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Iris Love (1933–2020)

A tribute to the woman who made headlines by turning the male-dominated world of archaeology upside down

By Rupert Scott | April 28, 2020

On July 21, 1969, in her mid-30s, Iris Love (photographed above by Michael Chesser) made the discovery that would see her become, for a short time, perhaps the most famous archaeologist in the world. She was in her third season of excavations at Cnidus, in the extreme southwest of Turkey ...

Empty quarters

The archaeologist Ulrich Mania’s eye is usually trained on the ruins of ancient Pergamon. Here he records a deserted Istanbul

By Ulrich Mania | April 27, 2020

On a dark Saturday morning in March I set off on my bicycle to explore a silent, empty Istanbul. But my enthusiasm for the idea of experiencing the normally bustling districts of Taksim, Sultanahmet and Üsküdar with no people around quickly gave way to a realisation: how difficult it is to...

Mélodies II: Debussy in Pamphylia – the early works

The second in a series of articles on the French chanson

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 18, 2020

This is the second part of Mélodies, a serialised blog that is intended to keep people’s minds off their troubles while they are in isolation. Just like the first part (which was about Reynaldo Hahn), this one focusses on a composer who wrote mélodies – French art songs – in...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Finding a refuge on Bird Island Farm

By Kim Erkan | April 17, 2020

April 2020, Kuşadası: I was alone in Aydın when quarantine was announced. My family, concerned at my being alone, sent a driver to take me to Bird’s Island Farm, on the hills of Kuşadası, to stay wth my grandson, Alican Ozbaş, his wife, Chantal, their two small sons and my...
Posted in Good causes, Nature

Mélodies I: Reynaldo Hahn in Istanbul

The first of a three-part series in which our music correspondent finds gentle escape in the French Chanson

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 1, 2020

Mélodies: Debussy in Pamphylia, Fauré in Isfahan, Reynaldo Hahn in Istanbul. This new series of blogs is designed to provide a welcome distraction from for those in isolation, while at the same time introducing them to music that may be new to them and will give them pleasure. It is...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Marina Abramović

By Thomas Roueché | March 18, 2020

Marina Abramović is one of the world’s most famous living artists. Her iconic 2010 retrospective at MoMA in New York, The Artist Is Present, is perhaps one of the best-known exhibitions of the past decade; one of very few that can be said to achieve such a level of fame....
Posted in Contemporary Art

Imogen Cooper at the Seed

‘Creating the real out of the ideal’

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 18, 2020

That the latest in the series of Istanbul Recitals was given is, in itself, remarkable considering… My companion and I boarded the boat that leaves Eminönü at ten past six and spent an hour watching the shores of the Bosphorus sweep by on a cloudy, overcast afternoon that was turning...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Avrasya Orchestra and İdil Biret

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 14, 2020

On Wednesday (March 11) I attended a concert given by the Avrasya Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rengim Gökmen, at the Zorlu Performance Arts Center. This was part of a series entitled Vestel Gururla Yerli Konserleri, organised jointly by the Performance Arts Center and ‘BKM’, which I assume stands for ‘Beşiktaş...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

In time… Gilad Atzmon and Sarp Maden – a creative partnership

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 29, 2020

February 20: I made my second foray into the Touché jazz club, located in the bowels of the Zorlu Center in Zincirlikuyu. The occasion was that of another concert by Gilad Atzmon, the Israeli saxophonist I'd seen in January 2019 – when he was accompanied by Sarp Maden on guitar,...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz, Musical Shares

The inspiring Marcell Restle (1932–2016)

By John Scott | February 29, 2020

This perfectly formed exhibition is a fitting tribute to the influential art historian Marcell Restle. Staged by ANAMED and the University of Vienna's Digital Research Archive for Byzantium (DiFaB) – and happily extended to April 5 – the show at ANAMED's Merkez Han on İstiklal Caddesi offers a beguiling portrait...

Soyoung Yoon and Mario Häring at The Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 26, 2020

The Istanbul Recitals series continued on February 14 with a concert by violinist Soyoung Yoon (photo: and pianist Mario Häring (photo: Stephan-Röhl) at The Seed in Emirgan. Like last month’s recital by the cellist Alexander Chaushian, this one featured a stringed instrument – though this time with piano accompaniment....
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

The wit to woo

The Istanbul Art and Antiques Fair is back, and a good thing too

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | February 22, 2020

Back in the naughty 90s, the Istanbul antiques fair was a highlight of the Istanbul arts calendar. Çigdem Simavi's Küsav foundation served up a brilliant blend of high art and high society, most memorably in the Armoury of Yıldız Palace. It was a mix of the flash and the famous,...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art

Summer Scholarship Opportunities for Artists and Musicians

By Lauren | February 20, 2020

Photograph by Ara Güler There are two exciting opportunities for Turkish artists and musicians who wish to study and develop their performance and creative skills this summer. The Berklee College of Music is hosting <b>Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive</b> from 11 July to 14 August 2020. From one-on-one instruction with...

Alexander Chaushian at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 5, 2020

The latest in the Istanbul Recitals series at The Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, featured a solo cellist – quite a departure from the usual run of pianists, pianists and more pianists. Ms Nazan Ceylan, the co-organiser (with Mr Mehmet Şükûn) of these...

Passionate perfection

The superb sensitivity of Finghin Collins

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 5, 2020

© Mateusz Zahora, courtesy Istanbul Recitals   The third of the season’s Istanbul Recitals was given by the Irish pianist Finghin Collins at The Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, on December 20, 2019. After the previous recital, I frankly did not hold out...

A performance beyond praise

Nikolai Demidenko at the Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 24, 2019

© Marco Boggreve, Courtesy Istanbul Recitals 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...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

The secret charms of Beyoğlu

A new book from France on Istanbul’s ‘Latin Quarter’

By Rose Shepherd | November 10, 2019

Just a day before the long-anticipated opening of the spectacular new Arter in Dolapdere – relocated from its original home on bustling İstiklâl Caddesi – a French-language book, Istanbul Rive Gauche, by Timour Muhidine, hit the bookstores, a timely reminder, should we need one, that Istanbul’s subversive Left Bank has...

Valentina Lisitsa opens the new season of Istanbul Recitals

By John Shakespeare Dyson | November 2, 2019

© M. Boggreve, courtesy Istanbul Recitals 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...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Highlights of Islamic Sales Week in London

By John Scott | October 20, 2019

Koranic Instruction, signed and dated Osman Hamdy Bey 1890, is the latest painting by unmistakable Orientalist, pupil of Gerome and founder of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum to come to auction In London in the past few weeks. The estimate is £3–5 million. The setting, meticulously drawn, is the Yeşil Cami...

The 21st-century ney

The Wandering Ney, by Drake Mabry

By Lauren Davis | October 5, 2019

Two new albums of original compositions adapted for the ney have been released by musician Drake Mabry. Mabry studied under the famed neyzen and teacher İsmail Hakkı. The ney, a end-blown long reed flute, has a long history that spans at least 3000 years and is a traditional component of...
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