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Opening Concert
Friday, June 2, 2023 ● AASSM Great Hall ● 21.00

Oguzhan Balci, conductor
Violin Concerto
Misterioso – Serioso p.1/Variazioni con Tema. Adagio p.47/Allegro agitato p.61/
Soloist: Can Özhan
Violin Concerto
Soloist: Özgecan Günöz
Gürer Aykal, conductor
Members (surname alphabetically)
Pelin Halkacı Akın, violinist • Cihat Aşkın, violinist
Turgay Erdener, composer • Rengim Gökmen, conductor
Hasan Uçarsu, composer • Serdar Yalçın, composer, conductor
Contest General Secretary
Serdar Ongurlar, dramaturg


Izmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education (IKSEV) is honoured to conclude the twelfth competition of the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest, entitled “a new call from Izmir to Turkey”. Happily for Izmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education, with these finals we will have left behind 27 years since 1996... It should be noted immediately that our initial excitement has never waned and even continues to increase with each passing year. Considering that many of our composers gained experience by winning prizes in this contest in the past years and are now in their maturity as composers whose works we listen to today with pleasure, it can be said that this contest, initiated by IKSEV has achieved its goal, bringing new works to our polyphonic music, encouraging and supporting our young composers and providing them with new opportunities. Not just a few, but nearly one hundred works have participated in our composition contests to date. Composing such a number of works, which are easy to say, but difficult to create, has made the “Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest” one of the important sources of life in our music. The jury members, all valued and notable names in our country’s music world, have supported IKSEV's efforts in line with this purpose with increasing momentum, carefully analysing the presented works, and adding important content and dimension to our contest. On the other hand, this contest was not only an activity in line with the founding purpose of the Izmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education, but also one of the most important ideals of our esteemed president, the late Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı. It can be recalled that the “10th Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest” was opened in the Piano Concerto genre, and the “11th Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest” for Cello Concertos. Since both contests attracted more interest than expected, we decided to continue with the genre of concerto, and this time, we opted for the Violin Concerto, inviting works in this genre. From the works nominated for the “12th Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest”, - results to be announced tonight, - the Jury has found two works suitable to be performed at the Contest concert. These are violin concertos composed by Hasan Niyazi Tura and Arda İşkol. These two composers have qualified for the final, and the winner will be determined after the concert by evaluation from the Jury, Orchestra and Audience. As Izmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education, it is our greatest wish that these works will be appreciated nationally and reach a universal dimension. The gradually increasing number of composers of the “Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest” are the voices and hopes of tomorrow.
Born in 1982 in Istanbul. From an early age, he started to study composition, harmony and counterpoint with his father Prof. Yalçın Tura. He was seven years old when he started his violin education with Prof. Gönül Gökdoğan. He continued his studies with Prof. Nuri İyicil and studied composition privately with Prof. Hasan Uçarsu at Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory, where he graduated in 2003. In 2004, he won the first prize in the category of “Large Scale Symphonic Works” with his “1st Symphony” in the National Composition Competition organised by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He continued his studies on violin mastery with Prof. Cihat Aşkın and performed the first performance of Cemal Reşid Rey's “Violin Concerto” in 2006. In 2007, he composed the “Martyrs Oratorio” based on the text prepared by the deceased General Aytaç Yalman. After completing his master's degree in the field of orchestral conducting, which he initially started to study with Prof. Gürer Aykal, with Prof. Rengim Gökmen at Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory in 2010, he performed as a conductor at many domestic orchestras such as the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Ankara State Opera and Ballet, Samsun State Opera and Ballet, Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Eskisehir Metropolitan Municipality Symphony Orchestra, Mugla Metropolitan Municipality Symphony Orchestra, CRR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Akademik Baskent, Karsiyaka Chamber Orchestra and Dogus Children’s Symphony Orchestra as well as international orchestras such as the Sliven Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), the Karaganda Symphony Orchestra (Kazakhstan) and the Central Saxony Philharmonic Orchestra. Composed in 2012 and first performed in Qatar in the same year, his “Clarinet Concerto” was performed by various soloists in Turkey and abroad. Composed by the artist in 2013, “Aspendos: The Love of Centuries” ballet was staged with the choreography of Nugzar Magalashvili at the 20th International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival in the same year. The symphonic poem “Song of the Martyr” (Şehidin Türküsü), which he composed on commission from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, was performed at the opening of the 43rd Istanbul Music Festival (2015). He performed as soloist in the first performance of the violin concerto “Konçertango” in Germany. Awarded “Composer of the Year” by “Andante” magazine at the 2016 Donizetti Classical Music Awards, Tura also won the second prize in the “4th Polyphonic Choral Works Composition Competition” with his polyphonic choral work titled “They” in 2020, and the first prize in the “6th ADK-DER Composition Competition” with his work titled “Horondo Capriccioso”. Working as the Assistant Conductor since the establishment of Doğuş Children's Symphony Orchestra, a social responsibility project initiated by Doğuş Group in 2006, Tura has been serving as the 1st Deputy Conductor of the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra since 2021.
