A performance beyond praise

Nikolai Demidenko at the Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 24, 2019


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 restrained. In spite of its discipline,...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Valentina Lisitsa opens the new season of Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 2, 2019


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 view, and I am wondering how...
Posted in Music and 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 and Performing Arts, Jazz, Musical Shares

Rather too easy does it

With the viola legend Yuri Bashmet on the menu along with a new piece by Alexander Tchaikovsky, you’d expect the works… Hmmm

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 30, 2019


In the second week of the İKSV Istanbul Music Festival the Moscow Soloists and viola-player Yuri Bashmet gave a concert at Hagia Eirene on Thursday, June 20. Sitting in the grassy area between this venerable Byzantine pile and the inner gate of Topkapı Palace before the concert began, I watched...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Pleasure and pain on the night of the full moon

Daniel Müller-Schott and the Tekfen Philharmonic at the Istanbul Festival

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 19, 2019


The Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra gave its second concert of this year’s İKSV Festival in the Lütfi Kırdar Concert Hall on June 17. As with their Spring Concert on March 21, it was the day of a full moon, and once again the spacious terrace outside the building was an ideal...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Jeung Beum Sohn

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 18, 2019


The last in the series of Istanbul Recitals for the 2018-2019 season was given by the South Korean pianist Jeung Beum Sohn at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s Seed concert hall on June 14. There has been a succession of South Koreans performing in Istanbul recently. On March 21, Bomsori Kim...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Brave showing: Stephen Kovacevich at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 14, 2019


The American pianist Stephen Kovacevich gave the seventh in the series of Istanbul Recitals at The Seed in Emirgan on April 12. Seven may be a lucky number for some, but not, unfortunately, for Mr Kovacevich (the first ‘c’ in his name is pronounced as an ‘s’, by the way,...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

New blood for Cemal Reşit Rey’s historic Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra

John Shakespeare Dyson is happily surprised by a thoroughly re-energised Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 14, 2019


Mussorgsky and Shostakovich were on the menu at a concert by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra on April 5. It was pleasing to see the auditorium at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall nearly full: classical music concerts in Istanbul are getting more and more popular by the year. Standards...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Musical Shares: Flying fingers at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 18, 2019


The latest in the 2018–19 series of İstanbul Recitals was given by the American pianist Andrew Tyson at the Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, on Friday February 15. As was the case with last month’s recital, the weather was cold, wet and windy....
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Touché and all that jazz

Musical Shares: Gilad Atzmon, Sarp Maden and Friends play Istanbul’s newest jazz venue

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 3, 2019


The Gilad Atzmon / Sarp Maden Quartet – with Gilad Atzmon (above) on saxophone, Sarp Maden on guitar, Ercüment Orkut on piano, Eylem Pelit on bass guitar and Derin Bayhan on drums – performed in a curtain-raising event at Istanbul's new jazz club Touché, located beside the PSM (Performance Arts...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz, Musical Shares

Freddy Kempf at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 17, 2019


After a hiatus caused by a stay in delectable Tameside for the run-up to the festive season, I am back in Istanbul. On Saturday, January 12 I braved the appalling weather (almost as cold, wet and dismal as Manchester in August) to listen to a recital by Freddy Kempf (pictured...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

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
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