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Say Fazıl, piano
Fazıl Say, pianist, was born in Turkey. In 1994 he was the winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, which gave a rapid start to his international career. Today he is a regular guest with the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France and all other leading orchestras across the globe. He has appeared in major festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Montpellier Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Beethoven Festival Bonn, and in all the world’s leading concert halls. Say’s passion for jazz and improvisation led him to found a Worldjazz quartet with the Turkish ney virtuoso Kudsi Ergüner. Fazıl Say is just as much a composer as he is a pianist. He wrote the work Black Hymns at the age of sixteen and in 1991 he premiered his Concerto for Piano and Violin with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. In 1996 his second piano concerto Silk Road was given its first performance in Boston. His oratorio Nazim, based on poems by the famous Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet and commissioned by the Turkish Ministry of Culture, was premiered in Ankara in 2001. In February 2008, his violin concerto 1001 Nights in the Harem was premiered in Lucerne by Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the Lucerne Symphony under John Axelrod. Fazıl Say’s recordings include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and I Got Rhythm Variations with the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur, a Bach recital, and Stravinsky’s own arrangement of Le Sacre du Printemps for four hands (in which Say plays both parts).