" La Boutique "


Istanbul Barok

Initially Trio of clavecin, violon and flute, Istanbul Barok was found by Leyla PINAR.
The Trio played some baroque's and traditional's turkish musical artworks from the XVIIth and XVIIIth century. Since 1994, the " Ensemble " count up to fothy musiciens.
The most recents activities of Istanbul Barok are regarding the production of Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell, - given at the Cemal Resit Rey Hall of Istanbul, then at Amsterdam, in Nothern Cyprus Magosa's Château d' Otello and at the Adonis John Blow -, but also the production of L' Europe Galante by André Campra gived at the Dolmabahçe Palace, ancient Sultan's regency in Istanbul.

Several videos were taken during the Istanbul Barok Representations; and from those videos we made some Audio CDs.

Istanbul Barok before boarding
Leyla PINAR was born in Istanbul.

She studied composition, violin, piano and horn at the Istanbul Conservatory. After having graduated, she followed composition courses given by Maestro Bruno Da Coltro at the Cesare Pollini Conservatory in Padua, Italy. She later studied both at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris where she obtained her " diplôme supérieur de concertiste ", and at Poitiers University ( France )where she won a first prize for piano and harpsichord.

In Poitiers, Leyla PINAR decided to abandon the piano for the harpsichord and joined the class of the well known harpsichordist Antoine Geoffrey Dechaume while taking a course in History and analyses of music with Madame Solange Corbin and Madame Nadia Boulanger. During her stay in that town, Leyla PINAR became for two years an active member of the "Collegium Musicae Antiquae" ensemble.

Back in Turkey, Leyla PINAR held a teaching post at the Mimar Sinan University of Istanbul as head of the departement of History of Music and Composition and formed an instrumental trio specialised in baroque music.

She continued to perfect her art under the guidance of such distinguished harpsichords as Raphaël Puyana, Jean-Patrice Brosse, Kenneth Gilbert and studied three years with Robert Kohen.

She has given numerous recitals and concerts of baroque and contemporary music abroad and in her native country, with the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Chamber Orchestra, and participated in the Istanbul International Music Festival.

Today Leyla PINAR is more and more attracted by contemporary music. Helped by new dynamics wich started seventy years ago, a new musical language has been developed in Turkey.

L' Europe Galante


In 1997, at the Festival of " Le Printemps de Musique Baroque du Sablon " in Bruxelles ( Brussels ) , the Group Istanbul Barok as presented " L'Europe Galante " by André CAMPRA.

The Opera play " L' Europe Galante " was created in Paris, at the" Académie Royale de Musique ", on octobre, the 24th, 1697. The original Play was publihed without a writer name; at that time Campra was still " Maître de Chapelle " at Notre-Dame de Paris. The originality of " L' Europe Galante ", that gived it the celebrity, is essentialy a style sight.
Whereas the ancient opera repertory belong to the "Noble Genre", "L' Europe Galante" is more under the sign of lightness and musical banter. The Merit of Campra and his libertine La Motte is to follow tose ordinary ideas that we have about native : the Frenchman is flighty, indiscreet and smart; the Spaniard, faithfull and "romanesque"; the Italian jalous, fine and violent.
At least, we express, more than the theater as done, the high of the Sultans Sovereignety and the fit of anger of the Sultaness. The own Campra's genius is to understand that the dramatic autonomy of eache entrée, is not favourable to too complicated feels, but that it is perfect for entertaining a speedy rythm in comedy where feeling must de dawn roughly.



