Extending string quartet
Esen Kıvrak violin
Özgür Baskın violin
Efdal Altun viola
Çağ Erçağ cello
Serhan Bali speaker
Works by Fazıl Say, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Hasan Uçarsu
The string quartet has been in existence for two-and-a-half centuries so far. All these years the genre has been in contact with other cultures, languages, art forms and styles. Extending String Quartet falls somewhere between a concert, lecture-recital and crossover; it creates and rediscovers these connections. From American West Coast composers to encounters between East and West; from pop music to video art – all the boundaries are explored, expanded and blurred in the process.
The string quartet enjoys great prominence in Turkey, on the border between East and West – one could say it has attained cult status. The Borusan Quartet is the embodiment of this success. Huge concert halls are regularly sold out for their performances, which draw young and old alike. What lies behind the great popularity of the string quartet in Turkey?
In the 19th century there was an exchange between the musical cultures of Europe and the Ottoman court – Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca is a prime example. However, it was only in the 1920s that the first Western style conservatories were established in Turkey. The composers who studied there on the border of East and West united the two traditions. The results varied from western instrumental combinations in the Turkish traditional style, to Turkish music in a completely westernised style. The string quartet is alive and well in Turkey – now the Borusan Quartet and the presenter, writer and musicologist Serhan Bali bring the Turkish string quartet to life in the Netherlands.