KLAUS – GumuIluk Classical Music Festival ends on a high note

GumuIluk Classical Music Festival ends on a high notePlease imagine an antique, massive stone quarry, an impressive backdrop. Then picture soft, yellowish stage lighting making for added drama Consider world-class artists performing live al fresco for a captivated local, national and international audience.

One might ask whether this is perhaps a script for a futuristic music video? Far from it — it is already here, it is reality, in Bodrumand#39s GumuIlukGumuIkaya neighborhood!For the 11th year running, the GumuIluk International Classical Music Festival has become a fixed agenda item for music aficionados from near and far In 2014, 10 concerts were organized, beginning with one of Turkeyand#39s best loved artists, Gulsin Onay, on the piano on July 12, playing Bach and Chopin in addition to other composersand#39 works.Actually, the piano is one of the festivaland#39s preferred instruments — no surprise, as artistic director Eren LevendoIluand#39s career is the story of a classical pianist, too.

I chose a concert by Mirella Giardelli (piano) and soprano imen Seymen on the night of Aug. 10.

A superb evening began with a work from Claudia Monteverdi (1567-1643), andldquoLamento di Ariannaandrdquo This Italian-language piece was followed by Joseph Haydnand#39s (1732-1809) andldquoCantata Arianna a Naxosandrdquo and completed by his English Canzonettas, including andldquoThe Mermaidand#39s Song.andrdquoLevendoIlu told Sundayand#39s Zaman that the original idea for the festival was to attract young conservatory students to learn more about their chosen instruments and improve their skills by being exposed to famous artists — hence, the GumuIluk master classes were born.

She said, andldquoOur stars basically teach for 90 percent of their time spent with us and perform live for the remaining 10 percent.andrdquo She continued by saying GumuIluk is quieter when compared with other coastal spots.

andldquoWhatand#39s more, our students often experience more rigid conservatory day-to-day stipulations back home here, there is total [artistic] freedom!andrdquoOnay herself devotes both time and energy by acting as the festivaland#39s artistic aiserFurther highlights included Jean-Bernard Pommier (piano, France) together with Olga Martinova (violin, Russia) and, on another night, Croatian artist Kemal Gekic, all mentioned here without any untoward order of preference.My first visit to GumuIluk had been during a previous festival.

It was already a huge success, despite the fact that arts and culture often fall through the net with regards to securing serious amounts of public funding or private sponsoring. The organizers nevertheless manage not just to stay afloat but each year add a new dimension, invite different artists and strive to offer a string of concerts of the highest artistic caliber Since 2013, the old stone quarry has been their new venue, whereas in the past concerts were held next to the historic Eklisia Church located in another part of GumuIluk.

Now having returned, I must admit that setting and performances match even better the audience is seated in an amphitheater-style of open-air concert hall, allowing each guest to have an unobstructed stage view. The acoustics are fantastic and, rather remarkably, no microphones were needed at all — at least on the occasion of the show I attended.

On the night of my visit, soprano Seymen not only performed in brilliant fashion (and so did pianist Giardelli, of course) but guided her audience through the evening by telling us more about composer Monteverdi, heroine Arianna and the connection between where we listened to her and the nearby historically relevant island of Naxos. It was a truly memorable event where music was in the air, quite literally speaking.

The 11th International GumuIluk Classical Music Festival ended on Friday with a performance by The GumuIluk Trio (Gulsin Onay, Erkin Onay, Dorukhan Doruk) playing Beethoven and Brahms.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman