Fazil Say, born on January 14, 1970 in Ankara, is a world-renowned composer and classical music pianist. His mother is Gürgün Say and his father is Ahmet Say. When his pharmacist mother Gürgün Say and his writer-musicologist father Ahmet Say separated, Fazıl Say lived with his father. Say, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, had an operation in his infancy and his cleft lip was sutured. He started playing the melodica upon the recommendation of his doctor to play a wind instrument.
FAZIL SAY’S ART CAREER
At the age of three, she did rhythmic gymnastics and hearing exercises with Ali Kemal Kaya. For the next eight years, he took piano lessons from Mithat Fenmen. Entering Ankara State Conservatory for piano and composition education, Say took piano lessons from Kamuran Gündemir and composition lessons from İlhan Baran. Fazıl Say composed his first work – a piano sonata – in 1984, at the age of fourteen, while he was a student at the conservatory in his hometown of Ankara. During the conservatory period, he received training on harmony, counterpoint, form knowledge, analysis, instrumentation, orchestration, ancient modes, modal and rhythmic systems of Turkish Music, and jazz harmony. He also took lessons from Ertuğrul Oğuz Fırat for three years to study contemporary music styles. At the age of 17, he entered the “Robert Schumann Institute” in Düsseldorf with a DAAD scholarship. There he became a student of David Levine. Between 1992 and 1995, he continued his studies at the Berlin Conservatory.
He made a quick start to his career with the “Young Concert Artists International Auditions” competition, which he won as the world champion in 1994. He received awards from organizations such as Radio France Beracasa Foundation, Paul A. Fish Foundation, Boston Metamorphos Orchestra, M. Clairmont Foundation and began to pursue his career in New York.
He has worked with world-renowned orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and has performed at many important festivals. It met with the audience for the first time at the “Salzburg Festival” in the 2003 – 2004 season, the “Lincoln Center Festival” in New York, the “Harrod’s Piano Series” in London and the “World Piano Series” in Tokyo. Among the musicians who accompanied Say at these concerts were Yuri Bashmet and Shlomo Mintz.
In 2004, he toured Europe and America with Maxim Vengerov. He performed at “Carnegie Hall”, “The Vienna Musikverein”, “The Amsterdam Concertgebouw”, The Barbican Center” and “Salzburg Festival”.
With her passion for jazz music and improvisation, she met with ney player Kudsi Ergüner in 2000. With their jazz quartet, St. Denis gave successful concerts in Paris, Montpellier, Montreux Jazz Festival, Juan-les-Pins Festival and Istanbul Jazz Festival.
He premiered the “Reflections” concerto with the “Berlin Symphony Orchestra” in 1991 and performed the first performance of his second piano concerto, “Silk Road”, in Boston in 1996. He performed the first performance of the “Nâzım” oratorio he wrote for Nazım Hikmet in 2001, in Ankara. In 2003, he performed the oratorio “A Lament for Metin Altiok” in front of an audience of 5000 people at the Istanbul Festival. He made piano adaptations of important works by Mozart and Paganini and gave a concert in Vienna in February 2006 with these adaptations. In May 2005, he made the soundtrack to Swiss director Hans Ulrich Schlumpf’s movie “Ultima Thule”.
ANNOUNCED CULTURAL AMBASSADOR BY THE EUROPEAN UNION
Say reflected his interest in poetry and literature into his art. The albums İlk Şarkılar (2013) and New Songs were a product of this interest. Serenad Bağcan took part in the albums as a soloist and the duo gave concerts both in Turkey and in many countries. In 2015, the artist established the Nazım Hikmet Choir and assumed the general music directorship. The choir gave its first concert on August 29, 2015, and performed the composer’s Nazım Hikmet Oratorio in this concert held at the Bilkent Odeon Concert Hall in Ankara. In 2008, he was appointed by the European Union with the title of “Cultural Ambassador”.
FAZIL SAY AWARDED AWARDS
European Union Piano Competition, 1991
Young Concert Soloists Competition European First Place, 1994
Young Concert Soloists Competition World First Place, 1995
Radio France/Beracasa Foundation Award, 1995
Paul A. Fish Foundation Award, 1995
Boston Metamorphocene Orchestra Soloist Award, 1995
Maurice Clairmont Foundation Award, 1995
Telerama Award, 1998, 2001
RTL Television Award, 1998
Le Monde de la Musique Award, 2000
Diapason d’Or (Golden Record) Award, 2000
Classica Award, 2000
Le Monde Award, 2000
Austrian Radio-TV Award, 2001
Deutsche Phono Akademie ECHO Award, 2001
Source: https://www.bolgegundem.com/ Photo: https://www.sozcu.com.tr/