Dido & Aeneas

Henry Purcell

At the Salons of C.R.Rey, in Istanbul, for the commemoration of Purcell's Tricentenary, Istanbul Barok as produce " Dido And Aeneas ".
The Baroque Style is perceived as a movement witch is to all the values of its period, Baroque, similar to other innovatives styles that were contrary to the conservative norms adopted by many, was described as contrary, extraordinary, “ wrong “ and its was not very much supported.
The Dido and Aeneas opera by H. Purcell belongs to that period.
The theme of opera is inspired by the founder of Cartege , queen Dido,
who is a my thological character from the Ancient period and who is especiallyencountered in the works of Wirgilius. the main theme of the opera is the story of the powerful and dramatic love between the Trojan prince Aeneas and the Cartagean queen Dido. As the scenery costume and stage organization group. Taking into consideration the criteria that we summarized above, we tried to relize that “ mise en scène “ of the opera with an epectic style, in other words, the “ contraposition “ or the “ contrary “ nature of Baroque style, the mystical and splendid quality of the Ancient mythology, the courageus and innovative modernity considenring the conditions of the period H. Purcell lived, were the determinaurl milestones during the staging process of this opera in line with this understanding, the video display of the flame scene in the witches scenes of the first and the third acts, was inspired by “ happening “, witch is perhaps the most revolutionary implementation in after 1945 modern art movement.



Yeni Bir Deyis


Press Review

Turkish internet publication

Turkishtime ( http://www.turkishtime.org/16/92_1_en.asp )

a lopsided pearl is baroque...

We spoke with Leyla P&Mac245;nar, Turkey’s only harpsichord player who has been organizing Turkey’s “International Istanbul Baroque Festival Week” for nine years.


Leyla P&Mac245;nar has come from Belgium to Turkey again this year to organize the International Istanbul Baroque Festival Week. Without being able to shake off the weariness of the concerts she’s been carrying on with tremendous effort, she told us how she began music and the harpsichord. Leyla P&Mac245;nar graduated from the Istanbul Municipality Conservatory receiving a diploma in branches of the violin, the piano and the horn. Upon the advise of Cemal Re?it Rey (Turkish classical music composer), who became her teacher afterwards, she went to Europe. She specialized on chamber music, composition and the harpsichord in France, Italy, England and so on. She received the French awards J.M.F. “Rencontres Musicales” and “François Henri Clicquot”. If there are things that sound foreign to you here, you’re welcome to listen to an unfamiliar success story.

TURKISHTiME: Where did you start your music work?

LEYLA PINAR: In Istanbul. We were three sisters, all three of us had a tutor or two. Levantines who were natives of Istanbul...I think they had come from Russia; they said conservatory education was necessary. I went on with music after the conservatory. I started traveling. I went to Spain for Spanish music, to England for English music, to Belgium for Flemish music, France for French music and Italy for Italian music. If you study a country’s music on the spot, you perceive it better. Of course, for Turkish music one has to be in Turkey.

Did you concentrate on Turkish music at the conservatory?

When we were at the conservatory, they used to tell us not to ever listen to Turkish classical music or play jazz. They did not allow us to touch jazz or Turkish classical music. But in childhood, we unavoidably used to hear sounds of tambur (type of lute) or ney (reed flute). Teachers at the conservatory and our greatest composers Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Adnan Saygun, Necil Faz&Mac245;l Akses used the modality of Turkish classical music. But they forbade it. After we came to our senses, I have always listened to it and now I feel very fortunate. Next to many Western friends, in the way I grasp music or with what I compose, I’m not a composer but I can write things, there I can certainly bring in a different color to what I write. That is because I come from very diverse musical environments. That’s why I started this business in Istanbul.

You’ve said that you and your two sisters studied music, did you carry on with music with the support of your family?

When my dad went to visit Germany after World War II, in the ‘50s, he saw that the Berlin Opera was flattened and the old splendor of Germany was gone for good. When he noticed that people who earned a living there were those who tried to collect money on the streets by making music with violins in their hands, he said, “My daughters will become artists”. He thought, “If they become artists, they can live anywhere”. Among us, only I became professional in music. They didn’t want us to go to college or enter the world of business.

How did you start playing the harpsichord?

