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...

The Istanbul Modern celebrates Ozan Sağdıç

The Photographer’s Testimony

By Annette Solakoğlu and Monica Fritz | January 18, 2024

Ozan Sağdıç Ph. Annette Solakoğlu Istanbul Modern's latest photography exhibit, Ozan Sağdıç, the Photographer's Testimony was a wonderful surprise to both of us, not being a familiar name but still  an important figure in the history of Turkish photography.  Perhaps most of his career working as a press photographer and not...

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...

Iyi Bayramlar from Kuzguncuk

The Turkish Republic's Anniversary

By Andrew Finkel photos by Monica Fritz | October 29, 2023

The Turkish Republic turns 100 today – not just another candle on the cake, but a reliving of a moment of defiance. A nascent state claimed a very different destiny from that envisaged for it by the European powers who had defeated a weary empire at the end of the...

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

A journey into uncharted atonal territory

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 7, 2023

On September 29 I attended a concert at the Zorlu Center – one of the 33rd Akbank Jazz Festival  events – given by the American trumpet-player Terence Blanchard, the ‘E-Collective’ (his backing group) and a string quartet by the name of the ‘Turtle Island Quartet’. I must congratulate the man...

Metin Münir (1944–2023)

By Andrew Finkel | September 27, 2023

Metin Münir was a clarion voice in the Turkish press – a champion of journalistic quality and integrity that penetrated so much fog and even more nonsense. As editor-in-chief and founder of a slew of English- and Turkish-language publications, he encouraged a generation of highly professional journalists. The newspaper Güneş which he...

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

Don’s McCullin’s Journeys Across Roman Asia Minor: the Istanbul launch

By John Scott | September 14, 2023

Barnaby Rogerson and Orhan Cem Çetin in conversation with Don McCullin at the Pera Museum: Book Launch / Don McCullin / 10 September 2023 from Orhan Cem Çetin on Vimeo.

Sir Timothy Daunt (1935–2023)

A sad farewell

By Cornucopia | September 4, 2023

On August 8 friends learnt with great sadness of the loss of Sir Timothy Daunt. Sir Timothy was British Ambassador to Turkey from 1986 to 1992 and together with his wife, Patricia, created a bond of friends and friendships rare in modern British-Turkish relations. Their love and understanding of Turkey...

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

Flavour of the month: emigré cuisine

In the first of a new blog series, Cornucopia's restaurant reviewer, Andrew Finkel, tests The Counter in London's Ladbroke Grove

By Andrew Finkel | August 25, 2023

Kemal Demirasal, The Counter's Executive Chef  I confess that on my increasingly frequent trips to London, I rarely seek out Turkish food. It seems the wrong ritual, much in the same way I almost never drink rakı at my own Istanbul dinner table. Emigré cuisine can be like émigré politics,...
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