Cubans are made of music

Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola in concert at the Akbank Jazz Fest

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 14, 2022

On October 6 I visited the Zorlu Center in Zincirlikuyu to listen to the Cuban jazz duo pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and singer Aymée Nuviola perform as part of the 32nd Akbank Jazz Festival. As a genre, Cuban jazz was completely unfamiliar to me, and I went to this concert only...

Melike Koçak: digital dreamer

New wave Turkish photography

By Monica Fritz (portrait and text) | September 21, 2022

When the 25-year-old Francophile philosophy graduate Melike Koçak (portrait above by Monica Fritz) decided to dedicate her life to photography, she was unwittingly joining a new wave of young Istanbul photographers. Her work has already been widely exhibited. This year she was selected to become an ARTPIL 30-Under-30 Woman Photographer...
Posted in Photography

Sweet music of the French Palace

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 8, 2022

On Monday 20 June I attended a concert entitled ‘Mare Nostrum’ at what is known in Turkish as Fransız Sarayı (‘French Palace’), the French Consulate and Ambassadorial Residence in Beyoğlu. There is an entrance to this diplomatic complex in Nuru Ziya Sokak (the side street that leaves İstiklal Caddesi opposite...

Life is but a prelude…

Echoes of Life: Alice Sara Ott's Chopin Preludes

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 25, 2022

Alice Sara Ott, a half-German, half-Japanese pianist, performed in an event entitled ‘Echoes of Life’ (Yaşamdan Yansımalar) at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall on Thursday, June 16 (part of the Istanbul Music Festival). I describe it as an ‘event’ as it had a visual component as well as an...

Under a Bosphorus moon

When the festival turned inwards: an evening of soul-caressing under the umbrella pines of Emirgan

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 18, 2022

On Monday June 13 I went to a concert of Turkish classical music given as part of this year’s İKSV Music Festival, on the Fıstıklı Teras of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan. The fact that this terrace overlooks the Bosphorus is important in itself, but its significance increased to...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Reset time: spellbinding Mirzayev, Cilea, Donizetti and Liszt

An exceptionally enjoyable concert at the new Atatürk Cultural Centre – for all its failure to deliver ‘volume’

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 14, 2022

On Saturday June 11 I made my first visit to the newly-opened Türk Telekom Opera Hall in the Atatürk Cultural Centre in Taksim Square. The occasion was a concert by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra that was part of the Beyoğlu Kültür Yolu Festivali, an event that translates as the...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Yasemin Aslan Bakiri’s ‘Billur’ exhibit

A play of fragility and strength

By Monica Fritz | June 10, 2022

Don't miss the last days of 'Billur', Yasemin Aslan Bakiri's Glass Art exhibition in Nevmekan Selimiye. The show has been prolonged till June 20 and is well worth the ferry ride over. Intricately crafted kaftans woven with metals and glass hang in Sultan Selim III's historic hamam, now a library,...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Highlights Turkey

Music in the sound-scented air: highlights of the 50th Istanbul Festival

A whistlestop tour of the festival by Cornucopia's music critic

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 2, 2022

The countdown has begun for this year’s İKSV Music Festival, which is to begin on June 6. Classical music enthusiasts may have already read my piece on this subject in the latest edition of Cornucopia, but a gentle reminder may be necessary.  I need to make it clear at the...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, Main Featured Turkey


The Cornucopia community

By Monica Fritz | May 3, 2022

Sir Don McCullin, photographer, and Barnaby Rogerson, author, on the road again, here in Lake Bafa.  Subscribe to Cornucopia and join avid readers around the world, from Rome to the Australian bush and back to Istanbul again. We are in the thousands! Father Ian in his Istanbul Cottage.  A...

Josef Koudelka’s journey on film

IKSV film festival special

By Monica Fritz | April 15, 2022

Tomorrow, Saturday April 16th is the last chance to see this delicate and beautiful documentary about the award winning Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka's journey through Western Turkey's ruins, his observations on life and art while waiting for the sun. Crossing the Same River is a practically a project by filmmaker...

