Piano / *1970 Ankara
Whether he is performing as a Mozart soloist or interpreting his own compositions, a concert with Fazıl Say will always go straight to the heart. In the 2022/23 season you will have the opportunity to experience him as a Focus Artist (Fokus-Künstler).
Fazıl Say is one of the most sought-after classical pianists of our time. There is scarcely a renowned concert hall in Europe in which he has not yet performed. The multi-award-winning musician interprets works ranging from Bach to Gershwin as well as his own compositions with an incomparable stage presence. However, his own heart does not belong solely to classical music. As a composer, he combines classical ideas with jazz and Turkish folk songs.
Discovered in Ankara
Born in Ankara in 1970, Say now lives in Istanbul. He began playing the piano at the age of four and was already considered a wunderkind by the time he was 15. David Levine and Aribert Reimann became aware of him at a workshop given in his native city of Ankara. Levine subsequently became his piano teacher at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf; Say later continued his studies in Berlin. In 1994, he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. This marked the beginning of his career – initially in the United States – before he went on to achieve international fame.
Fazıl Say uses his influence to raise awareness of injustices in his homeland. In 2012, his tweets criticising Islam resulted in a court case in Turkey. He was ultimately acquitted in 2015. Say also records current social events in musical form, as in the first three of his works entitled «Gezi Park 1 to 3».
Compositional bridge building
This season, Fazıl Say can be experienced as a composer of piano and chamber music. Written for a small formation of piano and voice, his music merges traditional elements with contemporary expression. In «İlk Şarkılar» he combines traditional movement models with sounds derived from folk and post-romantic music. He sets poems taken from Turkish literature to music, thus establishing a new relationship between the sister arts of poetry and music. His piano piece entitled «Black Earth» is an adaptation of Anatolian folk songs. Be it with his own compositions or his thrilling interpretations, Fazıl Say presents himself as an exceptional artist whose concerts are always guaranteed to be multi-faceted and exciting.