A pilgrim’s pre-Ottoman progress

The Levantine adventures of an Italian small-town lawyer

By Roger Williams | January 17, 2019

Author John Mole set the clock back to the times of Chaucer in his Anglo-Turkish Society/Royal Anthropological Institute lecture in Bloomsbury last night as he described a pilgrimage to the Monastery of St Catherine in Egypt and the holy sites of Jerusalem undertaken by an Italian lawyer. So short in...

Cosmic curves

Weaving order into chaos: the kilims of Belkıs Balpınar

By Cornucopia | January 17, 2019

In New York's Ethan Cohen Gallery opens its first solo exhibition of her work, the Turkish textile artist, Belkıs Balpınar, pioneer of the contemporary art kilim, asks her weavers to defy gravity, and space, by introducing curvilinear shapes and vortexes into her flatweave designs. In this short essay the gallery...

Freddy Kempf at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 17, 2019

After a hiatus caused by a stay in delectable Tameside for the run-up to the festive season, I am back in Istanbul. On Saturday, January 12 I braved the appalling weather (almost as cold, wet and dismal as Manchester in August) to listen to a recital by Freddy Kempf (pictured...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

‘Ziyaret Tepe’ wins prestigious award

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) names Cornucopia title 
‘Best Book of the Year’

By Roger Williams | January 13, 2019

Cornucopia Books has taken its place in publishing history by winning the 2019 Felicia A. Holton Book Award, the top award from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and the Society for Classical Studies. Described as a ‘major work of nonfiction, representing the importance and excitement of archaeology to the...
Posted in Archaeology, Books

Art on the streets

A Conversation With Ill

By Evin Ashley Erdoğdu | December 22, 2018

Thousands of years ago, our paleolithic ancestors had the impulse to create art, adorning the Lascaux cave walls in paintings of animals, human figures and abstract signs. Their art remains on those walls today, marking the birth of the human spirit. Graffiti, or street art, as it has come to...
Posted in Contemporary Art

The Seventh Continent

By Emily Arauz | December 13, 2018

On December 11 the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) announced the title and theme of the 16th Istanbul Biennial: The Seventh Continent. Nicolas Bourriaud, curator of the upcoming biennial, described the inspiration for the exhibition and title at a press conference held at the Lycée Français Privé Saint-Joseph...
Posted in Contemporary Art

The secret of the Hill Cocktail

Now that was a party. The Freelys and Cornucopia celebrated the launch Stamboul Ghosts with a time-bomb of a cocktail…

By Maureen Freely | December 7, 2018

They were serious romantics, the adults who brought me up. They came to Robert College in the decades after the Second World War not just to teach, but to explore Istanbul, forgotten by the world in those days, and to them a revelation. They took us children with them on...
Posted in Books, Culinary Arts

Constantinopoli, circa 1600

By Cornucopia | December 5, 2018

A highly atmospheric take on Constantinople (Italian School, c1600) – every detail an Oriental Christmas card waiting to to be made, this monumental oil painting is being offered by Christie's London in its Old Masters evening sale (December 6, Lot 26, est £100,000–150,000). An inscription at the back of the...

High performance

By Jamie Leptien | November 30, 2018

The 2019 Istanbul Theatre Festival rolls into its final weekend, and for the first time in three years, I didn't miss it all. This past Thursday I joined a full house in the Zorlu PSM Main Theatre for the second of two four-dance performances given by Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT)....
Posted in Music and Performing Arts

Musical Shares: Autumn hues

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 23, 2018

The second in the series of Istanbul Recitals for the 2018–19 season was given by the French pianist Alexandre Tharaud at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan on November 13. For this recital the usual concert hall – The Seed – was not available, so the performance had to take...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Remembering Ara Güler (1928–2018)

Cornucopia and Turkey’s finest photographer

By Roger Williams | November 12, 2018

Writing in the current issue of Cornucopia (No.57), Andrew Finkel penned a portrait of Turkey’s most famous photographer, whom he had known. The Ara Güler Museum had recently opened in Bomontiada, on Güler's 90th birthday. "If you close your eyes a try to recreate a post-war Istanbul,” Finkel wrote, “it...

Musical Shares – Talent Unbound: Freeing Up Young Musicians

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 11, 2018

The next concert in the current series organised by Talent Unlimited, a British charity that supports young musicians and gives them a platform on which to demonstrate their skills, is to be given in St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London, on Thursday  November 29 at 7 pm. On the programme are...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Turkey travels back in time

Touting for the history traveller at WTM

By Roger Williams | November 6, 2018

Heritage is a central theme of Turkey’s stand at this year’s World Travel Mart in East London, which opened yesterday.  ‘Home of Göbeklıtepe’ was a typical banner and the ‘Home’ theme continues with 'Home of Rumi', 'Home of 'Haghia Sofia' and so on. Tourist numbers have been up this year,...

Musical Shares: The trumpet shall sound

Autumn colours from the Tekfen Philharmonic and the brilliant Omar Tomasoni

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 30, 2018

The Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra has recently enlivened our late-October evenings with a series of concerts in Ankara, Mersin and Istanbul entitled Autumn Classics. The one I attended on Friday took place in the Lütfi Kırdar Concert Hall, Istanbul. The first half was largely devoted to works showcasing the talents of...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Let other folk make money faster…

Musical Shares continues with a concert on Heybeliada

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 27, 2018

In September I attended a concert in the old Greek seminary on the island of Heybeli (photographed here by Monica Fritz). Heybeli has always been my favourite among the Princes’ Islands, those oases of peace and quiet in the Sea of Marmara that face the beskyscrapered coastline stretching eastwards from...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Islamic culture across continents

New galleries at the British Museum make the connections

By Roger Williams | October 22, 2018

These exquisite pages depicting a woman in a bathhouse, with cut-outs of cyclamen, lilac, roses and tulips, are from a 'Persianate' Costume Album commissioned by Peter Mundy, an employee of the Levant Company in Istanbul from 1617 to 1620. It is just one on many fabulous items on show at...

Çatalhöyük reaches London

Showing the way for future archaeology exhibitions

By Roger Williams | October 16, 2018

It caused excitement when it was discovered by the late James Mellaart in 1958, and Çatalhöyük is causing excitement today, with a hi-tech exhibition to mark the end of the recent 25-year research project at the Neolithic site.  Sponsored by ANAMED (Koç University Research Centre for Anatolian Civilisations), The Curious...

1 + 1 = 3: two halves make more than a whole

The Jussen brothers raise the curtain on a new season of Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 14, 2018

The first of the Istanbul Recitals for the 2018-2019 season was given by the brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen at The Seed in Emirgan on October 3. It was, first of all, a pleasure to revisit this attractive venue. The wide terrace overlooking the Bosphorus is still there, and – to...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Doomsday design

Apocalypse now? Istanbul Design Biennial artists and designers explore our increasing dread of approaching global disaster

By Katie Nadworny | October 9, 2018

Climate change makes the sea level rise. Blustering politicians armed with nuclear weapons pursue reckless policies, and the doomsday clock ticks closer to midnight. Earthquakes threaten the city on the Bosphorus, where the memory of 1999 lingers long, though maybe not long enough. Migrants flee war and flood countries that...

Musical shares: sit back and enjoy… the new season of Istanbul Recitals

John Shakespeare Dyson on the dazzling talents lined up for the 2018–2019 Istanbul Recitals at The Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | September 16, 2018

Here is a brief overview of the Istanbul Recitals for the 2018–19 season, all of which will be taking place at ‘The Seed’ – the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan. It has been said that the Istanbul Recitals are one of the chief sources of yüz akı (‘whiteness of face’,...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares
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