Remembering Ara Guler (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

Hidden talents

John Dyson has nothing but praise for Cem Mansur’s outstanding youth orchestra

By John Shakespeare Dyson | September 8, 2018


The 2018-2019 season has started – and it has done so with a wonderfully encouraging experience. The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (Türkiye Gençlik Filarmoni Orkestrası) kicked off the new season in fine style with a concert at the Zorlu Center in Zincirlikuyu, Istanbul, on September 4 – which happened...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

High Tide for Modernity

Sea change on Istanbul’s Coasts

By Suraya Yusof | July 31, 2018


Imagine this: the sweltering summer heat beats down on unsuspecting Istanbulites. Çay under the shade of balconies does little to abate the humidity, and staying indoors brings misguided moths or malevolent mosquitos.  Families and friends journey towards the coastlines for their usual respite: swimming in the Marmara by Istanbul’s most...

Redefining Jazz Under Hot July Stars

BCUC and Knower at the Istanbul Jazz Festival

By Katie Nadworny | July 16, 2018


The Istanbul Jazz Festival always flies a little fast and loose with their definition of ‘jazz’. There are plenty of concerts every year for the traditional-minded jazz aficionado, but tucked into the line-up are always acts that stretch and flex their musicality beyond the borders of typical jazz, and often...

Musical shares: Jazz please, Louise

Avishai Cohen's not-quite-jazz concert at the Swissôtel in Maçka

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 7, 2018

The fourth concert I attended during the İKSV Jazz Festival took place at the Sultan Park in the grounds of the Swissôtel in Maçka, above Dolmabahçe Palace, on Tuesday July 3. The performers on this occasion were the double-bassist Avishai Cohen and his group. The concert started well: Mr Cohen...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz, Musical Shares

A perfect rose

Restoring the stained-glass windows of the Crimean Church in Galata

By Caspar Bigham with photographs by Monica Fritz | July 4, 2018


To enter Christ Church, hidden in the backstreets surrounding Galata Tower, is to be suddenly transported to England by its neo-Gothic style. Known as the Crimean Memorial Church, or simply the Crimean Church, it was built in commemoration of those who fell in that war – a decision taken by...

Musical shares: Jazz, genius and chimney pots

Night in an Italian garden – the 25th Istanbul Jazz fest (cont.)

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 3, 2018


The venue for the third concert I attended during the 25th İKSV İstanbul Jazz Festival was the grounds of the Palazzo di Venezia in Beyoğlu – a building that now does service as the residence of the Italian Ambassador and the Italian Consul-General. (It is not the Consulate itself, as...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz

Musical shares: Stormy weather over the Golden Horn

Çağrı Sertel and his group crack the sky open with their screaming thunderchords

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 2, 2018


The second concert I attended during the İKSV İstanbul Jazz Festival took place at Salon İKSV (the İKSV HQ performance space) in Şişhane, Beyoğlu, on June 27. The group responsible for the music – but not for the weather outside, which was spectacularly stormy – consisted of pianist Çağrı Sertel...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz

From Malta with love: the elusive Joseph Schranz and his family of artists

A highlight of the new Cornucopia is Briony Llewellyn’s piece on a great 19th-century panoramist. In Malta she meets the family…

By Briony LLewellyn | June 29, 2018


A family group is gathered together on the imposing bastions of Fort St Elmo at the tip of Valletta, overlooking the Grand Harbour (private collection, Malta). Their straw hats, fashionable on the Spanish island of Menorca, at the western end of the Mediterranean, suggest they are recent arrivals in the...

A bow to the past: Singing Hand and other Turkish jazz legends, plus the best of the 25th fest

The 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival pays tribute to the fine musicians who put Turkish jazz on the map, plus some high notes ahead

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 28, 2018


The Opening Concert of the İKSV İstanbul Jazz Festival – sponsored by Garanti Bank – took place at the Zorlu Center on Tuesday (June 26). The theme was ‘Turkish Jazz through the Generations on the 25th Anniversary of the Festival’, and the occasion provided your reviewer – who knew very...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz

Chelsea’s Central Asian flower show

Gardens of Delight: enchanting suzanis at the Afridi Gallery

By Roger Williams | June 26, 2018


Shabaz Afridi hadn’t quite realised the significance of opening his new gallery on the day of the Brexit referendum. The small advertisement he had placed in the Financial Times appeared following the vote — and as newspapers were being picked over on news broadcasts, the name of the Afridi gallery...
Posted in Islamic Art, Textiles
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