I started because I couldn’t do a certain thing. We all shut ourselves in a room for eight or ten hours a day to become a concert pianist or a composer. In spite of that, when I was in class one day, in Paris, they put a 17th century piece before us. We were preparing concertos and so forth, we were at that level. Five or six of us couldn’t play the piece. I asked our teacher, “Why aren’t you pleased with us?”. He said, “You neither play this in tune with its style nor can you read it properly”. When I said, “Why can’t we read these”, he told me, “You only know about those from Bach until now. These are present in music before Bach, in Baroque music”. Then a question mark flashed in my head. I went to the teacher who was recommended. Antoine Geoffrey Dechaume was one of the world’s greatest pioneers of Baroque music. It was my biggest chance to work with him. He told me such things, I suddenly thought, “So the music I learned was a hundred-year period, the rest wasn’t there”. Hence, I packed everything and joined the harpsichord class. I told the piano teacher that I was going to take the harpsichord class. He became furious. He said, “You took three years out of me, how can you make such a decision”. I didn’t mind. Because it was more attractive for me. So I started the harpsichord in 1969. Of course, since everyone rebelled in ’68 we had more of a courage. The word of students counted. And then I never turned back to the piano, anyway.


Because the harpsichord is an instrument that makes one think more about its details, the piano is not like that. The piano takes all your memory, you are dragged into that work with all your body. Chopin, Rachmaninov, Liszt, these all take you away. The harpsichord is such an instrument that conjures that feeling only with the touch of your finger tip. That’s why you have notes before you when you play Baroque composers, notes shouldn’t interfere with you. I play the piano, but the harpsichord is something else. Besides, it comes from the zither instrument. The first model of zither was an instrument called “psalterium” but because they couldn’t play it, Europe developed a different system. They added a keyboard, when that wasn’t enough, they added a second keyboard. The harpsichord was born thus. When I play some pieces on the harpsichord, I can produce the impressions of a zither instrument. I liked the way it came from the zither instrument and the way I could get those tunes.

So it was a bit of a luck for you to meet with the harpsichord while you carried on with your education abroad…

Yes, it was luck. It may not have been like this. I had started music with a couple of instruments. I was always wanted to do compositions, the piano was always a basic instrument. In addition to that, I took violin lessons for a while. Then I played the horn, I even had a diploma for it. Everything isn’t easy. Going around abroad gives one diversities, then you can find your way. It’s good for everyone to go to different places. If you stay in a certain environment, you’ll be barren. For example, now, Bach groups in Japan, believe me, play as good as those in Europe. Because they traveled and have seen a lot. I think that it’s very good to travel. Since Marco Polo. Trade, learning and art must be in unison. Surely, Marco Polo carried a lot from the Renaissance of that day to the business world; if you think before the Baroque Age, this man brought unanticipated things. He brought things that would benefit weapons of war, too, but eventually he has established a communication. Moreover, art production became differentiated. Composers and novelists dreaming of the Orient emerged. Fantasies sprang. It is necessary to multiply environments where people can flourish their fantasies. Therefore, when you say, “businessman”, I can’t think of a person solely working at his office. A businessman, when he is tired, should have need for an opera or to listen to traditional music.

For nine years, you’ve been organizing an Istanbul Baroque Week with your own efforts. In Turkey, neither baroque music nor the harpsichord is widely known. Do you run into difficulties when you deliver your music to masses here?

