By Heidi Trautmann
Once in a while you have the chance to come across young people who carry in themselves such great talent and passion, determination and strength, the will power to achieve something with the urge they feel inside them, that you stay dumbfounded in your seat with tears in your eyes.
There were seven young musicians on the Bellapais programme, students of Rauf Kasimov who has established his reputation as excellent concert pianist and piano tutor in the TRNC for some years now. His engagement as teacher, his capacity as promoter and catalyser leading his students on the way to competence and recognition, is outstanding and touching. I have been following up his efforts during the last couple of years and his hope that they would one day be recognized officially to be able to do more for young musicians in the way of supporting and sponsoring highly talented young persons. It is the responsibility of us all and the nation to recognize this and not to leave all the efforts to the families involved and to a deeply involved teacher.
When I say young musicians I am talking of children from the age of 11 to 17 who came on stage on the evening of June 2 to show us in a well chosen high-toned programme their skill, children who still visit school every day and have to give up on normal childhood activities in order to find the time necessary to practice for their passion, music and piano.
In the first part of the programme we heard Batu Özgün (11 years), Miriam Marancos (14 years), Ilgim Öztürk (13 years), Ipek Fatos Zorba (12 years) Ismet Ersalici (13 years) and in the second part were the more advanced students Ceren Cenk (17 years) and finally Görsev Tepe (11 years).
Going through their life stories I find in all a strong tendency towards artistic expression from early age on, some of them also in fine arts, poetry and reading, dance and acting, and always music, practicing vocal and piano, except Görsev Tepe who has chosen piano as her main subject. (Only recently Görsev Tepe has won the first prize in the 6th International Pera Piano Festival in Istanbul May 2011 and an honorary award in April 2011 at the 16th Evangelica Tjiarri International Piano Competition).
In the end, when Görsev Tepe finished her part in the concert with the Sabre Dance by Khachaturyan and In the cave of the mountain king by Grieg (4 hands) and with these pieces this wonderful concert where all young pianists have given their best, proud and self-assured, most concentrated right down to their toes, our eyes were shining and our hearts were singing out to them.
(Please read texts and interviews in my website Nos 94, 155, 159, 169, 237, 246).