ARDA İŞKOL, composer. 
Born on 7th June 1998 in Mersin,  İşkol entered Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory Violin Department in 2009. During the seven years of his education, he participated in various masterclasses and gave concerts in Turkey and Europe ., playing with orchestras, different instrumental groups and as a solo violinist. In 2016, he decided to continue his undergraduate education in Composition. He first studied with Burhan Önder and then Turgay Erdener, and had the opportunity to attend masterclasses and interviews with composers such as Hasan Uçarsu, Emre Sihan Kaleli, Tolga Yayalar, Yiğit Aydın and Onur Türkmen. In the winter semester of 2019/20, he went to Germany under the Erasmus programme and continued his studies at Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe. During his time there, he had the opportunity to work with names such as Wolfgang Rihm and Markus Hechtle. He also won first prize in a song contest organised to celebrate the 250th birthday of the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin. After his Erasmus term, he continued his composition studies with Xatıra Ahmedli Cafer and graduated from Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory Composition Department with a Bachelor's degree in the summer of 2021 as the firstone for this department. Awarded first prize in the final of the “Kadikoy Municipality Süreyya Opera National Composition Contest 2021”, İşkol also received an honourable mention in the “Children's Pieces Piano Composition Contest” organised by BESOM. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Composition at the same university with Xatıra Ahmedli Cafer
OĞUZHAN BALCI, conductor. 
Born in 1977 in Istanbul, he. started his music training at the age of six in TRT Istanbul Children's Choir with Prof. Cenan Akın. Afterwards, he served as a chorister in the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Youth Choir. In 1988, he continued with his violin studies for six years under the supervision of Prof. Ayhan Turan in the “Accelerated Violin Studies Department” at I.T.U Turkish Music State Conservatory. In 1994, he entered the Composition Department of the same university. Balcı studied harmony, conducting and Turkish music analysis with such esteemed teachers as Demirhan Altuğ, Yavuz Özüstün and Nail Yavuzoğlu, graduating from Prof. Emin Sabitoğ̆lu's composition class in 1999 with distinction. In 2000, he started his master studies at I.T.U. Dr. Erol Üçer Centre for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM). After  studying composition and music theory, he completed his master's degree and Proficiency in Art studies under the supervision of Mutlu Torun in the Turkish Music programme at Halic University. Since 1994, Oğuzhan Balcı has been working as a violinist and guest conductor in many orchestras in Turkey and abroad. His compositions and arrangements are performed by various orchestras and soloists in Turkey and many other countries. The composer, who has also composed music for some cinema films, documentaries and commercials, has been teaching composition and orchestration at the Composition Department of I.T.U. Turkish Music State Conservatory since 2000. Balcı, who was the conductor of Bursa Regional State Symphony Orchestra for 2 years in 2014-2016, is the founder and permanent conductor of Orkestra Istanbul. He is currently the Head of the Composition Department of I.T.U Turkish Music State Conservatory, where he works as a lecturer.
