1- Is your family musical?
Music has always been in my life. Almost every Turkish name has a meaning, and mine is “melody”. My father gave this name to me because he has always had passion about music. At the age of seven, I sang in a Turkish choir with my father. Approximately five years later I started playing the violin. My father also started to play the violin, but in the context of Turkish music. He always says that I inspired him to play the violin and he likes the way I play classical music, but he is really passionate about Turkish music.
2- You began your violin studies with Ferhang Huseynov at the Çukurova University State Conservatory. How do you recall this formative period and being trained by this master?
I remember my first lesson with Ferhang Huseynov was really tough; he was a tough man. It was 14 years ago, which feels like a very long time. He taught me the basics in a really short period of time. He was the first person who told me I have the potential to become a great violinist. He encouraged me. In my third year, he taught me to play virtuosic pieces, for example, Hora Staccato, which required me to have a really good staccato technique. I was working so hard. Today, if I play staccato in a piece, everyone tells me that my staccato technique is very impressive. I owe that to him.
3- You resumed your violin studies in Istanbul University State Conservatory with Sevil Ulucan Weinstein in 2013. How did this tutor influence and guide you?
My second teacher, Sevil Ulucan Weinstein, is a very prominent violinist in Turkey. I feel so lucky that I had a chance to study with her! As well as being a renowned soloist, she has made an impression as a great chamber musician. Regardless of her young age, she is very experienced. Her teaching methods are original as they are the same practices she uses for herself. She inspired me not only as a musician but also in life. After my graduation from university as a high ranked student, she encouraged me to go abroad to study. I am really grateful to her!
4- You performed the Vivaldi Concerto for two violins with the distinguished violinist, Cihat Aşkın and the Karşıyaka Chamber Orchestra conducted by Rengim Gökmen. How were your feelings during this performance and how has Mr Aşkın assisted in your musical interpretation?
First of all, I must mention about how much Mr. Aşkın is important to me in my life. He is the one who changed my life. After my teacher’s death in Adana, I had really hard times. He always encouraged me to follow my aspirations and helped me to start my education in Istanbul. I had some coach sessions with him. I also became a member of his project, CAKA (Cihat Aşkın and his little friends).
It was a pleasure to play the concerto for two violins with Mr. Aşkın, with the Karşıyaka Chamber Orchestra and the outstanding conductor, Rengim Gökmen. This concert was very special to me because I was playing with people I have great faith in. Honestly, I haven’t felt such freedom in any other of my concerts as I did with this one. It was so pleasant for me to play with such great musicians!
5- You are going to continue your postgraduate studies with the internationally renowned pedagogue Itzhak Raskovsky at the Royal College of Music. How do feel about your road that brought you here and the path you are about to trod?
I feel so lucky to be Rashkovsky’s student, I have known of him for a long time and I finally met him last year. When I played in his master class last year, I knew I wanted to be his pupil! In every lesson I feel so grateful for every each second with him!
6- How often do you practice?
It depends, but usually between 4-7 hours.
7- If you had the chance to pick an accompanist on stage who would that be?
There are a number of pianists in my mind but for now, I can only say one person, Fazıl Say. He is an outstanding pianist and composer. I admire the passion in his music. I wish we could play together one day!
8- What is your fondest musical memory, privately or performing?
In 2016, I had a really special recital in Istanbul called “İş Sanat Parlayan Yıldızlar”. It was a recital concert series and I was offered a concert in the series.
The concert was great: everyone was applauding so keenly so I decided to play an encore, Rachmaninov’s Vocalise. I had a speech, and I dedicated this piece to the previous art director of İş Sanat, Meriç Soylu who died at a young age. After I started to play it, I couldn’t stop my tears because I could see her parents in my line of eye and they were also crying. That was an unforgettable moment for me.
9- How do you balance your music with other obligations? What are the biggest sacrifices?
I have understood for most of my life that music requires sacrifices. Sometimes it was an obligation, sometimes it was a choice. These days I get up really early and plan everything, whether it pertains to practice or other things in life, and follow those plans.