Orchestral tribute to Battle of Gallipoli premieres in Antalya

Marking the 100th anniversary of Turkey’s victory in the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915, Ucarsu’s “Yine Bir Sey Yapabildim Diyemem Hatırana — Canakkale 1915” was specially composed for the Antalya festival, which is marking its 16th edition with 13 concerts in the southern city until Nov. 29.

Young Croat concert pianist Martina Filjak was the soloist at Monday’s premiere at the Antalya Cultural Center (AKM). The Akdeniz Philharmonic was conducted by maestro Gurer Aykal, who is also the Antalya festival’s artistic director.

Following “Canakkale 1915,” Filjak also performed Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2,” receiving a lengthy ovation for both performances. She thanked the audience with two encores, Alexander Scriabin’s “Prelude for the Left Hand, Op. 9 No. 1” and Bach’s “Prelude in C major.”

In the second part of the concert, the Akdeniz Philharmonic played 20th century Turkish composer Ulvi Cemal Erkin’s “Symphony No. 1.”

The concert marked the opening of the Antalya festival’s second week, which will also see appearances by internationally acclaimed Turkish performers, including Gulsin Onay and sisters Ufuk and Bahar Dorduncu.

Turkey’s Emre Aracı and Huseyin Sermet, Japanese jazz pianist-composer Hiromi and Palestinian-Israeli classical pianist Saleem Ashkar were among the first week’s highlights. The festival’s side events include eight master classes, three conferences and 19 music workshops.

The festival will wrap up with a gala concert on Nov. 29 at the Glass Pyramid near the AKM, where award-winning American film score composer-conductor Don Davis, best known for his work on “The Matrix,” will lead the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra in a repertoire of his own compositions. That concert will also mark the opening of the 52nd Antalya International Film Festival.


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