Final concerts of 2020

Dear friends and music lovers,

As we approach the end of 2020, we have to be grateful for the small musical pleasures we have been able to enjoy over the last 9 months.  As artistic activity slowed to a virtual standstill, a few online concerts and outdoor events have given us some musical sustenance.

Earlier this month I gave a live recital in Bilkent Concert Hall, with a restricted audience and YouTube livestream, in which I played 2 great Beethoven sonatas – the Pathétique and Waldstein sonatas – together with Bartók's 7 Sketches op.9b and 5 preludes from Saygun's op.45.  The concert is archived on my channel and you can watch it again here.

I finish the year with another live recital, this time in Istanbul's beautiful Süreyya Opera House, to mark the end of the Beethoven year. I will play 3 Beethoven sonatas: "Moonlight", "Les Adieux" and his wonderful late sonata in E major, Op.109. The first half of the concert livestream is now available to watch on my YouTube channel at this page, and the rest of the stream will be uploaded soon.

With my best wishes,

Gülsin Onay



Summer Season in Coronavirus Days

Dear Friends and Music Lovers,

My Sunday concerts on social media will now be taking a summer break. This week I travel to Bodrum for one of the first concerts with orchestra to take place in Turkey since March. On Friday 3 July, I play Mozart's Piano Concerto in A K414 with the Izmir State Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hakan Şensoy in the historic open-air setting of Bodrum Castle. Despite social distancing, this breakthrough event is going to be an emotional experience for performers and audience alike.  In the coming weeks — coronavirus permitting — we plan to begin concerts for the Gümüşlük Festival in its fabulous historic venue, the Antique Stone Quarry just outside Gümüşlük.

If you missed any of my June concerts, you can catch up on my YouTube channel (where all the Sunday concerts from the end of March onwards are archived).

I hope it won't be long before we can see each other again in "real" concerts, and I am already making exciting plans for the coming season. In the meantime, look out for more live streamed events which I'll be announcing on social media!

Gülsin Onay

Live Music in Coronavirus Days — May 2020

Dear Friends and Music Lovers,

I have had unimaginable positive feedback from watchers of my live Sunday concerts. Last Sunday's concert has so far had tens of thousands of views across social media. I feel honoured and privileged to bring live music to so many people in this difficult times, and thank you all for your support.

I continue my series of Sunday concerts, taking place  at 18:00 GMT (21:00 Turkish local time), and streamed in real time as I play, simultaneously to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here are the dates for the coming month, along with the main works:

3 May:  Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit"

10 May: Chopin programme, to include the 2nd and 3rd Ballades

17 May: Debussy, featuring Book II of "Images"

24 May: Beethoven's last sonata op.111 in C minor

31 May: Bach, to include the Italian Concerto.



Live Music in Coronavirus Days

How a few weeks have overturned so many things we have taken for granted in the world -and the impact on the lives of musicians and their audiences has been enormous. At the beginning of March we started to write my newsletter describing the various Spring projects I was undertaking – but as we were writing, concerts and tours have been cancelled everywhere. Like all musicians I am confined to home with no opportunity for public performance.

So now to my Sunday series of live online concerts, now in its sixth week.  This coming Sunday (19 April) I will be playing Franck’s Prélude Chorale et Fugue, and the performance is a special promotion for the 2020 Gümüşlük Music Festival, which we are still hoping to run in August of this year. As usual, the performance begins at 18:00 GMT (21:00 Turkish local time), simultaneously on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See the post below for the the links. Please tune in and enjoy!


Update on live streamed concerts

Dear friends and music lovers,

My live streamed concerts continue each Sunday. Starting on 12 April, they will be streamed simultaneously on Twitter (@gulsinonay), Facebook, Instagram (@gulsinonay) and my Youtube channel at  21:00 Turkish time (18:00 GMT). This week I will play Schubert's marvellous late C minor Sonata D.958.

Please subscribe to my Youtube channel for notifications of future events!

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.