Fourth grade violinist grows up to be global virtuoso

and”You work for weeks, even months, on getting just one note right.
Youand’re sleepless. And sometimes then even in the end, defeated. But the violin as an instrument teaches people to be overjoyed at just even a few notes that come out right.and” These words are from Burcu GandOker, a violin virtuoso who decided to devote herself to the unique pain — and joy — of the violin before she had even graduated from primary school. GandOkerand’s first introduction to the violin dates back to her days as a fourth grader, when a teacher at her school had one of the schooland’s old violins repaired and let her try it. Years later, when she turned 14, GandOker won a scholarship in classical music and headed to Paris for training. GandOker has walked away with an award from every classical music competition sheand’s entered until today. When I first met her, years ago, she told me she wanted to eventually be a violinist with a Ph.D. and now she is, having received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida.
GandOker has performed in countless concerts all over the world andndash including in France, the US, Canada and Switzerland — and stands now as a source of inspiration for people who want to follow their dreams, no matter what they are. She believes she has made it to this point with the support of her musician family and by ignoring those who warned her, and”Youand’ll never get anywhere playing the violin in Turkey.and” She says: andquotFrom the very start, my mother, father and older sister were all right by my side on this difficult path I chose. They always believed in me. They never doubted that Iand’d succeed. This has given me a great sense of personal power and confidence. When a person focuses on success, they generally achieve it.and”
We ask GandOker if she has any aice for youths hoping to make it in the world of music. She explains: and”Yes, I was lucky enough to achieve success on a global level. But believe me, this was not just luck that had to do with working with great teachers. What I mean is, those people that helped me did not just pop up coincidentally before me. I spent a lot of energy finding them, contacting them, introducing myself and getting myself accepted as a student.and”
These days, GandOker works with three different orchestras. She also works as a teacher at two schools. And she carries on her work with the Pensacola String Quartet as well. When GandOker, who is married, can find the time between all her various commitments, she also tries to keep up with what is happening in Turkey. She says: and”No matter what anyone may say about it, I love my country very much. The love I feel for it cannot be shaken by one personand’s words or actions.and”
The real truth is, though GandOker may be better known and more recognized on the global stage for her work, she really has never broken away from Turkey. This sense is confirmed when we hear the story of her composition and”Anatoliaand” and how it came about: and”On the island of Avia, there was a mosque right behind our home. It was an afternoon in the summer of 1998, and I was reading a book when suddenly, I heard the sound of the afternoon call to prayer. I picked up the tape recorder sitting right next to me, and began to tape it. Then, I dictated these into musical notes as best I could. I began playing the melody with my violin, and the sound of that call to prayer had such a great effect on me, that the entire composition took form in my mind that moment. The next day, I actually taped the morning and afternoon calls to prayer as well. It was then that I learned that the calls to prayer were read out in differing musical patterns. And so it was that the call to prayer from the mosque became the inspiration for me the piece I call andlsquoAnatoliaand’.and”
Another composition by GandOker, called and”Toprakand” or and”Landand” was inspired by the memory of what it feels like to sit by the Bosporus with a tea and a fresh simit. Says GandOker: and”Though half my homeland may be thinking these days of how to escape from there, I carry Turkey around in my heart. I have never abandoned the land where I was born, where people I love are living, and where my ancestors are buried. I have always carried it in my heart.and” A friend of GandOker, who went from France to America in pursuit of learning more about this instrument she loves, says aboavoid any political interference in the independence of the central bank.and”
It seems that either Erdogan has not been informed by the EU Affairs Ministry about the EUand’s position regarding the interest rate policy and the independence of the central bank or he does not care. Anyway, we will soon witness the second round of interest rate fighting. I suggest you put on your seatbelts.


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