Erdoğan attends concert of a popular pianist, known for his secular hardliner views

Fazıl SAY, the world-renowned Turkish pianist, invited President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to his concert, titled ‘Troy Sonata.’

The concert was held at the ATO Gongresium in Turkey’s capital city, Ankara.

Also attending the concert were the president’s wife, Emine Erdoğan and US Senator Lindsey Graham. After the concert, Erdoğan and Say gave candid poses.

Before and during the concert, a wide range of security measures was observed in and around the concert hall. Attendees were accepted to concert hall following being searched tightly by security officers.

Fazıl Say, Turkish pianist; and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Photo: Twitter)
Graham was reportedly invited by Erdoğan

Meanwhile, the Erdoğan’s invitation by  Say, known as pro-Kemalist and a secular hardliner, surprised secular segments of the society. Previously Erdoğan was harshly been criticised by the music genius, labelling Erdoğan as having “totalitarian ambitious”, leaving an infuriated Erdoğan.

Erdoğan warmly welcomes Say

Inside the hall, Erdoğan took his seat after all protocols were observed, then Say entered the concert hall and was welcomed with huge and enthusiastic applauds. Erdoğan was also seen applauding.

“I greet you all, Welcome to my concert. The tickets of this concert were sold out three months before. I think I’ve had one of the most exceptional nights of my life,” said Say.

Once the concert was over, along with other guests, Erdoğan warmly applauded Say. Once on the stage again, the famous pianist said: “I hope you enjoyed my concert.” After Say thanked all, Erdoğan went backstage to meet Say.

President Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan exchange gifts with Fazıl Say after his piano concert in Ankara, J18, 2019. (Photo: Twitter)

Just after the applauds, Erdoğan went to the stage and presented Aşık Veysel’s (famous Turkish folk poet), the album is known as ‘Kara Toprak’ (Mother Earth) and made a short speech.

Wonder concert must be seen in more venues, says Erdoğan

“Dear Fazıl performed this musical works in a very distinguished way. Çanakkale Yes (is a western Turkish city famous with Troy ancient city) and İzmir Yes should also get the pleasure to see this concert, It should also be held at the opera hall of the presidential palace here in Ankara and at İstanbul’s Harbiye Concert Hall,” said Erdoğan.

When Erdoğan met Say backstage, the latter signed his CDs that he presented to the president. Afterwards, Say was invited to the presidential palace by Erdoğan.

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Who is Fazıl Say

When the German composer Aribert Reimann discovered 16-year-old Fazıl Say’s fast-developing artistry on a trip to the latter’s hometown of Ankara, Turkey, he exclaimed to the American pianist David Levine: “You absolutely must hear him – this boy plays like a devil.” Say had his first piano lessons from Mithat Fenmen, who had himself studied with Alfred Cortot in Paris.

Perhaps sensing how talented his pupil was, Fenmen asked the boy to improvise every day on themes to do with his daily life before going on to complete his essential piano exercises and studies.

This contact with free creative processes and forms is seen as the source of the immense improvisatory talent and the aesthetic outlook that have made Fazıl Say the pianist and composer he is today.

From 1987 onwards, Fazıl Say fine-tuned his skills as a classical pianist with Levine, first at the Musikhochschule Robert Schumann in Düsseldorf and later in Berlin.

Fazıl Say, Turkish composer and pianist. (Photo: Twitter)

This formed the aesthetic basis for his Mozart and Schubert interpretations, in particular, leading to victory at the Young Concert Artists International competition in New York in 1994.

Since then he has played with all of the renowned American and European orchestras and numerous leading conductors, building up a multifaceted repertoire ranging from Bach, through the Viennese Classics (Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven) and the Romantics, right up to contemporary music, including his own piano compositions.

He has been commissioned to write music for, among others, the Salzburg Festival, the WDR, the Dortmund Konzerthaus and the Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals. His work includes compositions for solo keyboard and chamber music, as well as solo concertos and large-scale orchestral works, such as the 2011 Clarinet Concerto for Sabine Meyer inspired by the life and work of the Persian poet, Omar Khayyam.

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