BEETHOVEN THE HUMANIST
Beethoven was 16 when Schiller wrote the “Ode to Joy”, a poem dedicated to brotherhood (that he would make famous in his 9th Symphony chorale). Growing up in Bonn he was steeped in Enlightenment philosophy, and C. Neefe his teacher from the age of 10, was an enthusiast of progressive education and believed in the unlimited potential of the mind. From an early age Beethoven was driven to explore the depths of the human experience, and in this 1st cello sonata the music begins with an extraordinary passage of mystery and a sense of questioning. What comes after is exuberance on a grand scale that pushes the boundaries of technique. The turbulent violin sonata in C minor was written in the same year as his “Heiligenstadt Testament”, a letter of despair describing
his decision not to end his own “wretched life” (his words) for the sake of art. This sense of duty to perfect mankind through creation of new works seems to have fueled his great productivity in this middle period. The noble “Archduke” trio is one of the iconic works of the chamber music repertoire and is rich with the many joys of being alive.
Cello Sonata No.1, Op.5 No.1 (1796)
Violin Sonata No.7, Op.30 No.2 (1802)
Allegro con brio
Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op.97 “Archduke” (1811)
Andante cantabile ma però con moto
Olgu Kızılay, keman
Gözde Yaşar, cello
Jerfi Aji, piano
Olgu Kızılay, violin
Olgu Kızılay was born in Istanbul in 1977. He started his violin education with Prof. Hazar Alapınar at the Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir State Conservatory, where he graduated in 1998. Kızılay continued his study with Prof. Joshua Epstein at the Strasbourg National Conservatoire, where he completed his doctoral degree in 2003. In 2000, he started performing as a first violin in the Strasburg Volutes Chamber Orchestra. From 1999 to 2002, he performed as a guest soloist with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mulhouse Symphonic Orchestra, and the Bas-Rhin Opera Orchestra. He recorded CDs of various chamber music concerts and contemporary composers.
After his return to Turkey, Kızılay performs with leading orchestras of Turkey such as Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra, DESO, and Istanbul Symphonietta. He currently performs as the concert meister of the YORSIAD Orchestra.
Gözde Yaşar, cello
Gözde Yaşar was born in Izmir in 1985. She started her study in cello with Hara Aliyev at Bilkent Preparatory School with a full scholarship in 1995. In 2003 Yaşar performed M. Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei” with the Bilkent Youth Orchestra. She won the second place prize in the Trakya 6th International Cello Competition. In 2004 she joined the concert tour of the Anadolu Youth Orchestra and performed in many places in Turkey, Belgium, and Germany. In 2007 Yaşar performed Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with the Bilkent Youth Orchestra. She has played contemporary works as well. She participated in the Lucas David and Young Talents group.
After graduating from the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts at Bilkent University in 2007, Yaşar received a Fulbright scholarship and continued her Master′s degree in cello in the Program of SUNY/Purchase State University of New York with Julia Lichten. In 2009 Yaşar performed Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the Purchase Symphony. She pursued her doctoral degree with Evelyn Elsing and Peter Wiley at the University of Maryland in 2009. Yaşar performed Tchaikovsky′s Rococo variations at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Bonnie Hampton, and Mischa Maisky′s master classes. She has developed her Ottoman Music Project, which she began in 2006, and performed with Mahir Cetiz in New York and Ottowa (Canada). In addition to performing as a member of chamber orchestras such as the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore Concert Artists, and Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Yaşar actively performs as a soloist. She is currently teaching at Mimar Sinan University Conservatory.
Jerfi Aji, piano
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1976, Jerfi Aji started his piano training at the age of five with private lessons from Zeynep Aksoy Eğilmez. He continued his piano studies with Hülya Ardıç, while pursuing a bachelor's degree in Textile Engineering at Istanbul Technical University (ITU). Aji then completed a Master of Music at ITU's Dr. Erol Üçer Center for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM), where he studied piano with State Artist Ayşegül Sarıca. Meanwhile, he also earned an M.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering at Boğaziçi University. In 2006, Aji was accepted to the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he completed his doctoral studies in piano performance with Marian Hahn, graduating with a DMA degree in 2011. During his studies there, he was granted a graduate teaching assistantship in opera accompaniment.
Jerfi Aji performed in masterclasses with Leon Fleisher, Murray Perahia and Jerome Rose, and participated in the ARIA International Summer Academy in Muncie, Indiana, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College of Music. He also studied with prominent pianists and pedagogues, including Thomas Hecht, Dimitry Rachmanov, Angela Cheng and Ali Darmar, among others.
Jerfi Aji has given solo recitals and chamber music concerts in Turkey and the United States, collaborating with artists such as James Buswell, Amit Peled, Carol Ou, Ellen Jewett, Michael Berkovsky, Hüseyin Sermet and Cihat Aşkın. Aji is a member of Trio Kuvars Viyolet, with clarinetist Evrim Güvemli and cellist Rahşan Apay, and the MIAM Modern Music Ensemble.
In 2011, Aji was recipient of the Frances M. Wentz Turner Memorial Prize in Piano presented by the Peabody Conservatory. Along with an active performance career, Aji also teaches courses such as Introduction to Music Theory, Classical Form Analysis, 20th Century Piano Literature and Chamber Music as a faculty member at ITU-MIAM.