Fazil Say B

Piano

Music samplessample

Sayís musical career is characterised by his double role as composer and internationally renowned pianist. His musical concepts are influenced by his great interest in jazz and improvisation and he frequently incorporates these elements into his compositions, producing highly virtuoso adaptations of works for piano such as the jazz fantasy based on Mozartís Alla Turca (1993), Paganini Jazz (1995) or the 4 Pieces for DJ and Piano (2003). His oratorio N‚zım (2001), set to verses by the Turkish poet N‚zım Hikmet and commissioned by the Turkish Ministry for Cultural Affairs, has been performed in 12 cities in Turkey and Germany, the last one in Cologne in 2017.

August 2018, Fazil Sayís fourth symphony Umut Senfonisi has been premiered by the Dresden Philharmonic and conductor Michael Sanderling at the Kulturpalast Dresden. The orchestra commissioned the work from Say, who will be their Composer-in-Residence for the 2018-19 season.

Guest appearances have taken Fazıl Say to countless countries on all five continents; the French newspaper Le Figaro called him Ďa geniusí. He also performs chamber music regularly: for many years he was part of a fantastic duo with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Other notable collaborators include Maxim Vengerov, the Borusan Quartet of Istanbul and the cellists Nicolas Altstaedt and Camille Thomas.

Fazil Say records for Warner Classics. August 2018 saw the release of a Debussy/Satie CD.
His recordings of works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Stravinsky have been highly praised by critics and won several prizes, including three ECHO Klassik Awards.
The recital CD which Fazil Say recorded with mezzo soprano Marianne Crebassa, received the Gramophone Award 2018 'Solo Vocal Category Winner'. He received an Edison Klassiek 2017 for the album "4 Cities" with Nicolas Altstaedt.

Fazıl Say had his first piano lessons from Mithat Fenmen, who had himself studied with Alfred Cortot in Paris. Perhaps sensing just how talented his pupil was, Fenmen asked the boy to improvise every day on themes to do with his daily life before going on to complete his essential piano exercises and studies. This contact with free creative processes and forms is seen as the source of the immense improvisatory talent and the aesthetic outlook that make Fazıl Say the pianist and composer he is today. He has been commissioned to write music for, among others, the Salzburg Festival, the WDR, the Dortmund Konzerthaus and the Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals. His work includes compositions for solo keyboard and chamber music, as well as solo concertos and large-scale orchestral works.

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Marco Borggreve
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