By Heidi Trautmann
I sat next to Ipek’s parents in the music hall of Bellapais on Sunday November 25 for the concert of their daughter and of Erol Emmioğlu whose family was some seats behind me. There were music experts, teachers and professional musicians present among a very attentive audience in the relatively full house, and I took the opportunity to watch their faces during the performances of these highly talented children. Children by age, but as musicians they appear to me much older, ripe, obviously aware of their responsibility towards this talent they own, towards music in general. I saw the appreciation and love in many people’s eyes, even Hakan Cakmak, the BRT TV art director in the back of the stage behind his camera filming it all, was all ears and gave his entire attention to the performance.
Ipek Zorba, born in 1999 in Cambridge, but back in Cyprus with her family as infant, is now in her 8th year at the Turkish Maarif College. Without music, she said, life is empty. But she is artistically inclined in many ways, winning prizes in poem and story writing, dancing and playing theatre, and singing in the Kyrenia Municipality Children Choir founded in 2009. She had taken part in piano master classes and is Rauf Kasimov’s student since November 2008. She has participated in students concerts and in this concert in November 2012 it was her first recital over 45 minutes, Rauf Kasimov told me. “I am feeling young again with these kids, to see them grow and learn and become so serious about their involvement with the piano. I am telling you, when a professional pianist makes a mistake and overcomes it without showing the slightest emotion but going on with it, then he or she is showing true professionalism.”
Ipek had a very tight and well chosen programme with pieces by J.S. Bach, Joseph Haydn, F. Chopin and S. Rachmaninov and a 4-handed piece with Rauf Kasimov, the Suite from the “Cipollino ballet by K.Khachaturyan. She is a very strong though sensitive pianist, it is a woman that sits there and plays Rachmaninov with all the knowledge to understand his music. Piano and music will continue to be a very important part in her life. She also tends towards medicine as she wants to help people, said her father, but future will show. We as family support her as long as she takes her involvement with school and music seriously, she must not neglect one for the sake of the other. And she doesn’t. We are proud of her.” So are we all.
Erol Emmioğlu, whom I saw being helped onto a piano stool when he was nine years old, has grown into a serious young pianist and I also realized that he has outgrown his black suit. He has matured and he holds himself very erect displaying his attitude in life and expectancy of his future. “It will be St. Petersburg for my music studies, I am positive about it,” he said when I talked to him after the concert. He had played Bach as Bach should be played, I told him, he seems to love Bach, as I have heard him play his works several times by now. On this occasion he played Fréderic Liszt’s “Après une lecture de Dante, Fantasia quasi sonata” brilliantly. He concluded with S. Rachmaninov’s Prélude op 23.
Let’s have a look at his most interesting curriculum vitae. Born in Famagusta in 1997 he started his piano lessons at the age of 8 years at the Nicosia Music Education Centre. He gave his first concert when he was 9 years old at the Nicosia Atatürk Cultural Centre. In 2008 he gave a concert with NMCE stars at the Bellapais Spring Music Festival. He performed J.S. Bachs’ Re Minor Piano Concerto with the Mersin State Opera and Ballet Orchestra directed by Ali Hoca at the opening concert of 6th International North Cyprus Music Festival and consequently has been invited by Prof. Rengim Gökmen, who is the director of Dogus Child Symphony Orchestra, to perform Bach Re Minor Concerto with them. He gave a concert with the well known young violinist Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev at the Nicosia Atatürk Cultural Centre in 2009 for students. And in May 2009 he participated in the Bellapais Spring Music Festival. In August 2009 he attended master-classes under the tutorship of Prof. Oktay Abasguliyev from Baku State Music Academy. In September 2009 Erol Emmioğlu performed at the opening concert of North Cyprus International Music Festival the Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 with the Samsun State Opera Orchestra conducted by Ali Hoca (well-known Turkish Cypriot Conductor). He had lessons with Maka Borchasvili, Lale Musayeva and Irada Melikova and is now studying with Rauf Kasimov. He won his first award at the 6th Pera International Piano Festival dedicated to A.Scriabin in the 13-16 age category and he attended master-classes with Margaritta A. Fyodoravya, who is well-known in 30 countries, Tamara Poddubnaya, Elena Filonova and Stanislaw Deja. He has taken part in the students’ concert among Rauf Kasimov’s students called “Cyprus piano”. Emmioğlu is now in his second year at 19 May TMK College.
I must not add any more words. My best wishes for his future are with him.
PS: The concert was in aid of Temiz Deniz
Published in Cyprus Observer on Dec 1, 2012