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About the CD

“A fascinating recital of piano music by contemporary Turkish composers [...] Anybody who wants to explore new things should savor this” – Leonard Link (Arthur S. Leonard)



“I am listening to Istanbul, intent, with my eyes closed.” This is how Orhan Veli, the great Turkish poet of the 20th century, began his most celebrated poem about Istanbul. What Veli heard more than half a century ago was a romanticized soundscape of the oriental city at the Bosphorus: the bells of water carriers, the busy sounds of the Grand Bazaar, pigeons in the yard of a mosque, fishing nets drawn out of the water, and banging hammers of workers in the docks.

 

Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Turkish pianist Seda Röder listens to Istanbul once more; intently, with open ears and eyes for an emerging new era. What she hears in 2010 while the city bears the title of the “Cultural Capital of Europe,” are captivating and exciting sounds of a new generation of Turkish composers. Filled with energy and innovative creative force, their music represents the vivid and quickly changing atmosphere that the melting pot of Turkey radiates into the world.

 

In an effort to introduce this unexplored world of Turkish contemporary music to a wider international audience, the pioneer of contemporary music and Associate at Harvard University Seda Röder has commissioned six works by the most important composers from Istanbul, which she will present to the world in a series of concerts in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe.

Quotes

“Piano-Genius”

- Haber Türk

 

“Seda Röder’s playing radiates commitment, flair, and delight. She communicates with intensity and charm as appropriate, and displays an exemplary understanding of a wide range of musical styles.”

Robert Levin, world-renowned Mozart specialist, Artistic Director of the Sarasota Festival and Professor at Harvard University.

 

“It is my great pleasure to accompany Seda’s musical studies as her artistic advisor. Her playing shows a nice combination of sensitivity on one side and musical intelligence on the other side. Her interests are reaching far beyond the limits of the piano repertoire.”

Gerhard Oppitz, legendary pianist and first German to win the Arthur Rubinstein competition in Tel Aviv, Israel.

 

“Mrs. Röder is a very talented young pianist. In spite of her young age Mrs. Röder has a broad and interesting repertoire. She combines her solid piano technique with musical maturity.”

Dennis Russell Davies, chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Basel Symphony Orchestra

 

“In her excellent piano playing she combines awareness for style and form with musical warmth and depth.”

Rolf Plagge, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and Professor of Piano at the Mozarteum Salzburg, Austria

About Seda

M aking contemporary music more approachable for everyone is the artistic vision of the Turkish pianist Seda Röder. In addition to her podcast series Blackbox about New Music, she puts this vision into realization in form of lecture recitals and carefully chosen, coherent concert programs. Through numerous world premieres and workshops, Seda became known to audiences, critics, and composers alike as an engaging performer of contemporary music. Having a wide repertoire of solo and chamber music that ranges from Couperin to Stockhausen and beyond, Seda has performed frequently in Turkey, Austria, Germany, and the USA. As an Associate at Harvard University, Seda researches Viennese piano music from the contemporaries of Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg. Her debut album—inspired by her interest in scholarship and performance—brings together music of three centuries by composers who were active in Vienna: Mozart – Brahms – Berg. Before arriving at Harvard University in 2007 Ms. Röder graduated with distinction from the Mozarteum in Salzburg and worked intensively with the world-renowned Beethoven and Brahms specialist Gerhard Oppitz at the Musik Hochschule in Munich. In addition to her formal piano studies she focused on the study of period instruments and performance practice, explored orchestral repertoires as a guest student of Bruno Weil’s conducting class and attended master classes with András Schiff and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. For her extraordinary artistic achievements Seda Röder was awarded several prestigious fellowships, amongst them grants from the Austrian Department of Education, the German Academic Exchange Program, the merit-based scholarship of the “Alumni Foundation of the Austrian St. Georg-Kolleg, Istanbul”, as well as the Richard-Wagner-Scholarship in Munich. Ms. Röder currently serves as a Teaching Assistant for Music History and Chamber Music at Harvard University.