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Fazil  Say

Born: January 14th, 1970
Country of origin: Turkey
Upcoming :
Conductor: Yip Wing-sie
Orchestra: Hong Kong Sinfonietta
2017-07-29 | Menton (France), Parvis de la Basilique Saint Michel Archange — 21:30
2017-08-08 | Salzburg (Austria), Stiftung Mozarteum, Großer Saal

He is not only a brilliant pianist, but will without doubt also become one of the great artists of the 21st century. (Le Figaro)

Fazıl Say was born in Ankara on 14 January 1970. He began playing the piano at the age of four and commenced piano studies when he was eleven. A workshop with David Levine and Aribert Reimann in Ankara provided the decisive impulse to begin composing. It was also the same outstanding musicians who succeeded in securing a place for the young up-and-coming talent at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf. Fazıl Say subsequently continued his studies at the Berlin Conservatory of Music from1992 to 1995. He composed his work Black Hymns at the age of sixteen. His career was given further impetus through the award of the first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York; since then Fazıl Say has given over 100 concerts each year. Large-scale compositions followed such as the 2nd Piano Concerto Silk Road which Say premiered in Boston in 1996 and performed more than a dozen times during the concert season 2003/2004. He was Artist in Residence at Radio France in both 2003 and 2005. He was invited to be Artist in Residence by the Music Festival in Bremen in 2005 and by the Konzerthaus Dortmund in 2007. Fazıl Say founded a world jazz quintet in 2000 with whom he has performed in numerous jazz festivals including Montreux and Istanbul.

Say’s musical career is characterised by his double role as composer and internationally renowned pianist. His musical concepts are influenced by his great interest in jazz and improvisation and he frequently incorporates these elements into his compositions, producing highly virtuoso adaptations of works for piano such as the jazz fantasy based on Mozart’s Alla Turca (1993), Paganini Jazz (1995) or the 4 Pieces for DJ and Piano (2003). His oratorio Nâzım, set to verses by the Turkish poet Nâzım Hikmet and commissioned by the Turkish Ministry for Cultural Affairs was given its first performance in Ankara in the presence of the Turkish President in 2001. Say composed his 3rd Piano Concerto in 2002 as a commission by Radio France and Kurt Masur and premiered it with the Orchestre National de Radio France under the baton of Eliahu Inbal. The first performance of his oratorio Requiem für Metin Altıok was given at the Istanbul Festival to an audience of 5000 in July 2003. He performed in the premiere of his 4th Piano Concerto Thinking Einstein in Lucerne in May 2005.

In the Mozart commemorative year 2006, the city of Vienna commissioned the ballet Patara as homage to the great Classical composer: the first performance was given on 1 February 2006. One year previously, Say had completed his rhapsodic piano composition Black Earth which also embraces elements of Turkish folklore. A further composition for piano solo completed in 2006 was Inside Serail which was performed at the Salzburg Festival. Fazıl Say composed his first violin concerto with the allusive title 1001 Nights in the Harem in 2008. The premiere of this work took place in Lucerne performed by the dedicatee of the work, the Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Axelrod. This violin concerto is Say’s first ambitious orchestral work without a solo part for the composer. The title is an allusion to the collection of oriental fairy tales, the “Arabian Nights”. The solo violin undertakes the role of the seductive, untiring storyteller Scheherazade. The composer is adventurous in his atmospheric orchestral texture and the utilisation of Turkish percussion instruments in bridging the gap between the music of his native country, elements of jazz and European art music.

Alongside numerous awards for his piano performances, Fazıl Say has also received other accolades including the silver London International Award in 2007 and, in the following year, the German Art Directors Club prize. He also received the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis for his arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Sacre du Printemps” for piano duet.

