Hartt Composition faculty members Robert Carl and David Macbride recently served as composers-in-residence at the Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory in Turkey. The residency included teaching a master class for composition students, presenting a seminar on American music, attending and critiquing concerts of student works, and having a number of works performed at a new music concert that also featured the work of Turkish composers. Carl and Macbride each performed a solo piano work at the concert, as well.
Macbride said of the trip, "It was very special to visit the Conservatory with its illustrious history (co-founded by Ahmed Adnan Saygun, with input from Bartok and Hindemith) and share music with both students and faculty alike. The composition students were extremely talented and eager. Everyone was so warm and generous; it seemed like we were always having 'chai' (tea) together with animated conversation (in both Turkish and English)."
Carl continued, "We found Turkey a fascinating culture, on so many "cusps:" between East and West, tradition and modernity, history and contemporaneity. The classical musicians we worked with were about the nation's ancient traditional musics, even if we were starting pretty much from zero in our own background on the topic. The students were very sharp, and probing in their dialogue and questions."
Their visit was at the invitation of Serdar Mukhatov, Professor of Composition at the Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory. Current Hartt student Erberk Eryilmaz was instrumental in organizing this trip. Macbride said, "A special thanks to Erberk and his family for making this happen, performing our music, translating, and being wonderful hosts, and thank you to Professor Mukhatov for making us feel so welcome at the Conservatory."
Pictured: David Macbride and Robert Carl with the bust of Ahmed Adnan Saygun, Turkey's greatest composer, right outside the door of the Conservatory