On Saturday, February 29, the Bilkent Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert titled “Hoca Bey’e Saygı.” This will be the second meeting between the BYSO and the music-loving public this season, after a very successful Halloween concert on October 31.
Bilkent’s promising young musicians are ready to mesmerize the audience once more by interpreting pieces from both the classical and romantic repertories. The concert’s program consists of Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 (“Haffner”), Beethoven’s “Leonore” Overture No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, featuring the talented young cellist Arda Büyükgüral as soloist.
A Multi-Objective Concert
This concert is one of 14 included in the fifth season of the “Bilkent Music Days” series of performances. As indicated in the title of the concert – which can be translated as “A Tribute to Hoca Bey” – it is also one of the Bilkent music community’s contributions to the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the passing of Bilkent University’s founder, Prof. İhsan Doğramacı (referred to at Bilkent, with respect and affection, as Hoca Bey). The BYSO will be joined by guest musicians from Hacettepe University – another university founded by Prof. Doğramacı – and the Ankara State Conservatory to present a program befitting the occasion.
Young Fingers, Experienced Teachers
For this concert, the BYSO will be playing under the baton of maestro Işın Metin.
Asst. Prof. Metin, a PhD graduate in composition and conducting from the Bilkent Department of Music, served as artistic director of the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2014. Currently a member of the department’s academic staff, he has conducted orchestras in a number of countries.
Known for his original interpretations and artistic sense, he makes use of his experience and academic background as he coaches the musicians of the future in both playing and conducting.
A Soloist From the Orchestra
Arda Büyükgüral, a member of the BYSO cello section and the soloist for the Tchaikovsky work, is a 10th-grade student in the Bilkent Music Preparatory School. He studies cello with Prof. Verda Çavuşoğlu, and has participated in master classes led by internationally known cellists such as Kian Soltani, Pablo Ferrández and István Várdai. The young virtuoso has attained first place in cello performance and also composition in a number of competitions.
An Orchestra for Learning
The BYSO has been among the leading youth ensembles in Turkey since its inception in 1994. It has performed in numerous concerts in Turkey and abroad, and has been invited to music festivals in such places as Murcia, Spain, and Kassel, Germany, as well as the Beethovenfest in Bonn.
Participation in the BYSO is essentially a mandatory course for students in Bilkent’s music preparatory school as well as for university undergraduate music students. The course is intended to provide training in ensemble playing as well as interpretation for young musicians who are likely to play in orchestras or other ensembles in their future professional careers.
The course also serves as a lab for master’s students majoring in conducting, giving them an opportunity to lead both rehearsals and concerts of a symphony orchestra under the mentorship of Dr. Metin.
In addition, the BYSO has started reaching out to students who are not music majors through its “Come Play With Us” initiative. Beginning last year, the orchestra opened its membership to Bilkent students from all departments who are interested in playing classical music, with the aim of furthering multidisciplinary education at the university.
A Varied Concert Program
The February 29 program was chosen carefully to fulfill multiple objectives: first, to commemorate Prof. Doğramacı, but also to ensure the achievement of the educational goals of the course, and at the same time to entertain the members of the audience, no matter how long (or short) their experience with classical music.
Beethoven’s “Leonore” Overture No. 3 evokes the spirit of heroism. The orchestra will interpret the piece with reference to the heroic endeavors of İhsan Doğramacı, whose decisions led to many remarkable outcomes, one of them being our own university.
Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony is a short symphony, selected to serve as a window to the beauty of classical music for the young musicians. Its simplicity and joyful spirit also makes it easily accessible to the audience.
Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme was chosen for the program by the young soloist who will perform it. This will give him an opportunity to perform this challenging piece in a concert hall full of listeners, accompanied by a professionally led orchestra – an important and instructive experience for a student musician.
A note to readers: Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy good quality music and support the talented young musicians at our university. Tickets are available at bilet.bilkent.edu.tr.