Prelude to Autumn: BSO's "Carmina Burana" Offers a Foretaste of the 2012-13 Concert Season

Last Thursday, the Bilkent Odeon provided a wonderful outdoor setting for an end-of-summer concert by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra under the baton of artistic director Işın Metin, with a program consisting of Carl Orff's perennially popular masterpiece "Carmina Burana." The concert also featured the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ankara State Polyphonic Chorus with chorusmaster Cemi'i Can Deliorman and soloists Claudia Boyle (soprano), Erdem Erdoğan (tenor) and Christopher Magiera (baritone). At the end of the performance, the 2,000 members of the audience gave the musicians a standing ovation, after which the BSO played an encore.

The Bilkent Symphony Orchestra will begin its 2012-13 concert season on Saturday, October 6, with another performance conducted by its artistic director. For the concert, the BSO will joined by soloist Anna Vinnitskaya on piano. The program will include Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor.

The 2012-13 concert season has been announced on the BSO website, to learn more about BSO and the concert season, please visit Tickets may be obtained online at or at the Bilkent Concert Hall box office (ext. 1775).

Noted Turkologist Lectures at Bilkent

Photograph by Can Aran and Kaan Ünlü (CS/IV)

On September 20, Prof. Robert Dankoff gave a lecture in Turkish on the subject "Turbans and Ottomans" (Sarıklar ve Osmanlılar).

A professor emeritus of Turkology at the University of Chicago, he has given lectures and taught classes at Bilkent University in recent years. Yesterday's lecture, arranged by Bilkent's Center for Turkish Literature, was widely attended by students and teachers of the Turkish Literature and History departments of Bilkent University and other universities in Ankara.

Prof. Semih Tezcan, acting chair of the Department of Turkish Literature, introduced Prof. Dankoff, noting that he is not only one of the most important Turkish philologists of our day but also an important cultural historian.

The speaker explained the significance of the turban (and other headgear) in Islamic civilization, especially in the Ottoman period, referring to various literary and historical texts. At the same time he showed more than thirty illustrations, mainly drawn from Persian and Turkish miniatures, but also from the works of European artists. One conclusion that Prof. Dankoff drew from these textual and visual sources was that in Islam the turban came to be seen as an emblem of dignity. In the Ottoman period, the mature, sober, autonomous and self-contained Muslim man is always depicted with his turban intact. Those who fall short of this ideal -- children, captives, drunkards, madmen, etc. -- are depicted bareheaded or with their turbans (or other headgear) askew. After the lecture, Prof. Dankoff responded to questions from the attentive and interested audience.

Bilkent PhD Student Receives SPIE Award

Talha Erdem, a Bilkent PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, has received a 2012 SPIE scholarship award in optics and photonics. His PhD thesis is on "Novel Light-Emitting Devices of Semiconductor Quantum Dots and Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles. Talha is supervised by Assoc. Prof. Hilmi Volkan Demir (EEE, PHYS and UNAM).

SPIE (the International Society for Optics and Photonics), with 225,600 members in approximately 150 countries, aims to advance scientific research in the fields of optics and photonics. During the process of awarding scholarships, SPIE evaluates a large number of applicants from countries around the world. This award recognizes the potential long-range contribution of the awardee's research work to the fields of optics and photonics.

TDP: Contributing to Community Improvement Since 1999


Last week on September 18, the Social Awareness Projects (TDP/Toplumsal Duyarlılık Projeleri) student organization held its first meeting of the semester, welcoming new members and introducing them to the group's ongoing volunteer projects.

In line with its motto "What about being part of the solution, not the problem?", TDP is continuing to conduct community service activities, as it has for over a decade. After the Marmara earthquake in 1999, TDP was founded to provide a framework for providing help to victims of the quake. Later, TDP started its first ongoing project, the "Voluntary Teaching Project" (Gönüllü Eğitim Projesi), in order to help educate children from less fortunate parts of Ankara. The 2012-2013 academic year marks the 14th year in which TDP has been contributing to community improvement.

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