By Heidi Trautmann
When we approached the newly restored- and most beautifully and sensitively restored – Bedesten on the evening of May 29, an hour before the concert started, we encountered many music lovers who took - just like us - the opportunity to enjoy this very special atmosphere in the centre of the old city of Lefkoşa around the god houses, erected by the forefathers of Cyprus and since 1571 used as mosque or next door as Bedesten (locked bazaar) in the old days.
It was a lovely young summer evening clad in a transparent bluish purple misty breeze with the dark silhouettes of royal palm trees when we were admitted to the concert hall, many of us for the first time. Chairs had been set up around a stage in the centre, the front rows quickly taken.
Gönül Erönen, the creator of the Helping Hands project, who had organized the two music evenings “Classics at Bedesten” in aid of Cyprus Turkish Children Welfare Association, had done a fantastic job in getting this project started. Besides getting seven top artists interested in joining the event, many organisational and technical things had to be arranged for, such as providing the piano (by courtesy of Eastern Mediterranean University), setting the stage up, make the public aware of her project, have the brochure prepared and printed. I had already expressed my admiration for her sincere involvement weeks before.
The concert was opened by Ayşe Coşar, president of the Cyprus Turkish Children’s Welfare Association; at the end of the concert she most gracefully thanked the artists by presenting them a plaquette and she did not forget to thank all those involved, also the audience and media who had made this evening possible.
It was an exquisite programme with the very unusual combination of modern dance which had made me very curious when I first had heard of it. Djamel Fellouhe, a well known dancer and choreographer, had come all the way from Istanbul, and I was very impressed by the delicate way he danced his impression of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. We in the last rows got up for not to miss a single movement. He was accompanied by Fikri Toros on the piano, a businessman who is much involved in the local classical music scene. Please click the path to learn more about all artists’ CVs which were kindly prepared by Gönül Erönen, or enter my website under Cyprus art news No. 147. http://www.heiditrautmann.com/category.aspx?CID=3381546653
There was Deniz Yiğiter, who joined the group as a guest dancer and most welcome surprise shortly before the concerts, and had also come from Istanbul for the occasion. She joined Djamel Felloue at the end of the evening for a beautiful dance to excerpts from Chopin’s piano music “Jeux d’Amour”. As her CV is not included in the website text, I’ll mention it here: Deniz was born in Germany. She graduated from Mimar Sinan University State Conservatoire, and the German John Cranko School of Ballet. (very famous) Deniz has taken lead roles in many musicals, ballets, concerts and promotion, and is currently living in Istanbul.
So, you see, there was an illustrious circle of fine artists coming together in this beautiful place to work for the setting up an educational programme for children to give them a better chance in life. We all know that being born on a higher branch of the tree and getting the chance of being properly educated is not of our doing and it has my respect when efforts are undertaken to correct such situations. But it also implies the thought of gratitude those should have who had their chance in life and should stop moaning.
I am not a music critic but I was most thrilled by the recitals of all musicians. Nicolas Deletaille had chosen Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Saint-Saens and a composition by Asli Giray for his performance on the cello accompanied on the piano by Asli Giray, who is an astonishing woman and artist. Nicolas Deletaille is a most sensitive musician and I hear rumours that he will soon leave Cyprus which would be a great loss.
The piano recital by Maka Borchashvili left me breathless when she played the Rhapsodie Hongroise No. 2 by F. Liszt and after the break pieces by Prokofiev, Yachshenko and a jazz fantasy on Mozart by F.Say.
I especially liked Eran Raman play the flute to the music of Bizet, Piazzola, Mancini, K.Aziz (arranged by Eran Raman). I would like to hear more of him. He was accompanied on the piano by Fikri Toros.
It was a special evening for all of us and it proofs again how deeply appreciated music is on this island, and students at the Eastern Mediterranean University can be proud to have such teachers in their musical department.