1970
Born in Ankara on 14 January
from 1973
Piano lessons with Mithat Fenmen, a pupil of Alfred Cortot
1983-1987
Musical studies at the State Conservatory at the University of Ankara (piano with Kâmuran Gündemir, composition with Ilhan Baran)
1987-1991
Studies piano at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf with David Levine (following recommendation by Aribert Reimann and with a DAAD scholarship). Graduates as a concert pianist.
1991-1995
Relocates to Berlin; teacher for chamber music at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin; first performances of his symphonic works
1995
Prize winner at the international competition "Young Concert Artists" in New York; moves to New York
2001
First performance of the oratorio "Nâzım", a work commissioned by the Turkish Ministry of Cultural Affairs
2002
Moves to Istanbul
seit 2003
Exclusive contract with the French label naïve
2003
Artist in residence at Radio France (again in 2005)
2005
Artist in Residence beim Musikfest Bremen
seit 2006
General contract with Schott Music
2006-2010
Exclusive artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund
2007
President of the jury at the Montreux Jazz Festival (again in 2008)
2008
Fazıl Say Festival in Tokyo
2010
Portrait series at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. First performance of the "Trumpet Concerto" (Gábor Boldoczki, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Lothar Zagrosek)
2010-2011
Artist in residence at the Konzerthaus Berlin
2011
Plattino-Preis from the association "Türkisch-Deutsche Studierenden und Akademiker Plattform" e.V., shares prize with Feridun Zaimoğlu
2012
World premieres of the Symphonies Nos. 2 "Mesopotamia Symphony" and 3 "Universe"
2012-2013
Artist in residence with the hr-Sinfonieorchester
2013
Honorary prize at Zelt-Musik-Festival in Freiburg
2013-2014
Composer in residence at the Konzerthaus Wien
2014
Artist in residence at the Bodenseefestival
2016
International Beethoven Award for Human Rights, Peace, Freedom, Poverty Reduction, and Inclusion
Conductor: Yip Wing-sie
Orchestra: Hong Kong Sinfonietta
2017-07-29 | Menton (France), Parvis de la Basilique Saint Michel Archange — 21:30
2017-08-08 | Salzburg (Austria), Stiftung Mozarteum, Großer Saal
2017-09-05 | Liestal (Switzerland), Stadtkirche
2017-09-06 | Delémont (France), Forum St. Georges
2017-09-30 | Vaals (Netherlands), Kopermolen
2017-10-01 | Vaals (Netherlands), Kopermolen
2017-10-02 | Bad Urach (Germany), Schlossmühle
2017-10-14 | Cēsis (Latvia), Vidzemes koncertzale
2017-10-23 | Pamplona (Spain)
Conductor: Fazıl Say
Orchestra: Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
2017-11-03 | Berlin (Germany), Komische Oper
Orchestra: Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
2017-11-03 | Berlin (Germany), Komische Oper
Conductor: Simon Gaudenz
Orchestra: Jenaer Philharmonie
2017-11-09 | Jena (Germany), Volkshaus — 20:00
2017-12-06 | Schwiessel (Germany), Schloss — Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 2017
2018-02-21 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Ibrahim Yazici
Orchestra: Staatsorchester Braunschweig
2018-02-25 | Braunschweig (Germany), Stadthalle
Conductor: Ibrahim Yazici
Orchestra: Staatsorchester Braunschweig
2018-02-26 | Braunschweig (Germany), Stadthalle
2018-05-03 | Kaiserslautern (Germany), Fruchthalle
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-14 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-15 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-16 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-16 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater — Jugendkonzert
Conductor: Josep Caballé Domenech
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-06-22 | Nürnberg (Germany), Meistersingerhalle — 20:00
Conductor: Josep Caballé Domenech
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-06-24 | Heidenheim (Germany), Festspielhaus Congress Centrum — 20:00

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Profile

He is not only a brilliant pianist, but will without doubt also become one of the great artists of the 21st century. (Le Figaro)

Fazıl Say was born in Ankara on 14 January 1970. He began playing the piano at the age of four and commenced piano studies when he was eleven. A workshop with David Levine and Aribert Reimann in Ankara provided the decisive impulse to begin composing. It was also the same outstanding musicians who succeeded in securing a place for the young up-and-coming talent at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf. Fazıl Say subsequently continued his studies at the Berlin Conservatory of Music from1992 to 1995. He composed his work Black Hymns at the age of sixteen. His career was given further impetus through the award of the first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York; since then Fazıl Say has given over 100 concerts each year. Large-scale compositions followed such as the 2nd Piano Concerto Silk Road which Say premiered in Boston in 1996 and performed more than a dozen times during the concert season 2003/2004. He was Artist in Residence at Radio France in both 2003 and 2005. He was invited to be Artist in Residence by the Music Festival in Bremen in 2005 and by the Konzerthaus Dortmund in 2007. Fazıl Say founded a world jazz quintet in 2000 with whom he has performed in numerous jazz festivals including Montreux and Istanbul.

Say’s musical career is characterised by his double role as composer and internationally renowned pianist. His musical concepts are influenced by his great interest in jazz and improvisation and he frequently incorporates these elements into his compositions, producing highly virtuoso adaptations of works for piano such as the jazz fantasy based on Mozart’s Alla Turca (1993), Paganini Jazz (1995) or the 4 Pieces for DJ and Piano (2003). His oratorio Nâzım, set to verses by the Turkish poet Nâzım Hikmet and commissioned by the Turkish Ministry for Cultural Affairs was given its first performance in Ankara in the presence of the Turkish President in 2001. Say composed his 3rd Piano Concerto in 2002 as a commission by Radio France and Kurt Masur and premiered it with the Orchestre National de Radio France under the baton of Eliahu Inbal. The first performance of his oratorio Requiem für Metin Altıok was given at the Istanbul Festival to an audience of 5000 in July 2003. He performed in the premiere of his 4th Piano Concerto Thinking Einstein in Lucerne in May 2005.

