...And all that jazz

Raci Pişmişoğlu and group at the Nardis Jazz Club

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 7, 2024

On Monday May 27 I made my way along Büyük Hendek Caddesi towards the Nardis Jazz Club, picking my through the throng of selfie-taking tourists taking advantage of the unique backdrop of a round, stone-built watchtower, built by the Genoese in the mid-14th century, that has become rather famous. On...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

Lifting the mood

A review of the 2024 İKSV Istanbul Music Festival opening concert

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 24, 2024

The 2024 İKSV Istanbul Music Festival – the 52nd in the series – opened with a concert at the Atatürk Cultural Centre on May 21. As usual, the proceedings began with speeches by administrators (including Mr Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Chairperson at the İKSV – the ‘Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts’)...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Istanbul welcomes back ICOC, the International Conference on Oriental Carpets

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | June 4, 2024

Elmadağ Kilim on display at Tophane-İ Amire. The ICOC (International Conference on Oriental Carpets) is back in Istanbul for the first time since 2007 and Cornucopia will be there to greet you at our stand at the Dealers Fair at the Marmara Hotel in Taksim, June 6-9. A superb conference...

The Istanbul Modern celebrates Ozan Sağdıç

The Photographer’s Testimony

By Annette Solakoğlu and Monica Fritz | May 23, 2024

Ozan Sağdıç Ph. Annette Solakoğlu Istanbul Modern’s latest photography exhibition, Ozan Sağdıç, the Photographers Testimony was a wonderful surprise to both of us, unfamiliar as we were with this important figure in the history of Turkish photography. Perhaps a career mostly taken up by press photography, as opposed to being promoted...

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 23, 2024

On April 25 I made my way to the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Harbiye to listen to the Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba – a treat I had not experienced since October 2022, when I heard him perform with singer Aymée Nuviola at the Zorlu Centre. Although I...

Concerts to remember: Özgür Aydın at the Cemal Reşit Rey

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 13, 2024

On March 22 I went to the Atatürk Cultural Centre to hear the USA-born Turkish pianist Özgür Aydın play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, accompanied by the Istanbul State Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the Finnish conductor Ari Rasilainen. In the second half, the orchestra played...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Out of Place: the evocative, sublimely detached photgraphs of Monica Fritz

By Andrew Finkel | May 6, 2024

Readers of Cornucopia might think they need no introduction to the work of Monica Fritz. For the last decade she has been photographer at large for this magazine, returning from assignments with sharp, often playful, but always unaffected takes on her subject matter. Her repertoire, from portraiture to mosque furniture,...

Simplicity was never this complicated

Andrew Finkel continues his popular food blog with a visit to the proudly individual Rutin, photographs by Monica Fritz

By Andrew Finkel | May 1, 2024

Rutin is a tiny, determinedly informal restaurant in a wiggly backstreet of Istanbul’s Beyoğlu (pictured above by Monica Fritz). It translates as ‘routine’, but this strikes me as being a misnomer for what is in many ways a puzzling establishment. Far from being humdrum, Rutin appears to be out on...

A world apart: the London Islamic Sales

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | April 21, 2024

An afternoon at the Sotheby's and Christie's during Islamic Sales Week is always full of intrigue and beauty. The Russian court was full of Ottoman treasures. Catherine the Great's crowned cipher the year 1789 have been added on top of the handle of this splendid agate Ottoman cup, set with...
Posted in Main Featured Around the World

The rough with the smooth

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 21, 2024

Having recently been to see Rossini’s Maometto Secundo at the Atatürk Cultural Centre, and having had my appetite for opera whetted as a result, I resolved to repeat the experience. Accordingly, on Thursday March 14 I revisited the AKM (Atatürk Kültür Merkezi), this time to see the Istanbul State Symphony...

Maometto Secundo

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 16, 2024

It had been far too long since I had been to the opera in Istanbul, so on February 28 I made a visit to the Atatürk Cultural Centre to attend a performance of Gioachino Rossini’s two-act opera Maometto Secundo (‘Mehmet II’), first performed in Naples in 1820. Suffice it to...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Musical Shares, - Opera

Tightrope jazz

İmer Demirer, Ali Perret, Meriç Demirkol and Raci Pişmişoğlu at BOVA

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 4, 2024

On Sunday February 18 I visited Bova, a small jazz club located in Mis Sokak, Beyoğlu. My companion and I had booked early, and so were given the privilege of sitting very close to the stage. The musicians who entertained us were trumpeter İmer Demirer, pianist Ali Perret, saxophonist Meriç...

Randy Esen

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 25, 2024

The last time I heard Randy Esen sing was in July 2019, when she was performing at Uniq Istanbul with three other musicians: her husband Aydın Esen on piano and keyboards, Tommy Campbell on drums and Greg Jones on bass guitar. In my blog on this mega-memorable gig I wrote...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

The third way

In the backstreets of uppercrust Suadiye, Andrew Finkel seeks out a rare culinary species: a chef who cooks what he likes

By Andrew Finkel. Photographs by Monica Fritz | February 5, 2024

A slow-braised rib of beef wrapped in yufka pastry, served on chilli lime yoghurt with smoked paprika oil I have suffered these long years from a split gastronomic personality.  One of my selves seeks out Istanbul restaurants that have a practised understanding of the demands of their genre – the...

Stern stuff, but a sumptuous feast

Prokofiev and Bruckner at the Atatürk Cultural Centre

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 1, 2024

The programme for the concert I attended at the Atatürk Cultural Centre in Taksim Square on January 5, 2024 consisted of only two works: Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 1 in D major and Bruckner’s Symphony No 4. Both were played by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Luminous LARTA

A feast of antique rugs and textiles in Battersea

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | January 24, 2024

There is something truly wonderful about the the London Antique Rugs and Textile Fair this year. It has slightly fewer exhibitors – 15 in all, which means some friends are missing – but it means their woven treasures can be seen from afar as well as close up, and have...

A master’s voice

İlyas Mirzayev’s Cello Concerto and a tribute to the inspirational conductor Saim Akçıl

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 5, 2024

On December 2 I attended a concert at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall at which the CRR Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Mr Rengim Gökmen, one of Turkey’s leading wielders of the baton. This was one of a series of concerts – entitled Yüzyılın Yüzleri (‘The Century’s Faces’) –...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Éliane Reyes

The first of two reviews looking back on autumn's hightlights

By John Shakespeare Dyson | December 23, 2023

On November 1 I made another visit to Istanbul's Notre Dame de Sion French Lycée in Harbiye to attend a concert by the Belgian pianist Éliane Reyes. This was the second of the musical events organised by this school that I have recently attended, the first having been a concert...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Celebrating the centenary

An inspiring concert at Notre Dame de Sion Lycée in Harbiye

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 16, 2023

A large number of concerts of both Turkish and Western classical music were organised in Istanbul to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of the Republic of Turkey. Bearing in mind the Republican régime’s emphasis on the provision of education for girls, out of all the available possibilities I...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

The heart of Goldberg

A captivating performance of the Goldberg Variations by Özgür Aydın in memory of Ayşegül Sarıca

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 31, 2023

The death in March this year of the distinguished Turkish pianist Ayşegül Sarıca, who was trained in Istanbul and Paris, has recently been marked by a performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations by fellow Turkish pianist Özgür Aydın. The concert, subtitled ‘A Day of Respect for Ayşegül Sarıca’, took place on...
Current Events