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KK 2024

with the friendly support of

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Klasik Keyifler (KK) is announcing their contemporary music projects for 2024 scheduled to take place between April and October. With the friendly support from the prestigious EV Siemens Foundation, KK has received a grant for a 2nd year entitled “Putting the KK Composers Cauldron into Türkiye’s Festivals”. This enables them to share their chamber music projects with 4 different international festivals in Türkiye through co-cooperation agreements, including the  38th International Ankara Music Festival, the AIMA Ayvalik Music Festival, the Adana Chamber Music Festival and the Çanakkale Art Bienale. KK will also organize events in Osmaniye (the region of the recent earthquake) at the Bartok museum. This support allows KK to collaborate on a number of concert premieres, presented alongside workshops, public talks and artist retreats.


As an NGO established in 2011, KK works tirelessly to contribute to the network of musicians within Turkey that have the skills and passions to compose and perform contemporary chamber music in a wide range of styles. Projects are designed to enable research to be carried out cooperatively by composers, teachers, musicologists and performers. The ultimate outcome is to increase the national and international dissemination of these unknown works, and to help to create the concept of a ‘corpus’ of Turkish chamber music from the early Republican period through current times.


Events will begin with the premiere of Onur Türkmen’s chamber opera Gilgamesh, a Parlando Opera in 13 Tablets which will be presented in the 38th Ankara International Music Festival on April 29th at Bilkent Concert Hall. In addition to the pre-concert discussion between composer Türkmen and his librettist, author Şebnem İşigüzel, an afternoon of talks will be presented by an eclectic group of scholars and researchers on Sunday April 28th. Open to general audiences with the goal of drawing listeners into the universality of the Gilgamesh saga, talks will be give by archeologist Dr. İsmail Gezgin on mythological and historical perspectives; by Dr. Sinan Canan on musical memory and the many practices of oral traditions from a neurological perspective; by composer Özkan Bapbacı and conductor Orhun Orhon on the traditions of 19th century vocal and opera techniques. Erberk Eryılmaz a composer and director of the Hoppa Project, will lead a discussion with Önder Özkoç and Salih Gündoğdu on creative approaches in writing for traditional music and musicians. (All the talks are free of charge and are at Bilkent Üniversitesi Müzik ve Sahne Sanatları Fakültesi. Please see links below for concert ticket info).


KK programs will continue to feature chamber music influenced by the term Parlando, a word taken from Italian and recently used in musical scores to indicate a declamatory or recitativo style of speaking and singing. The word is used in opera between the arias or songs in order to narrate the story, although this kind of singing/narration has been transferred orally by bards and storytellers from times unknown. This term was also used by Béla Bartók, as one of his 2 main designations for rhythms and folk songs in his book “Turkish Folk Music from Asia Minor”. His book contains many detailed musical transcriptions and also recounts his travels in Anatolia near Adana and Osmaniye in 1936. He and his musical guide in Türkiye, Ahmet Adnan Saygun (alongside the young composers Bartók described as ‘observers’ Necil Kazim Akses and Ulvi Cemal Erkin) shared the twin passions of preserving and archiving traditional and timeless folk songs, and also transforming this material into their individual compositions.


Inspired by these legendary composers who were also pioneers in the early field of ethnomusicology, KK is providing the platform for 6 new works, selected by an open call, to be premiered in 3 different festival venues. From June 17- 21 the Hoppa Project String Quartet (Ellen Jewett, Ceren Türkmenoğlu, Laura Krentzman, Gözde Yaşar) will be in residence at AIMA in the Ayvalik Festival. They will premiere 2 new compositions by Can Bilir and Orkay Pazarcı alongside Turkish Republican-era string quartet works. They will also participate in open rehearsals and outreach events for local children. In September the Troia Trio (Eda Delikçe, Senem Zeynep Ercan, Koray Ay) will premiere new works for horn, violin and piano by Arın Eren and Amir Nabizad as part of the Çanakkale Art Bienale. The Anatolian Wind Quintet (Cem Önertürk, Ufuk Soygürbüz, Kıvanç Fındıklı, Ozan Evruk, Hüseyin Uçar) will premiere 2 new works by Mesruh Savaş  and Ali Yunus Gencer as part of the Adana Chamber Music Festival.


KK will also bring classical music to the Bartók museum in Osmaniye for the first time in cooperation with the Hoppa Project, and will perform string quartet works of Bartók, Saygun and Akses, as well as the premiere of  Mahir Cetiz’s Yaşar Kemal’s Lamentations for quartet, bağlama and electronics. This work was commissioned by the Guggenheim Foundation.


International renowned composers Zosha Di Castri and Füsun Köksal will participate as guest teachers/advisors for young composers. After receiving 100% of applications from the recent open call from male composers, KK has decided to limit future 2025 participation to female composers.


KK will present portions of these programs at Princeton University in October at the invitation of the Department of Near Eastern Studies.

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