Piano mania performed by Fazil Say

By Fidan Aliyeva

Impressive as a composer as much as a pianist and being originally from Turkey, Fazil Say’s solo concert was held last Wednesday on 9 November in the Konzerthaus Wien. The compositions he performed were of both Eastern and European in nature due to his diverse musical background.

There is a much that is unique about his performance. Born in Ankara and much of his life devoted to musical education in Europe, even the manner of his performance is idiosyncratic. His every touch of the clavier is accompanied by colorful gamut of spirits and every sound is perceived in a completely different character. His ability to keep listeners awake and experience different changes of mood at the same time during his performance is what basicly distinguishes him from other pianists.

He started building his career as a musician from Ankara State Conservatory, after which he was granted a scholarship that very soon would become a green light in his life. He then studied at Robert Schumann Institute in Dusseldorf and from 1992-1995 at the Berlin Conservatory. Finally, in 1994, through winning the Young Concert Artists International Auditions contest he opened all the doors of his career to the international audience. Since then, he has performed with several leading orchestras of the world like the New York Philarmonic, the Israel Philarmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the BBC Philarmonic, the Orchestre National de France. He has also participated in many international festivals like the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Beethoven Festival Bonn as well as received worldwide recognised awards like the European Union Piano Contest, Young Concert Soloists Contest European First Award, Radio France/Beracasa Foundation Award, Paul A. Fish Foundation Award, Boston Metamorphosen Orchestra Soloist Award, Le Monde de La Musique Award, Diapason d’Or (Golden Disc) Award, Classica Award, Austrian Radio-TV Award, Deutsche Phono Akademie ECHO Award and other.

On Wednesday – after his 2004 concert with Maxim Vengerov in Vienna Musikverein during his major Eurotour – Fazil Say was back again in Vienna for another outstanding solo performance. His playlist included compositions by famous composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, Igor Strawinski, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bernd Alois Zimmermann as well as his own composition called “Four Dances of Molla Nasreddin Hoca”.