New York with David Olan, Tristan Murail, and Philippe Leroux. As a young composer, Tolga Tüzün participated in various master classes with Roger Reynolds, Rand Steiger, Edmund Campion, Mara Helmuth, Horacio Vaggione as well as in the prestigious IRCAM courses to further study electro-acoustic composition with Brian Ferneyhough, Gilles Racot, Hughes Dufourt, Hans Tutschku, and Joshua Fineberg.
Murat Yakın’s compositions make ample use of electronic resources such as pre-recorded samples and real-time signal processing. These compositional methods and electronic sound worlds are also reflected in his acoustic compositions. His music received performances at many leading contemporary music festivals world-wide, such as the New Music Concerts in South Africa, the Ctrl-Alt-Del and Divertimento music festivals in Istanbul, as well as the Imagine Music Festival and the New Sound Concert Series in the US.
Before coming to Harvard University in 2003, Tolga Yayalar studied Jazz Composition and Jazz Guitar at the Berklee College of Music. At Harvard, Tolga worked with Bernard Rands, Julian Anderson, Harrison Birtwistle, Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Lachenmann.
Seda Röder is an adventurous musician with an artistic vision of “walking through life with open ears to discover fascinating sounds”. Her passion for exploring uncharted musical grounds and creating refreshing aural experiences for her audience make Ms. Röder one of the most engaging pianists of her generation.
Her insightfully curated concert programs and startling interpretations bring her acclaim as an artist with a remarkably deep understanding of the newest sonic developments in the classical world. ‘You are a master of avant-garde pianism!’ the legendary Alfred Brendel once remarked, impressed with Ms. Röder’s artistry. ‘Your dialogues with silence captivated me.’
With numerous of world premieres and over ten new compositions dedicated to her each year, Ms. Röder is devoted to promoting the music of our time. But moreover she is devoted to looking beyond the surface to make a deeper experience of music possible for everyone who is eager to “walk through life with open ears”!