Berlin's European Composer Award goes to Sinem Altan.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The office of the Governing Mayor of Berlin has proudly announced that German-Turkish composer Sinem Altan is the winner of the 2015 European Composer Award.
The award was announced at the conclusion of Berlin's Young Euro Classic series on Aug. 23, during which 1,500 young orchestral and dance artists from over 40 nations performed the last of 20 concerts held in Konzerthaus Berlin since Aug. 5.
Altan's orchestral piece, "Hafriyat" (Earthwork), performed within the Aug. 16 concert of the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, performing for the third time in the series since 2008, was a world premiere. The rest of the colorful program, led by Cem Mansur, also featured works by Mussorgsky, Debussy, and Stravinsky.
The 11-member jury selected Altan's piece from other nominated compositions from Israel, Great Britain, China, Mongolia, Norway, Portugal, and Ukraine. Judged as the best new work in the annual Young Euro Festival 2015 (this year is the 16th edition), Altan was awarded 5,000e1/4. Her prize was publicly presented by Chief of Protocol of the State of Berlin, Dr. Volker Pellet.
Sinem Altan was born in Ankara and now lives in Berlin. While still a young girl she won first prizes as pianist and composer in both Turkey and Germany. At the age of 11 she was admitted to the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. The versatile artist has been Composer in Residence for the NeukE[micro]lln Opera and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB) for whom she created the Turkish version of "Till Eulenspiegel" (The Owl's Mirror) as "Keloy-lan," and for the Amsterdam Opera she composed a new version of Verdi's "Aida" with gospel choir and oriental percussion.
Altan's Concerto for Bay-lama (Turkish lute) and symphony orchestra received a successful premiere at the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2013. She currently works as musical director for the Maxim Gorki Theatre, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, and Atze Music Theatre in Berlin. In January 2016, her composition for string quartet, commissioned by the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy Competition, will be premiered.
The jury explained its choice of Altan's piece with this description: "... dense and varied ... it draws its power [through] its emotional and motor force, which sweeps us up without sensationalism. Sinem Altan has managed to [forge] impressive images which made us feel the force of the earth."
ALEXANDRA IVANOFF, BERLIN (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN
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