Musical Performance: Classical Ottoman Music

Fri, May 4, 2007 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts Invites you

To Classical Ottoman Music

With Ahmet Erdogdular (Vocals) Ismail Hakki Cimen (Ney) Johnny Farraj (Percussion)

Friday, May 4, 2007, 9:00 PM $15 ($10 for students with valid ID)

The Music This concert will illustrate the genres of classical Ottoman music and introduce its famous composers by presenting a variety of forms as a reflection of the multicultural environment in which this music was created. Featured are sarki, beste, agir semai, turku and ilahi, as well as vocal improvisational forms, gazel and kaside. Sufi repertoire, integral to classical music, consists of poems of Rumi and Yunus Emre, composed and performed in Sufi remembrance rituals. Through the selections in this concert, Ahmet Erdogdular will present traditional singing style and voice techniques particular to the Ottoman musical tradition.

The Musicians

Ahmet Erdogdular (vocals) started studying music at an early age with his father, neyzen Omer Erdogdular and continued his musical development with the guidance of the renowned musician Niyazi Sayin. He participated in various concerts as a lead singer while still a teenager. Ahmet graduated from the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory where he completed his master's degree in Turkish classical music under the guidance of Professor Alaeddin Yavasca. He studied makam and improvisation techniques with Niyazi Sayin, Necdet Yasar and Kani Karaca, performing with them in Turkey and Europe. Analyzing the techniques of old masters of Ottoman music like Munir Nurettin Selcuk, Bekir Sitki Sezgin, and Meral Ugurlu, Ahmet learned and preserved many of the classical improvisational forms of Ottoman music such as gazel, kaside and mevlid. In addition, Ahmet studied and performs Sufi musical types, in particular the naat form of Mevlevi music. Ahmet Erdogdular also plays tambur and percussion. He performs around the world, and teaches music in Istanbul as well as Ross Daly's annual Labyrinth Musical Workshop in Crete.

Ismail Hakki Cimen (ney) was born in Turkey and lived in Brazil and the United States. He is a musician of the Ottoman Sufi tradition and plays the ney (reed flute) and oud . He is an expert on makam theory as it applies to the performance of ilahis (hymns) in the Sufi ceremonies of remembrance. He also performs duraks and kasides, a form of poetry found in Ottoman literature, in which the themes can be both secular and religious. He is also a chanter of the Quran (hafiz), and studied with Abdurrahman Gurses and Mehmed Efendi, the famous imam of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. He received an honorary doctorate from the Istanbul Technical University, Turkish Classical Music Conservatory. Ismail participated in numerous workshops at universities worldwide, and gave concerts in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Johnny Farraj (percussion) is a Palestinian musician living in New York City. He studied the oud with Simon Shaheen, classical Arabic singing with Rima Khcheich and Youssef Kassab; and riq (Egyptian tambourine) with Fairuz's longtime percussionist Michel Merhej Baqlouq and Karim Nagi. Johnny is currently a member of the Tarab Ensemble, and actively studies, teaches and performs classical Arabic music. He also has taken part in several fusion collaborations involving classical Indian and Persian music, as well as Jazz. Johnny attends the Arabic Music Retreat annually, and has created a web site ( to teach classical Arabic music theory.

Last updated: 2007-09-11 13:33:38

Ahmet Erdogdular
Ahmet Erdogdular

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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