Klasik Keyifler in Cappadocia, Opus 4

TODAY'S ZAMAN,  August 8, 2012

By Alexandra Ivanoff

Nestled in Cappadocia's famously extraterrestrial valleys, once occupied by Hittite civilizations, the music festival Klasik Keyifler is celebrating its fourth summer season, presenting chamber music concerts in the area, using ancient caves, castles, caravansaries, restaurants and madrasas as venues.

From July 25 to Aug. 22 in the towns of Mustafapaşa, Ürgüp, Göreme and Uçhisar, 33 professional musicians, four ensembles and 90 music students from around the world are gathering to make beautiful music together in the heart of Anatolia.

Klasik Keyifler is the brainchild of American violinist Ellen Jewett and her Turkish husband Hüsam Süleymangil, who combine their respective skills as a musician and professional tour guide in Turkey to create a vehicle for musicians to both perform and educate.

... Klasik Keyifler is jam-packed night and day with concerts, masterclasses, seminars, rehearsals, and private lessons. This year, the young performers and composers have come from the US, Colombia, England, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Germany and Uzbekistan. The professionals represent Holland, Austria, Italy, the US, Turkey, Iran and Greece.

A total of 30 concerts include themes such as "Debussy Before and After," "Ottoman Palace Music," (performed by the Anatolia Ensemble with ney, kanun, kemençe and cello), "From the Composers' Cauldron," "Travels From Prague," "Tales and Legends" and pianist Birsen Ulucan's program "Hot Chocolate," a delicious title for her talented young piano students, who got a thorough workout by playing not only solos and duos, but serving as accompanists to solo instrumentalists and a singer. Among the professionals, I heard outstanding performances in various concerts between Aug. 1 and 7 by oboist Ernest Rombout, flutist Elena Cecconi, trumpeter Cyrille van Poucke, violinists Özcan Ulucan and Jewett, clarinetist Nusret Ispir and pianist Jerfi Aji...