Fazil Say, Alla Turca

Portrait of the Turkish pianist

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Program notes

The Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say stands out thanks to his talent as well as his political convictions: we discover a fascinating character in this portrait.

Born in Ankara, he studied the piano at the conservatory, then honed his skills in Germany at the Schumann Institute in Düsseldorf and the Berlin Conservatory. Recognition came in 1994, when he won the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions award in New York. As a guest soloist with many orchestras, he has shared a stage with the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has composed many pieces for the orchestra as well as for the piano; he is also the author of oratorios dedicated to Turkish poets to whom he feels close, such as the poet Nazim Hikmet, and Metin Altiok, a victim of political Islamism. A keen jazz enthusiast, he founded the World Jazz quintet, with whom he performs on many stages, including at Montreux Festival.

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