Special Projects

The Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra has made it its mission to protect the musical and cultural heritage of the wide geography it is representing, as well as presenting its audience with high-quality music in the projects it has undertaken.

Tekfen Philharmonic Participates in the 44th Istanbul Music Festival with "Songs to the Full Moon"

The new series of the Istanbul Music Festival brings classical music to open air and moonlight, and begins on a moonlit night. A selection of works from the aria "Song to the Moon" from Dvorak's opera Russalka to Puccini's tender "O mio babbino caro" is set to make this night unforgettable in the matchless natural and historical atmosphere of Boğaziçi University.

Tekfen Philharmonic brings together musicians from a variety of countries and cultures to create a common language of peace, and the orchestra will be conducted by Aziz Shokhakimov, Uzbekistan's gift to the classical music stages around the world. The young conductor made his mark in the classical music world with the award he won at the Mahler Conducting Competition when he was only 21, and is fast moving up in the international arena with his mature, profound, and energetic interpretations. Shokhakimov has conducted many important orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, and La Fenice Theater Philharmonic at concerts and opera productions in Europe and the States, and became the conductor of Deutsche Oper am Main in 2015.

Born in Georgia, soprano Teona Dvali attracted the attention of the opera world with her last-minute substitution of Anna Netrebko as Adina (Love Potion) at the Marjinsky Theater, and she won the Special Award at the International Arturo Toscanini Singing Competition and the first prize at the International Rolanda Nicolosi Competition. Dvali is one of the singers of the Marjinsky Opera, and is one of the popular guests of many important opera houses such as La Scala and Ravenna.

The experienced tenor Andrej Dunaev, known for his rendition of Lensky in the new production of Eugene Onegin by the Bolshoi Theater, has performed at many opera houses and festivals including BBC Proms, the Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Oper, Semperoper Dresden, and the Los Angeles Opera. Praised by the international press for his bright voice color and his tender but controlled interpretations, Dunaev is one of the most noteworthy tenors of recent years with his exceptionally broad repertoire.

The night at Boğaziçi will begin under the moon with popular arias, and continue with suites of unforgettable melodies from Carmen, one of the most passionate love stories in the history of opera.

In Memoriam Yaşar Kemal

Tekfen Philharmonic commemorates one of Turkey's greatest authors Yaşar Kemal, on November 30 2015 under the conductorship of James Judd.

The concert will have an extensive repertoire including Anatolian elegies that Yaşar Kemal has gathered in his youth, the soundtrack Zülfü Livaneli has composed for Yer Demir Gök Bakır (Iron Earth, Copper Sky) a film based on Kemal's novel of the same name, Adnan Saygun's Orchestra Suite and first time excerpts from "Teneke", an Italian opera adapted from Kemal's short story. Last but not the least, the programme features Beethoven's Ah! Perfido concert aria by mezzo soprano Anna Smirnova and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with pianist İdil Biret to highlight the resemblence in creativity of the composer and the author. From local to universal, in memoriam Yaşar Kemal.

Local Instruments & New Compositions Add to Polyphonic Music

Pieces specially composed for the traditional local instruments show the effort the Tekfen Philharmonic is exerting in cherishing cultural heritage; "The Ney Concerto for orchestra" inspired by Dede Efendi and Tamburi Cemil Bey, "The Black Sea Rhapsody" composed for bagpipes, kemançe and orchestra, and the symphony "The Sound of Three Seas" immortalizing the philosophy of Tekfen Philharmonic... Besides these three works composed by the Azerbaijani composer İlyas Mirzayev, there is the concerto Hasan Uçarsu has composed for the historical instrument, the çeng - "Uninvited Guests" standing as an example of the values the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra strives to protect.

Historical "Çeng," is Back on Stage

The Western harp and the Eastern çeng, accepted as its ancestor, have met in the scores of the project "The Forgotten, the Traces, and those that have Survived: Concerto for Çeng and Harp." The world premiere of the concerto "Uninvited Guests" composed by Hasan Uçarsu, was performed by the harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu at a concert entitled "Old World,New World" in the 36th International Istanbul Music Festival. This project showcases what the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra wants to convey through the language of music; one from the East, the other from the West... harp and çeng are members of the same family.

An instrument that is very quiet by its nature,very peaceful and very meditative, an instrument running after thoughts. That's why it has accompanied many a royal meetings, gatherings of poetry, art and philosophy.

Hasan Uçarsu - composer
1 Set of Lyrics, 12 Scores

In 1921, a competition was set up for the national anthem of the Turkish Republic for which the foundations were laid during the War of Independence when every corner in Anatolia was filled with a passion for independence. The Turkish National Anthem (The Independence March) is just one of the numerous musical compositions submitted to this competition. With the support of the Tekfen Foundation, of the more than 100 musical pieces forgotten in history, 12 were unearthed from the dusty shelves as part of the "1 Set of Lyrics, 12 Scores" project lead by the researcher and author Mehmet Altun and his team. Discovered after so many years, these works have been arranged for the orchestra by contemporary composers, who remained true to the original scores. The 12 pieces of music competing to become the National Anthem were performed for the first time on October 24, 2008, at a special concert by Tekfen Philharmonic on the 85th anniversary of the Republic at the Lüfti Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center. Later, the work was turned into a book, and the music has been collected in an album.