The walkers

By Monica Fritz | April 14, 2022

Two young Parisians marry and decide to go on an adventure. Marie and Arnaud Epagneau-Comte started walking in June 2021 from Dijon to Istanbul carefully planning the route by the seasons, over a span of 10 months. Both of them architects, they filled up notebooks and camera cards documenting, drawing, photographing...

A profusion of colour: rich pickings from London’s Spring Islamic Sales

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | March 26, 2022

Spring has arrived early in London this year, and with it Pietro Longhi’s sumptuous Procession of the Venetian Bailo Francesco Gritti in Constantinople, painted in Venice in 1731. It is one of the highlights of this week’s Islamic Sales, Lot 76, in Sotheby’s Art of the Islamic World & India including...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art, Textiles

Paws for thought

A very special place, for people and dogs

By Monica Fritz | February 28, 2022

Even in the centre of this city of 18 million, respite can be found in patches of woodland. Tucked away in the upper grounds of Bosphorus University, behind Rumelihisarı, lies, BUpaws. BUpaws is a dog sanctuary for street dogs, a place for them to shelter and feel loved: some 70...

The architect, the church and the city

By Monica Fritz | January 10, 2022

Stepping out of cacaphonic noise into restful silence is a very Istanbul experience. An easy, magical escape from the overwhelming crowds in the square below the Galata Tower is down a side street, at Galata Kulesi Sok 26. A heavy iron door opens to reveal the small churchyard of Saints...

Going strong, thirty years on

Cornucopia's three decades of delight

By Monica Fritz | January 8, 2022

In celebration of Cornucopia's 30th anniversary I would like to pull out a selection of my favourite spreads. Celebrating 30 years of Cornucopia also means celebrating 30 years of collaboration with our creative director, Clive Crook. Here are some examples of his many memorable pages.  Above is the Yeşil Mosque with...

Robert Chenciner (1945–2021)

Andrew Finkel pays tribute to the mesmerising Robert Chenciner, a maverick scholar and fond friend, who has died in London

By Andrew Finkel | November 8, 2021

In medias res, the curtain rising on the action in full flow, might seem an odd eulogy to recite over the memory of a dear friend, but Robert Chenciner was someone in perpetual motion and even now it is hard to think of him as being still. Think Christopher Lloyd’s...
Posted in Obituaries

Ultimate cool: Mughal emerald-tinted specs and the real Roxelana

London Islamic Sales Week October 2021

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | October 25, 2021

This week is Islamic Sales Week in London, with wonderful curiosities being auctioned at Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Christie’s. Lots 213 and 214 in the Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World & India on October 27 were created for a truly enchanted world. It was an age when two Turkish-speaking dynasties, the Ottomans...
Posted in Fine Art

A snapshot

Wind in their sales: Contemporary Istanbul is back

By Monica Fritz | October 11, 2021

We came back from the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair yesterday feeling tired and pleased, having spent a week immersed in art, hearing stories and new proposals, making new friends and meeting many new subscribers, seeing old friends and lots of catching up. It was great to feel Istanbul alive again...

The Golden Horn is alive with art

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | October 10, 2021

The last day of Contemporary Istanbul. Don't miss it. And do get there as soon as you read this, so that you can grab coffee and a bail of straw by the water, the Golden Horn's smartest ringside pew. You will find Cornucopia in the entrance hall, under the Ayşe...

Devilish stuff

Quartet Muartet ten years on

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 7, 2021

One warm evening in September, four of Turkey’s most talented jazzmen – people who had not played together for over ten years – had a musical reunion that I was privileged to attend (Above: Quartet Muartet 10 years on: from left, Sarp Maden, Genco Arı, Alp Ersönmez, Volkan Öktem). The...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Musical Shares
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