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

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

A meeting of talents: Ozan Musluoğlu Quintet’s recipe for joy

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 19, 2023


On October 13 I attended a jazz concert by the Ozan Musluoğlu Quintet, a mixed group of Turkish and American musicians, at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall. It was, of course, Friday the 13th, so I took great care to avoid accidents, chivvying my companion so as not to...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

Les Essences and Pavel Gililov: an exhilarating rhythmic treat

By John Shakespeare Dyson | September 27, 2023

On September 4 I attended a concert at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Harbiye – one of the events of the 3rd Istanbul International Chamber Music Festival, held at this venue. My ticket, which allowed me to sit in the centre of the auditorium and as close to...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

The real thing: a finale to raise the spirits

The Elif Göztepe Quintet, Selen Gülün Blue Band and İmer Demirer Trio put the ‘jazz’ into the Istanbul Jazz Festival

By John Shakespeare Dyson | August 29, 2023


Percussionist Can Kozlu, recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, joined the İmer Demirer Trio in the last concert of the Jazz Festival (photo: Salih Üstundağ) Looking back on the summer that was, on July 19 I attended a concert at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, the last event...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

Instruments of hope

The Orchestre National de Metz Grand Est at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 15, 2023


On July 6 I attended a concert by the Orchestre National de Metz Grand Est at Istanbul's Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall. The event was in aid of the Enstrüman Destek Fonu (Instrument Support Fund), a campaign organised by the İKSV to buy instruments for students and teachers of music...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

The celestial charabanc

The Istanbul Jazz Festival in a nutshell...

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 5, 2023

Summer is upon us, and the 30th İKSV Istanbul Jazz Festival, like some celestial charabanc, is about to rev up and whisk us off to some interesting musical destinations. I need to make it clear at the outset that I have not found much jazz on the programme for this...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

The shape of music

Our Istanbul Music Festival reviews conclude with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg – Mozart takes the final bow

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 1, 2023


The last of the concerts I attended during the 2023 İKSV Istanbul Music Festival was given by the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, conducted by Matthew Halls, at the Atatürk Cultural Centre on June 16. The proceedings began with Mozart’s Serenade No. 13 in G major, K 525, a work popularly known...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

What a performance!

Peerless musicianship from Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Istanbul Music Festival

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 25, 2023


The 51st İKSV Istanbul Music Festival continues. The third concert I attended was given by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Mutter’s Virtuosi at the Atatürk Cultural Centre (AKM) in Taksim Square on Tuesday, June 13. The programme consisted of baroque works by Vivaldi, JS Bach and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George, plus...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Lieder to purr over: Matthias Goerne and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra

John Dyson enjoys the cat’s whiskers of a concert at the Istanbul Festival

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 14, 2023


Festival feast: Matthias Goerne performing with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra at the Reşit Rey Concert Hall, June 9, 2023 (photos: Salih Üstündağ) The second of the events in the 51st İKSV Music Festival that I attended was a concert given by German baritone Matthias Goerne and musicians from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Chamber...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

The remarkable Lucienne Renaudin Vary

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 9, 2023


On Monday, June 5 I attended a concert at the Süreyya Opera House in Kadıköy – one of the events of the 51st İKSV Istanbul Music Festival – in which the Borusan String Quartet were joined by Ms. Lucienne Renaudin Vary, a 24-year-old French trumpeter. Seating myself in the auditorium,...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Classical kaleidoscope: Bring on the 2023 Istanbul Music Festival

Looking ahead to IKSV's summer feast of classical music

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 20, 2023

Summer is here again (or so they tell me), and the İKSV Istanbul Music Festival is once again rearing its beautiful head. Here is a brief guide to what’s on offer. The proceedings kick off with an Opening Concert at the Atatürk Cultural Centre on Thursday 1st June at 20:00...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Opus Amadeus

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 10, 2023


On April 27 I attended a concert of chamber music at the Naval Museum in Beşiktaş. This event was part of a music festival organised by an outfit that goes by the name of ‘Opus Amadeus’ in conjunction with Artisan Organizasyon. I believe they hold a festival of chamber music...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

So many good concerts these days

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 30, 2023

On Thursday, April 20, I attended another concert at the Zorlu Center in Zincirlikuyu; this time, the works being performed were La tragédie de Salomé by the French composer Florent Schmitt, and Anton Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, the ‘Romantic’. The orchestra was once again the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, and on this...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

There’s nothing like a rollicking evening’s jazz

The sheer artistry of Sibel Köse and friends throws doom-and-gloom to the winds

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 30, 2023


Last Saturday I went to the Nardis Jazz Club in Galata to listen to the Turkish jazz singer Sibel Köse and her quartet. Having fortified ourselves with scrumptuous cakes at Şirin Fırın, a highly-recommended patisserie in nearby Büyük Hendek Caddesi, my companion and I wended our way through the crowds...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares

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...
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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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