Concerts of the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY are going on in the Balkans

Monday, 31 July 2017

Young talents from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Bashkortostan (RF) and Tatarstan (RF) who came together and rehearsed for 10 days in Turkey have now completed half of their tour with the concert they gave in Mostar, in Bosnia Herzegovina on July 30th, 2017.


The first concerts of the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY had taken place in the cities of Skopje and Ohrid in Macedonia followed by Podgorica in Montenegro.


The concerts conducted by Maestro Anvar Akbarov (Kazakhstan) and Mustafa Mehmandarov (Azerbaijan) featured works by composers of the Turkic World as well as world classics and raised great interest among the audience in the  Balkans.


The first concert of the tour was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties among Turkic republics.


The first concert of the tour  which took place in Skopje on July 24th, 2017 was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties among Turkic republics. The concert was attended by  TURKSOY Secretary General, Ambassador Dusen Kasseinov, the  Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Skopje H. E. Tulin Erkal Kara and the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Skopje resident in Ankara H. E.  Faig Bagirov along with many guests.


The concert ended with standing ovations of the audience followed by performances of works which were not mentioned on the programme.


Mynbayev’s "Iligai" was the highlight of the concert.


This year the programme of the concert featured works by Fikret Amirov from Azerbaijan, Seitaly Medetov from Kyrgyzstan,  Rovshan Nepesov from Turkmenistan,  Azamat Hasanshin from Bashkortostan (RF),  Alsu Sungatullina from Tatarstan (RF) and  Turgay Erdener from Turkey as well as the premiere performance of "Iligai" by Birjan Mynbayev from Kazakhstan who is also playing double bass in the orchestra this year.


The Kazak artist Birjan Mınbayev who has been playing in the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY  since its establishment is participating in the tour of the orchestra this year with a work he has composed himself. His composition named “Ilıgai” was included in the programme of the orchestra upon approval of both conductors. Following the adaptation of the Turkish folk song “When Going to Uskudar” by Mustafa Mehmandarov who used to play in the orchestra and became one of its conductors this year, another member of the orchestra has now had the opportunity to perform the premiere of his own composition outside the borders of the Turkic World. Mınbayev’s composition was highly appreciated by the audience of concerts in which it was performed for the first time in Skopje, Ohrid, Podgorica and Mostar.




Artists of the Turkic World performed for the first time in the Summer Festival of Ohrid.


On their way to Ohrid for the second concert of the tour, musicians of the orchestra were full of enthusiasm. Following its performance at the 57th Summer Festival of Ohrid which is the biggest festival of performing arts of the country, the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY was extremely appreciated by the audience as well as by members of the organizing committee of the festival. For most of them, this was the first time they heard some works by composers of the Turkic World. The Art Director of the Summer Festival of Ohrid Gjorgji Cuckovski said that it will be a pleasure for them to welcome the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY in Ohrid in the future as well  and added: “The Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY is absolutely stunning, I have really appreciated listening to this orchestra composed of  young talents from different countries. I must say, I have particularly appreciated some works which I had never heard before and the performance of the orchestra was particularly dynamic and refreshing. We would be pleased to further develop our cooperation with TURKSOY and we look forward to enrichening our festival with such colourful performances by artists of TURKSOY”.


Bridges of Friendship built in Mostar Once Again


The next stop of the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY in the Balkans was Mostar in Sarajevo. Citizens of the  city of Mostar which was one of the most severely affected cities of the Balkans during the war in the recent past literally rejoiced at the melodies of friendship, peace and brotherhood  performed by the orchestra.


The concert took place at the same time as jumping competitions which are held every year at the historical bridge of Mostar which dates back to the Ottoman Empire and was restored by TIKA after the war. The event which took place within the framework of the Summer Festival of Ohrid in cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of Bosnia Herzegovina, the Consulate of the Republic of Turkey in Mostar  and the Yunus Emre Institute of Mostar raised great interest among citizens of Mostar. Once again, young talents of the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY enchanted its audience with its concert in the Summer Festival of Mostar on July 30th, 2017.


In the speech he delivered at the concert, Ambassador Kasseinoıv said: “TURKSOY assumes many important missions regarding the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Turkic World and its transmission to future generations. It is of course all the more so rejoicing to see that, while carrying out these missions, we also  build new friendships, strengthen our mutual ties and overcome our prejudices’’  and extended his gratitude to all personalities and institutions for their contribution to the realization of the concert.


The highlight of the concert which took place in the presence of the Minister of Culture of Bosnia Herzegovina Mrs. Elvira Dilberovish was the performance of TURKSOY Secretary General Dusen Kasseinov who at some point, started accompanying the young artists of the orchestra. At the end of the concert, Secretary General Kasseinov took the scene together with  the konzertmeister of the orchestra Arslan Saifi and performed Giocomo Kern’s “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”.


In the speech he delivered on stage, Mr. Kasseinov said: “I had not planned to take the scene today, this will be my first and last performance during this tour.’’  and added: “Srecko Mustagrudic who is an old friend of mine is attending our concert tonight. It is a great happiness for me to see him again as we had not met for many years. In the Turkic World, we traditionally celebrate our 70th birthday with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to congratulate my friend on his 70th birthday. So tonight, I would like to perform a song which dates back to the time when we were young to congratulate him.’’


The Tour is Going on


After concerts in Skopje, Ohrid, Podgorica and Mostar, the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY moves on to its next stops in the Balkans.


Besides the opportunity to perform in various cities of the Balkans, this tour also gives young talents of the Turkic World the opportunity to take part in cultural tours..


When asked about her impressions regarding the tour and concerts, the violinist Ilayda Zeynep Koksal from Turkey  said: “I am really very happy to be part of the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY. I have been a member of this orchestra for the last two years, and I must say this is a particularly enrichening experience for me not only in terms of my profession but also in personal terms. Indeed, traveling to foreign countries really contributes to enlarging one’s horizon. Performing together with young musicians of the same age but from different countries is a great opportunity for all of us to exchange our experiences and learn from each other.’’ 


The youngest artist of the orchestra Pelin Odabaşı who is only 17 years old said: “We are only half way through our tour, yet I must say that it has been an unforgettable experience for me. The Balkans are a region which I have always felt close to  but I had never had the opportunity to visit it. Thanks to this tour organized by TURKSOY we have met people whom we consider as our relatives, brothers and sisters and we have touched their lives with our music. This year, I will start studying at the conservatory. Having made this experience prior to my university studies as a member of the TURKSOY family is really very meaningful to me.’’

Concerts of the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY will go on in Sarajevo (Bosnia Herzegovina) and Belgrade (Serbia).