BEETHOVEN THE ROMANTIC
Beethoven is often described as a musical bridge between the Classical and Romantic eras, but it could also be said that different stylistic elements co-exist in his compositions- including following the rules of Classical forms (inherited from Mozart and Haydn) and borrowing elements from Baroque contrapuntal writing. There is no question though, that he was a groundbreaker in terms of transferring ideas from the Romantic poets and writers into music. He deliberately took advantage of developments on the instruments. New heavier bows and pianofortes with a ‘sustain’ pedal inspired longer melodic lines, and these ‘modern’ instruments were capable of a much wider
dynamic range. All 3 of the instrumental sonatas in this program amplify a sense of expressive freedom and are full of dramatic contrasts, and the ‘Spring Sonata” and Cello Sonata No. 3 especially exude a wonderful sense of lyricism. The 2 earlier trios in E flat were written in Bonn in his early 20’s and although charming and rooted in Classicism, they are interesting to observe and compare with the more daring and Romantic ‘middle’ sonatas.
Violin Sonata No.5, Op.24 “Spring” (1801)
Adagio molto espressivo
Scherzo. Allegro molto - Trio
Rondo. Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Trio in E-flat major, WoO 38 (1791)
Scherzo. Allegro ma non troppo
Violin Sonata No.8, Op.30 No.3 (1802)
Tempo di Minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso
Variations in E-flat major, Op.44 for Piano Trio (1792)
Cello Sonata No.3, Op.69 (1808)
Allegro, ma non tanto
Scherzo; Allegro molto - Trio
Adagio cantabile - Allegro vivace
Tolga Kulak, violin
Serdar Mamaç, cello
Birsen Ulucan, piano
Tolga Kulak, violin
Born in 1986 in İzmir, Tolga Kulak is currently concertmaster of both the İzmir State Opera- Ballet, as well as the Yaşar Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed throughout Turkey as well as in Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Singapore and China. He began his musical education with Kartal Akıncı at the Dokuz Eylül University State Conservatory in Izmir. During his studies there, he gave many chamber music and solo concerts including with the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 he began studying with Prof. Jerrold Rubenstein and performing as a member of the first violin section of the Borusan Istanbul Philarmonic. He attended numerous chamber music and violin masterclasses in Turkey and abroad, including with Prof. Lucas David, Ellen Jewett, Prof. Joshua Epstein, violist Ruşen Güneş, Prof. Çiğdem İyicil and Özcan Ulucan. Upon finishing his bachelor’s degree in 2007, he was offered a tenured position on the violin faculty of the Yaşar University and worked as principal second violin in the Yaşar Chamber Orchestra. In 2009 he began his graduate education with Prof. Ilya Grubert in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CVA) and was accepted to the Ligeti Academy. He took lessons with Liviu Prunaru -concertmaster-, Henk Rubink and Caroline Strumphler -second principal violinists- of Concertgebouw Orchestra. and was fortunate to work with Otto Tausk and Ivan Meylemans while performing as concertmaster of the CVA Symphony Orchestra. At the same time he founded his own quartet with whom he presented many chamber music concerts. In 2014 and 2015 he was invited to the Verbier Festival Orchestra where he performed with Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Pinchas Zukerman, Renaud Capuçon and worked with Valery Gergiev, Zubin Metha, James Levine, Ivan Fischer, Charles Dutoit, Jaap van Zweden, Daniel Harding, Esa Pekka Salonen, Manfred Honeck and Yuri Temirkanov.
Serdar Mamaç, cello
Cellist Serdar Mamaç is currently on the faculty of the Yasar University Fine Arts School of Music in Izmir, and is the principal cellist of the Yasar University Chamber Orchestra. Previously, he was a member of the Baskent Academic Orchestra based in Ankara. He has appeared in solo and chamber concerts frequently throughout Turkey and abroad and as a soloist, he has performed with the Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Academic Baskent, Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra and Yasar University Symphony Orchestra among others. Serdar Mamaç began his musical education in 1990 at Dokuz Eylül University State Conservatory in Izmir where he studied cello with Nejat Tekebaş and Umit İşgörür. After graduating in 1999, he was accepted into the Master’s Program at the Darmstadt Music Academy where he studied with C. Erfa. He continued his graduate studies at the Detmold Music Academy where he worked with Karine Georgiann, and in 2003 received his Master of Music degree. He has participated in various Master Classes with Alexander Rudin, M. Komitzer and J. Barthe.
Birsen Ulucan, piano
Turkish pianist Birsen Ulucan is currently in great demand as a soloist, chamber musician and is a dedicated educator both at the conservatory and with children. Her concerts have taken her to to Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, the United Kingdom, the US, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Italy, France, Austria, Israel, Greece and Portugal.
She was born in Bulgaria and began her studies at the Varna Music Conservatory. Growing up in a family believing that all branches of the arts make up a whole, Birsen Ulucan also took ballet and cello lessons and debuted with the Shumen Orchestra when she was 12 years old where she In 1989 she graduated and that same year emigrated to Turkey with her family. She continued at the İstanbul State Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music&Drama in London and received her doctorate at the City University of London.
She was chosen as the collaborative pianist in the class of the world-famous violinist Maxim Vengerov at the Saarbrücken Music Academy in Germany and worked with many leading young violinists.
She has performed as soloist with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra,, Liszt Chamber Orchestra and the leading orchestras of Turkey.
She has also given concerts at such festivals as the Salzburg Mozarteum,, Istanbul Festival, France International Flain Music Festival, and Cyprus Bellapais Music Festival and has shared the stage with musicians like Maxim Vengerov, Marta Gulyas, Isabelle van Keulen and Christian Poltera.
Birsen Ulucan has three recordings with Lila Music Label. Her website is: