Solidarity and music in the Corona days

Dear friends and music lovers,

The consequences of the Coronovirus outbreak all over the world are now having major effects on us all. For the first time we face a life-threatening situation that affects the entire world equally. As we know, it progresses very fast and unfortunately it results in deaths. Under these conditions, we can experience many different emotions such as anxiety, anger, despair and hopelessness, but we can overcome them calmly and patiently. In this struggle, we, as well as doctors and healthcare professionals, have an important part to play. We cannot reverse the losses that will deeply affect and injure our souls, but we can add meaning. We can touch each other's hearts again every day. As an artist, I feel responsible and indebted to all humanity, and want to extend a hand to people with my music and be with them in the heart of these new conditions. Because of this, I am trying my hardest to bring my music to you in a live broadcast environment.

The interest you have shown in my live-streamed concerts that I announced from my Twitter Facebook and Instagram accounts on Sunday gave me much happiness, and encouragement to continue this project. Being with you and sharing music is very precious for me. Despite the cancellation of 15 planned concerts in Germany, Poland, the UK and Turkey in the coming weeks, I will continue to reach out to you in this way.

The first live-streamed concert I gave on Twitter created a musical environment which is impossible to realise phyically in a single day, with 900,000 viewers, and this has further encouraged me to continue with these concerts regularly. Every Sunday I will be with you so that we can heal our wounds together through the miraculous power of music:

  • 16:00 GMT Twitter (@gulsinonay)
  • 17:00 GMT Facebook
  • 18:00 GMT Instagram (@gulsinonay)

I will continue my live broadcast concerts from my accounts and a new Youtube channel, which I will announce soon.

19 March 2020

Beethoven 250 Year Recitals

Gülsin Onay's concerts to mark the Beethoven 250th anniversary year have started with a recital in İstanbul's Süreyya Opera House, where she performed sonatas from each of the composer's three eras; the Pathetique, Waldstein and Op.111 sonatas, along with the Andante Favori, to a sold-out house on 6th January.

Her next concert dedicated to the Beethoven anniversary will take place at West Road Concert Hall's Beethoven Series in Cambridge. 

During the past weeks, Gülsin Onay has performed recitals and a workshop in Istanbul and Antalya. She will be in Bursa at the end of the month, for jurying, teaching and performing at the 1st Bursa Piano Festival.

Merry Christmas

The last 365 days have been filled with loved ones, good memories and thousands of notes. I wish you all a prosperous 2020, good health, happiness and great music.

Gülsin Onay

Farewell to the year

At the end of November, after a series of recitals in Switzerland — Geneva, Zurich and Winterthur — Gülsin Onay rejoined her Turkish fans in Adana on 29 November, where she interpreted Beethoven's 4th piano concerto with the Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yalçın Adıgüzel.

She rounded off a busy month with a recital at the 30th Haldun Taner Story Award Ceremony at the Pera Museum in Istanbul. Throughout December Gülsin Onay is again occupied with concerts, masterclasses, workshops and other events.

On 2 December she performed Grieg's piano concerto with Eskişehir’s "İki Ekin Sesi Var" Children's Symphony Orchestra. The following day in the same city, a music room named after her was opened at the TED College in a surprise ceremony.

The following day she gave another, charity recital in Izmir is support of the Aegean Contemporary Education Foundation, at the special event celebrating the 85th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Turkey. From there Gülsin Onay travelled to Mersin for another performance of Beethoven's 4th piano concerto with conductor Burak Tüzün and the State Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Later, on 8th December she gave a recital at the special event organised for "85th Anniversary of the Granting of Turkish Women the Right to Elect and to Be Elected". The income to be donated to Aegean Contemporary Eduaction Foundation (EÇEV).

Gülsin Onay performed Beethoven's 4th piano concerto again with conductor Burak Tüzün, but this time in Mersin with State Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

Gülsin Onay Piano Days to take place between 22-25 December.

This year, the annual festival Gülsin Onay Piano Days, organized by Tekirdağ Metropolitan Municipality, takes place between 22-25 December 2019. The event will host 20 artists from Turkey and abroad, in the setting of the Yahya Kemal Beyatlı Cultural Center.

The opening concert on 22 December will be given by Gülsin Onay and Ancyra Ensemble. The Ankara-based Ancyra Ensemble is a string orchestra of talented young female musicians. The outstanding young international conductor Nil Venditti will be directing the orchestra.

Gülsin Onay Piano Days continue with Yugoslavian pianist Zoran Imsirovic on December 23rd. Zoran Imsirovic is a busy performer and festival patron in Munich. He will perform the works of Liszt and Schubert in Tekirdağ.

Concert for the Prince Rakoczi Year

On Tuesday, December 24, Gülsin Onay Piano Days will be hosting two concerts. First will start at 16:00 at Yahya Kemal Beyatlı Cultural Center and will feature Berkay Özkan, a young pianist who continues his artistic life in Hungary. Özkan will perform Liszt’s Rakoczi March as a commemoration of the Hungarian prince and revolutionary Francis Rakoczi II, who spent the last 18 years of his life in exile in Tekirdağ. The same day, at 20.00, the distinguished Turkish pianist Birsen Ulucan will be on the stage of the same venue. Birsen Ulucan is well known for her solo and chamber music performances with international musicians such as Maxim Vengerov, Marta Gulyas, Isabelle van Keulen and Christian Poltera, along her siblings Özcan Ulucan (violin) and Ayşen Ulucan (violin).

Closing Concert with Trio Hexis

Gülsin Onay Piano Days will end on 25th December with Trio Hexis’s concert. Trio Hexis is formed by Gökhan Aybulus (piano), Erkin Onay (violin) and Çağ Ercag (cello) aiming to bring a new breath to the Turkish chamber music scene.

About this event, State Artist Gülsin Onay writes: “I am thankful to Ekrem Eşkinat, who started this festival after honouring me by giving my name to a street in Tekirdağ, in 2015. I am also very grateful to venerable mayor Kadir Albayrak Tekirdağ Metropolitan Municipality, for supporting culture and art. I hope Gülsin Onay Piano Days will continue to attract intense interest in Tekirdağ, as it has done so successfully over the past four years."

Gülsin Onay opens the new year with the first of her "Beethoven Year’’ recitals which will take place at the Süreyya Opera House in Istanbul. The second recital of this series will continue at Cambridge's West Road Concert Hall on the 24th of January.

Gülsin Onay's season opens with 8 concerts across 4 countries

After a summer playing at international festivals, Gülsin Onay’s busy new season began on 28 September with Schumann's Piano Concerto in Cambridge with the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra, followed by a sublime opening recital at Istanbul Windmill Arts.

Her busy schedule continues this month with performances of Chopin's 2nd Piano Concerto: on 11 October in the 17th International Northern Cyprus Music Festival, and again in Eskisehir, Turkey where she opens the Eskisehir Symphony Orchestra's season on 18 October.

Two days later she opens the season at the Girgin Piano and Art Gallery, Istanbul, with an all-Chopin recital, followed by a Chopin masterclass the next day. From there the artist travels to Adana for a special concert on 24 October as part of the Turkish Republic Day events.

The 26th sees Gülsin Onay again in Istanbul at the Cemal Resit Rey Hall for a concert celebrating the works of the great Turkish composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun, where she performs the composer's glittering 1st Piano Concerto with Philharmonia Istanbul, directed by Hakan Sensoy.

She rounds off a busy month in Georgia on 29 October, with a recital at the Kakhidze Centre in Tiflis.

A Summer Full of Music

Dear friends,
I wish you a summer, full of peace and music.
As the winter season closes, the intensity of the summer festivals has now started with full speed.
Following the opening concert of the 33rd International Izmir Festival, was the closing of the 8th Fethiye Benyamin Sönmez Music Festival. I was in Istanbul in between for a day of masterclasses.
Another special occasion was the opening concert at a congress held by Istanbul University; the 31st Journées Aritmetiques.
It was a great pleasure to play for a wonderful audience in Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), on the first day of a brand new Piano Festival bearing my name. I also gave masterclasses there.
And now; I am preparing with great excitement for the opening of our 16th International Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival which is going to take place on July 12th at Zefirya Culture and Arts Center, Aktur Bitez.
Our festival team and Eren Levendoğlu, the Artistic Director of Gümüşlük Festival, whom I worked in great harmony for 16 years, are preparing for a great festival experience for Bodrum’s music lovers.
I am looking forward to share the pleasures and beauties of music with you.

With my best wishes,
Gülsin Onay

Gülsin Onay to open Izmir Festival, following North American tour

Gülsin Onay continues her packed season in May with a North American recital tour, followed by the opening concert of the International Izmir Festival.

In a tour to celebrate the 100th commemoration on 19 May of the beginning of the Turkish war of independence, Gülsin Onay will play in four cities in the USA and Canada.

The pianist, who is a State Artist of the Turkish Republic, first performs at the Antonello Hall in Minneapolis on 12 May, and gives a masterclass the next day at the MacPhail Music Center. She will then travel to Canada, where on 15 May she will give a concert at Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto's acoustically acclaimed venue where CBC radio concerts are recorded.

The artist will meet Turkish and foreign music lovers at a special concert at the Residence of Turkish Embassy in Washington on 17 May. Her tour concludes with a recital at Ganz Hall in Roosevelt University, Chicago on Sunday, 19 May.

"I am really very proud, joyful and excitedly looking forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th of May with my concerts in America, and to meet with our distinguished diplomats, citizens and music lovers."

"An Evening with Chopin” by Gülsin Onay to open the 33rd International Izmir Festival Gülsin Onay gives the opening concert of the International Izmir Festival on 25 May.

Renowned for her interpretation of Chopin, for which she has been honoured with the award of the State Medal of the Polish Nation, the artist opens this dazzling festival with an all-Chopin recital celebrating the wide range of the composer's oeuvre.

33rd International Izmir Festival Opens with Gülsin Onay

Gülsin Onay has given the opening concert of the 33rd International Izmir Festival on 25 May with an all-Chopin recital.

The award-winning Chopin interpreter played to a packed hall, eager to hear her performance. Her varied programme featured as major works the 2nd and 3rd Ballades and the composer's monumental 3rd Sonata, framed by smaller works - a Scherzo, Mazurka, Nocturne and the little-played "Ludovic" Variations - and was received with tumultous applause and a standing ovation.

In the artist's words: "I am very happy to play this beautiful program on this important occasion, the opening of the Izmir Festival, one of the oldest and finest international festivals in Turkey. I feel a deep connection with the audience in Izmir audience and this superb hall, named after my great teacher Ahmed Adnan Saygun. Playing Chopin in this special atmosphere was a unique experience."

Gülsin Onay returned to Istanbul, where she opened a new music facility, named after her, in a state middle school, for which she raised funds in April.

Her busy summer program includes masterclasses in Istanbul; the closing concert of Benyamin Sönmez Music Festival in Fethiye; the opening concert of the 1st Gülsin Onay Piano Festival in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; the opening concert of the16th Gümüşlük International Classical Music Festival, and masterclasses in Gümüşlük Festival Academy.

Masterclass with Gülsin Onay on Medici TV

Gülsin Onay works with Cem Babacan on Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 in a master class at the Villa Sandra Lesa. You can watch the class on the Medici TV website.

Gülsin Onay’s Latest Album “Rachmaninoff & Grieg” Now Released On Cd And Digital

Gülsin Onay's new album "Rachmaninoff & Grieg" was released in CD form on 11 February, and is now available at popular digital music outlets - iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Muud, Apple Music, Fizy.

The album features two of the most popular works - the Grieg Concerto and Rachmaninoff's 2nd Concerto - with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and conductor Emil Tabakov, and is the debut CD release of Mk2 Productions.

The artist writes: “Both the concertos on this album, as well as being among the most popular works in their genre, were written at turning points in their composers' careers. I am very happy to release these recordings of two of my favourite concertos which both transport me to wonderful worlds every time I perform them.”