Previous - 2+2 A Cross-Cultural Marriage

İstanbul straddles the border of Europe and Asia and for thousands of years has been a melting pot of cultures from each side of the Bosphorus. While it may be surprising to some, Turkey has a vibrant and rich tradition of western classical music alongside the traditional forms. Within the 2010 European Capital of Culture celebrations there was an opportunity to build on this and for İstanbul to establish itself as an important and modern centre for the creation and performance of classical music.

For their role in this celebration, Arzu and Gamze developed a partnership-concert concept whose aim was to forge links between Luxembourg, at the centre of the European project both geographically and politically, and Turkey. This collaboration showcased an international quartet of pianists drawn from both countries, and demonstrated that dialogue at the highest artistic level could broaden understanding on all cultural levels and consolidate the affinity and empathy between the contributing partners with the endorsement and funding from İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency.

The centrepiece of the project was the Turkish premiere of Wolfgang Gangkofner's Teamwork I. This piece, commissioned for the project by Arzu & Gamze, took its inspiration from İstanbul as a city of culture as well as the cultural bridge being forged with Europe. An especially created video projection by Maria Lord was woven into the performance of this piece enhancing the overall impact of the experience.

The performance took place in Aya İrini within the grounds of the Topkapı Palace, a venue which provided a true historical background for this historic event. The project was both a celebration of the individual talents of the four pianists; Arzu, Gamze, Jean Muller and Francesco Tristano, and also their empathetic synergy.


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