Since its founding in 2007, the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey has considered itself a “laboratory of democracy”, focusing not only on intensive musical work, but also on the principles of coexistence, leadership, self-respect and responsibility. Workshops and seminars play an important role in imparting these goals – thus also in 2014, when the orchestra visited the banks of the River Spree on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the city partnership between Istanbul and Berlin. Apart from its own appearances at Young Euro Classic – most recently in 2015 – two binational projects also found a broad resonance: the Young Euro Classic Festival Orchestra Turkey-Germany in 2011 and the Armenian-Turkish Youth Orchestra in 2012. During recent years, the musicians aged 16 to 22 have appeared successfully at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, at the Auditorio in Rome, in Brussels, at the Brucknerfest in Linz and the Beethovenfest in Bonn. In 2013 the orchestra played during the festivities for the 400-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey in Amsterdam and Den Haag, in the presence of Queen Beatrix.
The personal and artistic biography of Cem Mansur could hardly be more cosmopolitan: the British and Turkish citizen was born in Istanbul in 1957 into a multi-national and multi-lingual family. He studied first in London and then with Leonard Bernstein at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. As the conductor of the Istanbul State Opera from 1981 to 1989 he acquired an impressive opera repertoire. The successful performance of Edward Elgar’s unfinished opera The Spanish Lady in London in 1986 was followed by internationally renowned orchestras and opera houses in Europe and the USA as well as Israel and South Africa. In 2009 Mansur conducted the European premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Symphony No. 4 in Helsinki, followed by the world premiere of his composition Veni Creator in Poland in 2010. As chief conductor of the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey he has conducted guest appearances at Young Euro Classic and led several bi-national projects, including the Young Euro Classic Festival Orchestra Turkey-Germany and the Armenian-Turkish Youth Orchestra. From 1998 to 2011 he was also chief conductor and artistic director of the Akbank Chamber Orchestra.
The Turkish violinist Hande Küden is a product of the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey, where she was concertmaster from 2008 to 2012. She was born in Adana, Turkey, in 1992 and studied first at the State Conservatory of the University of Cukurova before taking up studies with Stephan Picard at the Music Academy “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin. Hande Küden won several prizes and scholarships in Turkey and in Berlin; her first performances as a soloist also took place with Turkish orchestras in her homeland and in Germany. The Ferenc Fricsay Scholarship of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin was particularly influential for her career: the violinist has been the DSO’s second concertmaster since 2016.
"Don Juan“ Op. 20 (1888)
Concerto for Violin in D-Major Op. 35 (1878)
"Haydar Haydar“ (2015, German Premiere)
Symphonic Poem “A Sketch of the Steppes” (1880)
Symphonic Variations Op. 78 (1877)
4.15 – 5.15 pm - Public moderated rehearsal at the Main Hall – part of the series
“Democracy Lab” of the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey.
6.30 – 7.30 pm - Panel discussion: “Musical and cultural identity in times of controversy”
With Cem Mansur, the composer Sinem Altan and Dieter Rexroth at the Werner-Otto-Saal.
Free admission for ticket holders
Brilliance and passion have always been characteristics with which the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey has cast its spell on the Young Euro Classic audience. Brilliance and passion can also be expected of the programme the young Turkish musicians are bringing to Berlin this summer – their fourth visit since the orchestra’s founding in 2007. The opening with Richard Strauss’ seductive Don Juan is likely to set the tone, followed by Piotr Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, a highlight of the romantic violin repertoire in which Hande Küden, the former concertmaster of the orchestra who is one of the DSO’s concertmasters today, can show off the full breadth of her talent. The other two compositions offer wonderful atmospheric portraits: Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia and the Symphonic Variations by the Bohemian composer Antonín Dvořák. Of course a Turkish piece is a must: the Istanbul-based composer Ali Özkan Manav has arranged the extremely popular song Haydar Haydar by Ali Ekber Çiçek for modern orchestra.