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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sounds now departing…

A fond farewell to the Istanbul Music Festival

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 8, 2018


Your reviewer’s final foray into the 46th İKSV İstanbul Music Festival was a concert on the platform of Sirkeci Railway Station on Wednesday, June 6. Featuring the Turkish singer Meral Azizoğlu and the Hungarian ‘Gypsy Fire’ ensemble, the music was preceded by a talk given by the novelist and short...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Strings and things

Mischa Maisky and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orhcestra at the Aya İrini – the Istanbul Music Festival reviews (part 4)

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 6, 2018


The fourth event your reviewer attended during the 46th İKSV İstanbul Music Festival was a concert by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and cellist Mischa Maisky at the Aya İrini on Saturday, June 2. This was a feast of ultra-professional string sound – a real string beano, in fact. (Reader...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Thunderstruck!

John Shakespeare Dyson was grolloped by his third Istanbul Festival offering: the Filarmonica della Scala and Daniil Trifonov…

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 29, 2018


Well, now. Your reviewer is still reeling from the pianist’s performance at the concert on Sunday night (Filarmonica della Scala and Daniil Trifonov at the Lütfi Kırdar Concert Hall, May 27) – the third event he attended during the 46th İKSV İstanbul Music Festival. Will he recover in time to...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Into Smaug’s Lair with a horsehair bow: Charlie Siem and the Tekfen Philharmonic

Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and Tchaikovsky’s cruel challenge: Cornucopia’s Istanbul Festival reviews continue at Aya İrini

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 27, 2018


I never thought I would ever hear Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major played by an old Etonian, let alone in a Byzantine church in İstanbul, but that is exactly what happened on Friday evening (May 25) at the second of the concerts I attended during the 46th İKSV Istanbul...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Roll over Rachmaninov… after the mellow langour the fireworks begin

Yekwon Sunwoo and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra: a heart-warming first night of the Istanbul Festival

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 24, 2018


The 46th İstanbul Music Festival, organised by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), kicked off with a concert at the Lütfi Kırdar Concert Hall last night (Wednesday, May 23). Once again I was prompted to reflect on how far we have come since I first attended a classical...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Formidable feast

Javier Perianes brings bravura, moodiness and passion to Chopin, Debussy and de Falla at SMM’s concert hall, the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 11, 2018


The Spanish pianist Javier Perianes arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday April 10 hotfoot from a lunchtime recital at the Wigmore Hall in London the previous day and is to be heartily congratulated for demonstrating that the lyricism for which he has been justly praised cannot be compromised by being shaken...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Young masters of the horn

The horn maestro Radovan Vlatković returns to Urla for the 2017 UMA masterclasses

By Berrin Torolsan and John Scott | September 14, 2017


The great Croatian horn-player Radovan Vlatković is giving the first of this year’s masterclasses at the Urla Music Academy (UMA). Four days of happy music-making culminate in a concert at 7pm on Saturday evening (September 17). Tickets are free (and donations towards a wonderful musical project most welcome). Okan Akbaş...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music

Rewarding reads: March and April 2017

A revealing relief, must-try Turkish dishes and the perfect day in Istanbul

By Emma Harper | April 26, 2017


In this blog series, we highlight some of our favourite Turkey-related articles and news titbits that we’ve read over the past month (or two, in this case). A relief uncovered by chance in eastern Anatolia has led archaeologists to revise the history of Harput, reports Hurriyet Daily News. Subsequent examinations...
Posted in Archaeology, Culinary Arts, Film, Music and Performing Arts, Obituaries
Current Events