Festival Honor Awards
This year the Honorary Award will be presented to piano virtuoso Gülsin Onay who has been the biggest pioneer of the Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival since 2004. Onay has contributed tremendously to Bodrum’s recognition as an art center and to young musicians gaining professional experience. Gülsin Onay’s international music career encompasses 80 countries on five continents ranging from Argentina to Japan. The artist has performed at all of the leading music centers of the world with distinguished conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Erich Bergel, Jorg Faerber, Neeme Jarvi, Emmanuel Krivine, Essa-Pekka Salonen, Vassily Sinaisky, Stanislaw Wislocki and Lother Zagrosek. Highly praised by musical authorities for her Rachmaninoff renditions, Gülsin Onay is also considered an exceptional Chopin performer worldwide. The Polish State has awarded Gülsin Onay with the Gold Cross of Merit of the Polish Nation for her contributions through her outstanding performances of the music of Chopin. Described as the most powerful interpreter of her mentor Ahmed Adnan Saygun who has dedicated his Piano Concerto No. 2 to her, Onay has performed the composer’s works in the company of prestigious orchestras in numerous countries. Over twenty album recordings reflect the abundance of her repertoire as well as the power of her interpretation. She has been the artistic adviser to Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival since 2004. Onay has been honored with the title of State Artist of the Republic of Turkey in 1987, awarded honorary doctorates by Boğaziçi University in 1988 and Hacettepe University in 2007. Onay is among the soloists of The Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, and “Artist in Residence” at Bilkent University. The Turkish National Committee of UNICEF appointed her Goodwill Ambassador in 2003. She received the Honorary Award Medal of the Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation in 2007, Pianist of the Year award at the 2011 Donizetti Classical Music Awards and the Honorary Award at the 42nd İstanbul Music Festival in 2014. Tekirdağ Süleymanpaşa Municipality has been organizing “Gülsin Onay Piano Days” since 2015 and will be holding the “Bisanthe Gülsin Onay National Composition Competition” at the end of 2018.
Born in Istanbul in 1934, Yalçın Tura worked as an independent composer between 1955 and 1976 and has performed many musical works of filmin and theater. Tura, who founded the Department of Musicology at Istanbul Technical University, has also served as a department head, member of the board of directors, director and retired in 2001 and has served as a jury member and counselor at various institutions, mainly TRT. Yalcin Tura; He is the recipient of many awards in association with the Cinema Writers Association, Istanbul International Film Festival, Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival Honor Award.
One of the greatest talents of Turkish music history, İdil Biret graduated with a first rank from Paris Conservatory’s high piano and piano accompaniment classes. Along with many awards she earned locally and globally, Biret is a State Artist and have performed in many concerts of Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
Working with valuable musicians in countries such as France, the USA, Russia during her musical education, the violinist toured South America, the USA, Canada, Middle East, India, Africa, Azerbaijan as well as performing in many different locations of Turkey. Having lectured at Conservatoire Populaire and Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland, Erduran taught many of today's famous violinists.
Starting at a young age, Sarıca continued her musical education at Paris National Conservatory and took stage in almost every European country, while performing as soloist at Presidential Symphony Orchestra for many years. She continued her endeavors as an academic at Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performance Arts during the 90’s and later she lectured piano at ITU Dr. Erol Üçer Center for Advanced Studies in Music.
Carrying the State Artist honour since 1971, the violin virtuoso Suna Kan has performed as the soloist and chief violinist at the Presidential Symphony Orchestra for many years. The artist who was sent to France with ‘Gifted Children’ law in 1948 have earned many international achievements throughout her successful career.
Sun started his musical education in Military Band School in 1946 and entered Ankara State Conservatory as a composer and a music writer. Having made important contributions to musical improvement of Turkey, the artist taught at several conservatories and led the foundations of TRT Central Music Office, TRT Ankara Polyphonic Choir and TRT Awards for Culture, Arts and Science.
Usmanbaş graduated from the Galatasaray High School and Ankara State Conservatory. The composer earned scholarships that enabled him to improve himself in the international field. During the long years of teaching musical history and composition in Turkey, Usmanbaş published books, translations, congress reports and articles.
Studying piano and composition works at Ankara State Conservatory, Gökmen continued his education in Italy and conducted concerts in almost every country of Europe, along with the USA and South America. The artist was reassigned to General Manager and General Art Director positions at State Opera and Ballet in 2016 while continuing his work as an academic at Hacettepe University State Conservatory.