CAN ÖZHAN, violin 
Born in 1990 in Antalya, Can Özhan started his musical journey with piano lessons at the age of four. At the age of eleven, he qualified for the exam organized by Akdeniz University State Conservatory and started his violin education. As a result of his development on this instrument in a short time, he gave his first recital at the age of twelve and his first solo concert with the orchestra at the age of thirteen. Between 2006 and 2009, he took part in the establishment of Doğuş Children's Symphony Orchestra, and between 2007 and 2010 he participated in many important concerts and festivals in Turkey and abroad with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, he became one of the fourteen young musicians who won the Pekinel brothers' "Young Musicians on World Stages" project. He took on the founding duties of the Mediterranean Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonic Antalya Orchestra, and performed concerts as both concertmaster and solo violinist with them. Between 2006 and 2011, he continued his violin studies with Orhan Ahıskal and graduated as the first from his department. In the years 2004 to 2005, he won first prize in a contest held in Serbia and the “Best Performance Award” in Rome, Italy. In 2015, he won first prize in the contest organised by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra. Throughout his education, he performed in over fifty chamber music and more than thirty solo recitals. He has worked with such leading violin professors as Ilya Grubert, Ali Rahbari, Maxim Vengerov, Shlomo Mintz, Özcan Ulucan, Cihat Aşkın and Sergey Kravçenko. He has given many concerts as solo violinist with the Antalya State Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Ankara Chamber Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Mediterranean Chamber Orchestra, Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra, Milli Re Chamber Orchestra, Mugla Municipality Symphony Orchestra, Karsiyaka Chamber Orchestra, and Mersin Chamber Orchestra. Can Özhan joined Cihat Aşkın's “Aşkın Ensemble” project in 2016 and became the president of the CAGA Cihat Aşkın Youth Workshop founded by the artist, and has conducted masterclasses in various institutions. In 2017, he shared the stage with Roby Lakatos and Shlomo Mintz at the “Violins of the World” Festival. In the same year, he also gave chamber music concerts for Bilkent International Chamber Music Days. Completed his master's degree studies at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with Prof. Pelin Halkacı Akın, in 2021, as part of the project conducted by conductor Hakan Şensoy, he performed Vivaldi's “Four Seasons” with violins designed by Ecevit Tunalı for this work. Özhan taught violin and chamber music at Akdeniz University State Conservatory between 2011 and 2022. On 15 June 2022, he made a breakthrough by launching the International Boutique Conservatory Project Education System and has achieved significant success in a short time. Breaking new ground in violin studies with his own innovative methods, Özhan trains violin students at soloist level and helps them participate in domestic and international concerts and win various awards in national and international contests. He is also the founder of CAMERATALIA, which was launched in 2021. Can Özhan continues his professional music studies as a permanent member of the Boutique Conservatory Education Project, Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra and Milli Re Chamber Orchestra.
Ozgecan Gunoz was born in Izmir in 1986. She started her violin studies at the age of 9 at Hacettepe University with Prof. Cengiz Ozkok and Prof. Reyyan Yucelen Basaran. In 2000, she was awarded First Prize from the Aegean Region in the Lions Violin Competition and the Jury’s Special Prize for Turkey. Then in 2004, she won Third Prize at the Yamaha String Competition. She has participated in the Bremen International Youth Orchestra and Anadolu Youth Orchestra several times, and also attended master classes given by Walentyny Jakubowskiej, Igor Oistrakh, Gerhard Schulz, Jerrold Rubenstein, Joshua Epstein, Günter Pichler, Rohan Gregory, Elise Kuder, Troy Stuart, Kate Vincent and Miranda Dale. She continued her violin studies with Kartal Akinci and skipped a year at the university, graduating from Dokuz Eylul University in 2005. In the same year, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Apple Hill Chamber Music masterclass in the USA. In 2006, she studied with David Salness at the University of Maryland for one year, returning to Turkey to finish her master’s degree with Venyamin Warshavsky at Istanbul University in 2010. She has given many recitals, performed in chamber music concerts and also as a soloist - with Athens State Orchestra/Greece, Shumen State Symphony Orchestra/Bulgaria, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra, Bursa Regional State Symphony Orchestra, Samsun State Opera and Ballet Orchestra, KKTC CSO, Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, Eskisehir Municipality Symphony Orchestra, Milli Reasurans Chamber Orchestra, Karsiyaka Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Academic Baskent, Mersin University Academic Chamber Orchestra, Orkestra’Sion, Dokuz Eylul University Symphony Orchestra, Ankara Youth Orchestra and Bodrum Chamber Orchestra. Between 2007 and 2011, she worked with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara. Since 2011, she has been working with the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and has been their concertmaster for the last 7 years. She has also been a member of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. As a chamber musician, she gives many chamber music concerts with the Bosphorus Trio comprising highly acclaimed musicians Caglayan Cetin, cello, and Ozgur Unaldi, piano
