During the second and final leg of his tour of Turkey, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestraarrived in the city of Ankara last Saturday to debut at the concert hall of the newly opened CSO ADA Ankara Music Campus in October 2020. A modern work of engineering and architecture by Semra & Özcan Uygur.
The result of more than twenty years of construction and located between Ankara Castle and the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (first president of the Republic of Istanbul), this compound is the new home of one of the oldest ensembles in the world, the Istanbul Presidential Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1826).
The doctor. Eduardo Mendezexecutive director of El Sistema, stressed the importance of this visit for the group.
“We are very satisfied because it is a long-awaited visit but postponed by the pandemicand is framed in the middle of great events that create the need for messages of love and peace, which has always been our postulate: the language of music as the integration of peoples. The music of our youth is like a voice in which the call is made to raise awareness and better understand ourselves as humanity,” he said.
“Today is also a special day for those of us who believe in Christ, it is Palm Sunday”, were the first words of the Venezuelan ambassador to Turkey, Jose Bracho Reyesin front of the young musicians of the orchestra.
“Expectations in Ankara have been met and more than met. I would underline the versatility of the orchestra. start with Bernsteinin agreement with Estévez, Castellanos, Desene and close with Alma Llanera It was something that moved not only Venezuelans, but the entire public. I said to the Turkish Deputy Minister of Culture that this is the first presentationbut it is just beginning, because there is a desire to insert the El Sistema model into Turkey’s educational model,” he added.
Ambassadors of a culture for peace
After three presentations and educational activities in Istanbul, Master Andrés David Ascaniounderlined the goal that obliges the institution of which he is also academic director.
“The music It is the universal language par excellence.through it we can unite different cultures, we did it two days ago at the school of the orphanage of the Darussafaka society, playing with their children the hymn of this institution to the Bella Ciao. It is a question of passing on a message, through children and young people, the substance of which shows us that wherever we come froms, who we are, what are our beliefs, what are our religions, our races, in the end the music unites us, the score unites us. It allows us to think about a better future,” he said.
In the footsteps of Giuseppe Donizetti
Two years after its foundation (1828), the Istanbul Presidential Symphony Orchestra, at the request of Sultan Mahmut II, appointed the composer Giuseppe Donizetti as a conductor and musical instructor in the Ottoman Empire. Almost 200 years later, the state group experienced various milestones of its strength in the universal history of music.
The avant-garde continues to be characteristic in the 21st century, since the current headquarters, inaugurated in the context of the crisis of confidence due to Covid-19, is composed of bold architectural forms. Two spheres covered with opaque glass, located in the middle of a body of waterwhich are connected by a glass triangle, with a monumental and timeless design.
German architect and teacher Ralph W. Fasold together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Construction Physics, they were the consultants for the acoustics of the hall, in which gigantic glass panels pop out to enhance sound.
The program started with the candid openingfrom Leonard Bernensteinand continued with Venezuelan compositions, noon in the plain by Antonio Estevez and Santa Cruz de Pacairiguaby Evencio Castellanos, directed by Maestro Andrés Davida Ascanio.
And the second part, led by the Master Christian Vasqueztook up the challenge in front of the unbeatable nobility of the Symphony No.5 B-flat Major, Op.100 by Sergei Prokofyevpleasantly surprising the public who also applaud the encores, Trish-Trash/Triki-Traki, by Paul Desenne; the Mambo, by Leonard Bernstein, and the Alma Llanera, by Pedro Elías Gutiérrez.
Both Professor Christian Vásquez and Professor Andrés David Ascanio and the orchestral component was welcomed by a visibly moved audience on this second Sunday of Ramadan, a month of prayer and reflection for the Muslim community.