Marina Abramović

By Thomas Roueché | March 18, 2020

Marina Abramović is one of the world’s most famous living artists. Her iconic 2010 retrospective at MoMA in New York, The Artist Is Present, is perhaps one of the best-known exhibitions of the past decade; one of very few that can be said to achieve such a level of fame....
Posted in Contemporary Art

Imogen Cooper at the Seed

‘Creating the real out of the ideal’

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 18, 2020

That the latest in the series of Istanbul Recitals was given is, in itself, remarkable considering… My companion and I boarded the boat that leaves Eminönü at ten past six and spent an hour watching the shores of the Bosphorus sweep by on a cloudy, overcast afternoon that was turning...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Avrasya Orchestra and İdil Biret

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 14, 2020

On Wednesday (March 11) I attended a concert given by the Avrasya Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rengim Gökmen, at the Zorlu Performance Arts Center. This was part of a series entitled Vestel Gururla Yerli Konserleri, organised jointly by the Performance Arts Center and ‘BKM’, which I assume stands for ‘Beşiktaş...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

In time… Gilad Atzmon and Sarp Maden – a creative partnership

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 29, 2020

February 20: I made my second foray into the Touché jazz club, located in the bowels of the Zorlu Center in Zincirlikuyu. The occasion was that of another concert by Gilad Atzmon, the Israeli saxophonist I'd seen in January 2019 – when he was accompanied by Sarp Maden on guitar,...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

The inspiring Marcell Restle (1932–2016)

By John Scott | February 29, 2020

This perfectly formed exhibition is a fitting tribute to the influential art historian Marcell Restle. Staged by ANAMED and the University of Vienna's Digital Research Archive for Byzantium (DiFaB) – and happily extended to April 5 – the show at ANAMED's Merkez Han on İstiklal Caddesi offers a beguiling portrait...

Soyoung Yoon and Mario Häring at The Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 26, 2020

The Istanbul Recitals series continued on February 14 with a concert by violinist Soyoung Yoon (photo: and pianist Mario Häring (photo: Stephan-Röhl) at The Seed in Emirgan. Like last month’s recital by the cellist Alexander Chaushian, this one featured a stringed instrument – though this time with piano accompaniment....
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

The wit to woo

The Istanbul Art and Antiques Fair is back, and a good thing too

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | February 22, 2020

Back in the naughty 90s, the Istanbul antiques fair was a highlight of the Istanbul arts calendar. Çigdem Simavi's Küsav foundation served up a brilliant blend of high art and high society, most memorably in the Armoury of Yıldız Palace. It was a mix of the flash and the famous,...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art

Summer Scholarship Opportunities for Artists and Musicians

By Lauren | February 20, 2020

Photograph by Ara Güler There are two exciting opportunities for Turkish artists and musicians who wish to study and develop their performance and creative skills this summer. The Berklee College of Music is hosting <b>Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive</b> from 11 July to 14 August 2020. From one-on-one instruction with...

Alexander Chaushian at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 5, 2020

The latest in the Istanbul Recitals series at The Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, featured a solo cellist – quite a departure from the usual run of pianists, pianists and more pianists. Ms Nazan Ceylan, the co-organiser (with Mr Mehmet Şükûn) of these...

Passionate perfection

The superb sensitivity of Finghin Collins

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 5, 2020

© Mateusz Zahora, courtesy Istanbul Recitals   The third of the season’s Istanbul Recitals was given by the Irish pianist Finghin Collins at The Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, on December 20, 2019. After the previous recital, I frankly did not hold out...

A performance beyond praise

Nikolai Demidenko at the Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 24, 2019

© Marco Boggreve, Courtesy Istanbul Recitals The second of the season’s Istanbul Recitals was given last Friday by the Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko at The Seed, in Emirgan (photograph by Natalie Lafranchi). And what a contrast to the previous performer, Valentina Lisitsa! Where Ms Lisitsa was flamboyant, Mr Demidenko was...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

The secret charms of Beyoğlu

A new book from France on Istanbul’s ‘Latin Quarter’

By Rose Shepherd | November 10, 2019

Just a day before the long-anticipated opening of the spectacular new Arter in Dolapdere – relocated from its original home on bustling İstiklâl Caddesi – a French-language book, Istanbul Rive Gauche, by Timour Muhidine, hit the bookstores, a timely reminder, should we need one, that Istanbul’s subversive Left Bank has...

Valentina Lisitsa opens the new season of Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 2, 2019

© M. Boggreve, courtesy Istanbul Recitals And so the new season gets under way in the Istanbul music scene. Hayırlı olsun (‘May it be productive of good’ – and no broken fingers, cracked clarinets, or wrecked pianos.) 2020 is a real snorter of a year from the astrological point of...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Highlights of Islamic Sales Week in London

By John Scott | October 20, 2019

Koranic Instruction, signed and dated Osman Hamdy Bey 1890, is the latest painting by unmistakable Orientalist, pupil of Gerome and founder of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum to come to auction In London in the past few weeks. The estimate is £3–5 million. The setting, meticulously drawn, is the Yeşil Cami...

The 21st-century ney

The Wandering Ney, by Drake Mabry

By Lauren Davis | October 5, 2019

Two new albums of original compositions adapted for the ney have been released by musician Drake Mabry. Mabry studied under the famed neyzen and teacher İsmail Hakkı. The ney, a end-blown long reed flute, has a long history that spans at least 3000 years and is a traditional component of...

A factory of tears

By Cornucopia | September 29, 2019

In a recent BBC radio programme, Istanbul's Factory of Tears, Isabel Finkel examines the story of Arabesk, kitsch, melancholy, popular, sad. Strongly recommended.
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, Talks and Lectures

The British academic who argued the case of the Turkish Cypriots

Clement Dodd, 1926–2019

By David Barchard | September 1, 2019

Clement Dodd, the veteran British political scientist who wrote about Turkey and Cyprus for over half a century, was fond of saying that he had taken up the study of politics after an initial career as a civil servant because he had noticed that in the Middle East politics killed...
Posted in Obituaries

Jazz notes

By John Scott | August 31, 2019

With so much amazing talent around, such as the show-stealing Elif Çağlar, it is hardly surprising that Turkey takes its jazz seriously. There are two major festivals in Istanbul alone: the Istanbul Jazz Festival in July and the autumn Akbank Jazz Festival. And there is plenty on offer elsewhere in...

Cem Mansur and a Philharmonic phenomenon

The Turkish Youth Philharmonic Orchestra is born again again

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 31, 2019

The Turkish Youth Philharmonic Orchestra permformed at the Türkiye İş Bankası megatower concert hall in Levent on Sunday, July 21. The orchestra’s main sponsor is the Sabancı Foundation: the need for a sponsor resulting from the fact that the Turkish State does not support it. In spite of the refusal...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Snarky Puppy and Shake Stew

The Istanbul Jazz Fest

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 21, 2019

The New York-based band Snarky Puppy gave a concert at the UNIQ Open-Air Stage on Tuesday July 9. The supporting group was Shake Stew, an Austrian outfit. Whether the music was jazz-rock, or funk, or groove, is immaterial: in any case, I would not be able to tell you, for...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares
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