Maybe we do, but since we somehow know our limits, we can walk on for today. From the start we’ve been going about by challenging our limits, but I see that each year, it develops more. We see the appreciation of this from abroad. We went to Brussels with a group of 30-35 people. Again with that many people, we went to Cyprus. We’ve been to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands with 5-6 people. Those who try to do that with state support can’t succeed. My only complaint is that in Turkey nobody can see ahead. You go to them with a project, they listen to you very attentively, but can’t work out how to do it. For instance, in 1997, we put on an opera in Europe. For a year, I tried to explain that in Turkey. From the ministry to businessmen, nothing came out. In Belgium, with members of the Baroque festival, we found a L’europe Galante with an Ottoman scene in it. We prepared this with very beautiful clothes as Turkey’s outlook to the east. Without seeing anything, they immediately said, “You’ll do this here”. What a speed. Then I realized that this matter of speed is crucial, meaning foresight. This year, before I came, the Brussels Instrument Museum, the world’s second largest museum, asked me to give a concert there. I sent a few programs. Heavily Bach and French music; I included one example from Ottoman Baroque music, they picked that right away. I’m very comfortable on this matter abroad. I can more easily figure what to present. In Turkey, I can’t do that. Because I can’t count on the speed of perception. We have this difficulty. When you say Baroque music, they say, “What is Baroque”. But if you don’t know the styles, you can’t place anything. We also do panels on this. I put three notes before a student of mine or before a great pianist, a work by Bach, a piece by ?lhan Usmanba? on Bach and they may not know how to interpret it. Because they have no awareness of style. Now, Bach, Ligetti and ?lhan Usmanba?, they are all mingled. We don’t see an awareness of style in Turkey. Likewise, things that are presented as Baroque, they may be opera or chamber music, but not Baroque. In all fairness, I see the same in Turkish classical music. They sing Itri in such a way, it’s all over the place. In Turkey, Itri is sung with the style of Orhan Gencebay. Even the call of prayer is recited that way. This can’t be. The lack of style awareness reflects on everything.

So what is Baroque?

Baroque is actually very nice as a word. It is to be able to find yourself a way out from the environment you are in or from a tight corner. It isn’t something that goes smooth. The lopsided pearl with irregularities is baroque for example. The pearl, as we know is round, but the lopsided one they call baroque. I think that in the 21st century, a baroqueness or a post-baroqueness, even if they aren’t back to back chronologically, is being experienced. We used to have a friend from Mimar Sinan University, he used to say, “Season baklava with salt and pepper and you’ll have baroque”.

Are there any among your students in Turkey who can carry on with your mission?

There hasn’t been somebody eager to do it yet. I wish someone did. There are students who join the seminar in the Belgian conservatory, but not in Turkey. I teach this to others abroad. I am dismayed. You see, in Turkey, a department on the harpsichord and the organ has still not been opened. When I came to Turkey with my diplomas, I couldn’t teach because it wasn’t thought as necessary.

: Publication of the Yurkish Exporters Assembly - MAY-JUNE  2003
( http://www.turkishtime.org/16/92_1_en.asp

Belgian newspaper

Le Soir

" Il faut se féliciter de voir le Printemps Baroque du Sablon nous présenter cette « Europe Galante » jeudi soir aux Brigittines.
Pour la circonstance, les organisateurs s'étaient même substitués à Europalia puisque c'est une ensemble turc, « l' Istanbul Barok », qui était de la fête. Après de solides études en Europe Occidentale, Leyla PINAR a fondée
« Istanbul Barok », un petit orchestre baroque à la tête duquel elle initie de jeunes musiciens à l'expérience de vécu.
On épinglera la belle diction de la Discorde de Patrick Lange, le timbre généreux
d' Efe Kislali ( Don Pedro, Octavio ) et les belles en Volées de la soprano Cagnur Gürsan ( Céphise et Zaide ) .

Le Soir - Belgique

Revue Générale

Cette année, avec sa deuxième édition, le Printemps Baroque du Sablon commence à entrer dans les ( bonnes ) habitudes de Bruxelles.
Aux Brigittines, une découverte majeur venue de Turquie; les jeunes artistes de « l' Istanbul Barok » dans « l' Europe Galante » de Campra.
Après la France, l' Espagne et l' Italie, la Turquie des turqueries imaginées aux XVIIème et XVIIIème siècles occidentaux est le thème d'un marivaudage de cet opéra qui fut un énorme succès à l'époque. Avec notamment ses sopranos éblouissants, la malice et la finesse du jeu, les inventives trouvailles d'une mise en scène légère où intervient de la remarquable chorégraphie - notamment en solo -.
Mme Leyla PINAR a réalisée là une merveille d'esprit et de fine inventivité, dans une qualité musicale de haut niveau.
La Turquie en Europe : le plaidoyer sous-entendu était convaincant.

Frédéric KIESEL
Revue générale-Bruxelles juil/aout 1997- Chroniques et actualités Musique

Turkish internet publication

Belgian newspaper