Jillian McGahan Staff Writer
On Friday, Feb. 28, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra performed on campus at the Fine Arts Instructional Center. The performance was titled “Turkish Delight,” a classical concert that started at 7:30 p.m. and ended around 9:30 p.m.
“Turkish Delight” was composed of pieces by Tuzun, Mozart, and Beethoven, performed in tribute to the Turkey soldiers who were killed in strikes in Syria. Tuzun, one of the most prominent Turkish composers of the past century, began the performance with “Esintiler” (Inspirations), a piece that merges the tradition of Western music with Turkish classical music and folk song.
Tuzun was followed by Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major,” featuring special guests, Bulent Evcil and Cagatay Akyol. Finishing the concert was Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op.
92.” It was originally performed in a benefit concert for Austrian and Bavarian soldiers who were wounded in battle at Hannau by Napoleon’s invading army.
In honor of the fallen Turkish soldiers, there was a moment of silence before the performance of Mozart’s piece. For the occasion, two Turkish performers, Evcil, the flutist, and Akyol, the harpist, joined the Orchestra on stage as the principal performers for Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major.”
Evcil is the winner of the Royal Belguim Encouragement Medal of Art, and started his flute training at the State Conservatoire of Mimar Sinan University where he graduated with the highest distinction in 1988. Akyol began studying the harp at the age of 10 at Ankara State Conservatory and started performing with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra (PSO) as a solo harpist at the age of 19.
The entire audience was filled with melancholy and appreciation for the two performers. Against proper etiquette where you are supposed to only clap at the end of the entire piece, the audience clapped after each movement. A show of their immense respect for the two performers, and for the rising conflicts between Syria and Turkey.
“Turkish Delight” was a brilliant and beautiful performance led by Music Director and Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada. The concert was as delightful as the name implied, with tasteful music full of life, power, and serenity. Leaving you with wanting more and more, much like a sweet and rich dessert. I certainly would like another “Turkish Delight.”