In the Mozart commemorative year 2006, the city of Vienna commissioned the ballet Patara as homage to the great Classical composer: the first performance was given on 1 February 2006. One year previously, Say had completed his rhapsodic piano composition Black Earth which also embraces elements of Turkish folklore. A further composition for piano solo completed in 2006 was Inside Serail which was performed at the Salzburg Festival. Fazıl Say composed his first violin concerto with the allusive title 1001 Nights in the Harem in 2008. The premiere of this work took place in Lucerne performed by the dedicatee of the work, the Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Axelrod. This violin concerto is Say’s first ambitious orchestral work without a solo part for the composer. The title is an allusion to the collection of oriental fairy tales, the “Arabian Nights”. The solo violin undertakes the role of the seductive, untiring storyteller Scheherazade. The composer is adventurous in his atmospheric orchestral texture and the utilisation of Turkish percussion instruments in bridging the gap between the music of his native country, elements of jazz and European art music.

Alongside numerous awards for his piano performances, Fazıl Say has also received other accolades including the silver London International Award in 2007 and, in the following year, the German Art Directors Club prize. He also received the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis for his arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Sacre du Printemps” for piano duet.

Works
Chronology
1970
Born in Ankara on 14 January
from 1973
Piano lessons with Mithat Fenmen, a pupil of Alfred Cortot
1983-1987
Musical studies at the State Conservatory at the University of Ankara (piano with Kâmuran Gündemir, composition with Ilhan Baran)
1987-1991
Studies piano at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf with David Levine (following recommendation by Aribert Reimann and with a DAAD scholarship). Graduates as a concert pianist.
1991-1995
Relocates to Berlin; teacher for chamber music at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin; first performances of his symphonic works
1995
Prize winner at the international competition "Young Concert Artists" in New York; moves to New York
2001
First performance of the oratorio "Nâzım", a work commissioned by the Turkish Ministry of Cultural Affairs
2002
Moves to Istanbul
seit 2003
Exclusive contract with the French label naïve
2003
Artist in residence at Radio France (again in 2005)
2005
Artist in Residence beim Musikfest Bremen
seit 2006
General contract with Schott Music
2006-2010
Exclusive artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund
2007
President of the jury at the Montreux Jazz Festival (again in 2008)
2008
Fazıl Say Festival in Tokyo
2010
Portrait series at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. First performance of the "Trumpet Concerto" (Gábor Boldoczki, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Lothar Zagrosek)
2010-2011
Artist in residence at the Konzerthaus Berlin
2011
Plattino-Preis from the association "Türkisch-Deutsche Studierenden und Akademiker Plattform" e.V., shares prize with Feridun Zaimoğlu
2012
World premieres of the Symphonies Nos. 2 "Mesopotamia Symphony" and 3 "Universe"
2012-2013
Artist in residence with the hr-Sinfonieorchester
2013
Honorary prize at Zelt-Musik-Festival in Freiburg
2013-2014
Composer in residence at the Konzerthaus Wien
2014
Artist in residence at the Bodenseefestival
2016
International Beethoven Award for Human Rights, Peace, Freedom, Poverty Reduction, and Inclusion
Performances
Conductor: Yip Wing-sie
Orchestra: Hong Kong Sinfonietta
2017-07-29 | Menton (France), Parvis de la Basilique Saint Michel Archange — 21:30
2017-08-08 | Salzburg (Austria), Stiftung Mozarteum, Großer Saal
2017-09-05 | Liestal (Switzerland), Stadtkirche
2017-09-06 | Delémont (France), Forum St. Georges
2017-09-30 | Vaals (Netherlands), Kopermolen
2017-10-01 | Vaals (Netherlands), Kopermolen
2017-10-02 | Bad Urach (Germany), Schlossmühle
2017-10-14 | Cēsis (Latvia), Vidzemes koncertzale
2017-10-23 | Pamplona (Spain)
Conductor: Fazıl Say
Orchestra: Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
2017-11-03 | Berlin (Germany), Komische Oper
Orchestra: Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
2017-11-03 | Berlin (Germany), Komische Oper
Conductor: Simon Gaudenz
Orchestra: Jenaer Philharmonie
2017-11-09 | Jena (Germany), Volkshaus — 20:00
2017-12-06 | Schwiessel (Germany), Schloss — Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 2017
2018-02-21 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Ibrahim Yazici
Orchestra: Staatsorchester Braunschweig
2018-02-25 | Braunschweig (Germany), Stadthalle
Conductor: Ibrahim Yazici
Orchestra: Staatsorchester Braunschweig
2018-02-26 | Braunschweig (Germany), Stadthalle
2018-05-03 | Kaiserslautern (Germany), Fruchthalle
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-14 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-15 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-16 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Huppert
Orchestra: Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin
2018-05-16 | Schwerin (Germany), Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater — Jugendkonzert
Conductor: Josep Caballé Domenech
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-06-22 | Nürnberg (Germany), Meistersingerhalle — 20:00
Conductor: Josep Caballé Domenech
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-06-24 | Heidenheim (Germany), Festspielhaus Congress Centrum — 20:00
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