‘The Gentleman of Istanbul’ and other sly tales

Turhan Selçuk smiles satirically, almost vaguely, and you find yourself joining him – Yaşar Kemal

By Luke Frostick | July 12, 2019


And that, as the great novelist said, is what great art is about. Minimalism is the key to Turhan Selçuk’s art – his drawings all bold black lines and harsh angles. However, as is so often the case with the best artists, simplicity can be deceptive. His torpedo passing through...
Posted in Exhibitions, Fine Art, Literature

The best pianist in the world?

If you ask Chick Corea, it's Aydın Esen

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 12, 2019


There are some concerts – not many, just a few – that leave you with a feeling of euphoria, allowing you to forget everything that makes life a burden for just a few precious hours. The concert by the jazz pianist and composer Aydın Esen and his group on Friday,...

Mr Say takes a bow, and the final notes fade away

The 2019 Istanbul Music Festival's sell-out finale

By John Shakespeare Dyson | July 5, 2019


Sunday, June 30 was the last day of this year’s İKSV Istanbul Music Festival, and the occasion was marked by a concert in which the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and Fazıl Say performed at the Lütfi Kırdar Concert Hall. There were very few empty seats in the auditorium, though whether this...

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

HALI at 40

The story of the carpet connoisseur's essential companion

By Daniel Shaffer | June 29, 2019

This week, HALI magazine marked its 200th issue with a series of celebratory London-based events, including lectures, book launches, an antique carpet and textile art fair, exclusive group access to museum storage and private collections, and a post-event HALI tour of significant English collections of antique carpets and textiles. There...

Happy birthday, HALI

Celebrating 40 years and 200 editions of the magazine

By Roger Williams | June 27, 2019


HALI is celebrating its 40th anniversary and the 200th edition of HALI magazine with an exhibition of antique rugs, textiels and tribal art at the Mall Galleries in London, the first time it has held an event at the venue. As always the show is full of panache and charcter...

A new era for Cornucopia

Online edition free to subscribers

By Roger Williams | June 27, 2019

The latest issue of Cornucopia, No 59, is just out, and it marks the start of a new phase for the magazine, as it goes online. From now on, all issues will be available for subscribers to scroll through the elegant pages not just of the latest issues, but back...

Norman Stone (1941–2019)

A fond tribute to the the historian Norman Stone, a fearless advocate of Turkey, who died at his home in Budapest yesterday

By David Barchard | June 20, 2019


If Norman Stone and Professor Ali Doğramacı, then rector of Bilkent University, had not shared a flash of inspiration during an international conference in Ankara in 1995, the love affair between the country and its most famous international academic friend might never have begun. Norman was in Ankara, at a...

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

A certain lightness of being…

The 47th İKSV Istanbul Music Festival gets into gear

By John Shakespeare Dyson | June 16, 2019


And so we have arrived at that time of year when the lime trees are in flower, the watermelons rise to new heights of drippy deliciousness and the İKSV Istanbul Music Festival gets under way. A poem by Rimbaud celebrates the arrival of warm weather with the following couplet: Que...

An enduring tradition

Sandy Jones’s carpets have helped to keep alive Turkish carpet-making in the time-honoured way

By Roger Williams | May 28, 2019


Hand weaving in Turkey, often thought a dying art, has continued to survive in some parts of Anatolia due to discerning designers such as Sandy Jones, whose wonderful carpets are produced in anonymous domestic ateliers. “They use natural wool," she says, “and the skeins, looped over the shoulder, are dipped...

Yeol Eum Son

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 18, 2019


The Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son gave a recital of works by Chopin and Rachmaninov at the the Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, on May 11. After last month’s recital, given by Stephen Kovacevich with a dreadful cold, it was a relief to...

Did Anatolians build Stonehenge?

Whitehawk Woman provides a clue

By Roger Williams | May 14, 2019


The facial reconstruction of a woman from 5600 years ago found in Brighton suggests that immigrants from Anatolia may have built Britain’s best-known Neolithic monument. Discovered on Whitehawk Hill, the site of Brighton’s racecourse, ‘Whitehawk Woman’ pictured here and now on show in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s new archaeology...

A subtle depth in Venice

Tim Cornwell admires İnci Eviner's Turkish ‘total art’ at this year's Venice Biennale

By Tim Cornwell | May 11, 2019


The French Pavilion has been widely declared the go-to show of the Venice Biennale this year, and so it was that a 90-minute queue snaked up the Giardini in the opening week’s vernissage of the six-month art event. It deserves the attention: you walk in across a glassy blue sea...

Spark of light, burning bright, in the forest of Asia’s grim towers

The Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra under the sensitive baton of Nikos Haliassas at the Caddebostan Cultural Centre

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 7, 2019

On 26 April I ventured across the Bosphorus to attend a concert by the İstanbul State Symphony Orchestra at the Caddebostan Cultural Centre. It was with some trepidation that I took the Metrobus over the First Bosphorus Bridge to its terminus at Söğütlüçeşme, in the hinterland behind Kadıköy: the sight...

Out from Turkey: Alchemy Festival

Experimental work from Turkish filmmakers

By Julie W | May 6, 2019


Sunday  5 May, Towermill Cinema, Hawick, Scottish Borders. A selection of shorts demonstrating a range of formal strategies presently at play in the experimental work of Turkish filmmakers.  Specially curated on behalf of Cornucopia by Julie Witford, the screening was both well attended and well received. Eyup Ozkan’s Multiple Projection:...
Posted in Film

A catalogue of delights

Revisit exhibitions with Cornucopia

By Roger Williams | April 29, 2019


One of the advantages offered by Cornucopia Bookshop is that it can come up with catalogues for past exhibitions, and they are always worth searching for (see 'Exhibitions sale'). This is clearly the case judging from latest sales figures, which show that a large consignment of The Four-Legged Municipality, a catalogue for ...

Bettina Frankenberg, 1956–2018

By Cornucopia | April 15, 2019


Friends and family of the textile artist Bettina Frankenberg, who died after a short illness in October, will be gathering in Bodrum later this week to remember a rare talent and a remarkable personality. Bettina's patchwork art sprung initiallly from her fascination with and active involvement in occupational therapy. As...

Kubrick’s weaponised indifference

By Katie Nadworny | April 15, 2019


A well-to-do man in 18th-century England rides a horse-drawn carriage through the countryside with his fur-draped wife. They stare out opposite windows as he puffs away on his pipe and she waves her hand every so often to clear the smoke from her face. Finally, she asks him to stop...
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