Two weeks ago, the Bilkent Composition program hosted one of today’s leading contemporary music ensembles. The Collegium Novum Zurich, along with world-renowned conductor Emilio Pomàrico, visited Bilkent with the support of sponsor ProHelvetia.
Almost all of the members of the ensemble have solo careers in addition to their work with the Collegium, and play a leading role in Swiss cultural life.
The marquee event of the Collegium’s visit was a performance at the Bilkent Concert Hall on Friday, March 31, under the baton of Mr. Pomàrico. The program included a quite special but rarely performed work by French composer Hugues Dufourt, “L’Asie d’après Tiepolo.” The piece asks for an enormous percussion setup, consisting of instruments from all around the world. These items had been collected by the ensemble and shipped to Ankara for the concert; most of them were being seen (and heard) in Turkey for the first time.
On the day after the concert, Bilkent composition students had a chance to work closely with the members of the ensemble. A workshop brought together eight student composers, who presented their works to be read and discussed by the guests.
Following the visits of the Neophon Ensemble from Berlin and Black Pencil from Amsterdam, Collegium Novum’s residency was the third such event organized by Bilkent Composition this year. This series of visits strengthened the claim of Bilkent’s Department of Music to be considered the leading new music institution in Turkey.