The İzmir State Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1975 as a chamber ensemble. With the suggestion of Mehmet Özel the General Director of Fine Arts of that period and approval from Nermin Neftçi the Minister of Culture, violinist Tuncer Olcay was appointed as the founding director. Due to the efforts of previous general music directors and managers, the orchestra has shown remarkable growth and development in a very short time and has become the symphonic orchestra that it is today - one of the biggest art institutions in the country with 100 staff and outstanding achievements in the polyphonic music field, bringing it on a level with art institutions from developed countries. İzmir State Symphony Orchestra has been working on the introduction, encouragement, development and popularization of polyphonic music culture since 1975. The orchestra has also undertaken the important mission of introducing polyphonic music to villages, towns, and cities in Anatolia through concerts and international festivals. By organizing such educational concerts for children since 1990, it has made great strides in creating future art lovers and artists, and also influencing public opinion on art. The orchestra also organizes public concerts on special days such as National Holidays. İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, as an important art institution of the Republic, has achieved significant success by representing the modern Republic of Turkey with international tours and concerts in South Korea, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Malaysia and Japan and taking charge of important international festivals… With a CD recording made in Tokyo in 2000 on the Japan/Malesia tour of 32 days and 22 concerts, the orchestra was awarded with “The Best Record Award” and honored with a “Testimonial” by Japan Record Awards Resolution Committee. In 2001, for the first time the orchestra gave a concert consisting entirely of works of Contemporary Turkish Composers and made a CD recording on a tour of Germany within the scope of the İzmir-Bremen Sister Cities relationship, with their conductor Prof. Rengim Gökmen.
HASAN NIYAZI TURA, Violin Konçerto
Misterioso – Serioso p.1/Variazioni con Tema. Adagio p.47/Allegro agitato p.61/
This concerto was composed in the last days of December 2022 for “12th Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest” organised by IKSEV. The composer's long career as a violin soloist formed the basis for this concerto in terms of accumulation and reflection. In terms of style and expression, the concerto bears similarities with the Cello Concerto, which the composer composed two years earlier and which has recently been performed for the first time. The first movement, which begins with a heavy prelude, is in sonata-allegro form, in which two opposing ideas are presented and treated. The technical and lyrical possibilities of the violin are performed in a dialogue with the orchestra. The second movement, “Variazoni con Tema”, was composed in the form of a theme and variations set upon an Aegean folk song (Ötme de Keklik), and in order to enhance the effect of the song, the presentation of the theme is left until after six variations, full of abstract associations, in which the kernels of the original melody are treated. The last movement has a lively and playful character, reminiscent of the lively Italian dance “Saltarella”. The work closes with an ambience mutually ascended by the soloist and the orchestra.
ARDA İŞKOL, “Violin Concerto” 
This concerto, which was composed within the scope of the “12th Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı National Composition Contest” organised by IKSEV, consists of three movements. Each movement has its own character within its formal structure. The first movement is composed in the form of a classical sonata-allegro form, and the length of all the divisions that make up the form is decided by calculations of the golden ratio. This movement begins slowly and steadily, but after the development section and the cadenza for solo violin, the excitement gradually increases and ends with an energetic coda. The second movement is structured in the form of a passacaglia. Passacaglia, a variation form, is traditionally set in triple time, and this movement was written without deviating from the tradition. The five-measure passacaglia theme, which is initially introduced by the double basses, is continuously developed by changing places in the orchestra. The various tonal and maqam timbres aim to give the movement a colourful character. The last movement is also in sonata-allegro form, but the divisions within the form are arranged symmetrically this time. In other words, the prelude, which lasts for twenty bars, determines that the coda section will also last for twenty bars. Unlike the other movements, this movement, which is fast, energetic and in a syncopated structure, contains inspirations from the music and dance traditions of our country.

Opening Concert DR. NEJAT F. ECZACIBAŞI NATIONAL COMPOSITION CONTEST CONCERT - Program - Izmir Festival | İKSEV - İzmir Foundation For Culture Arts And Education