The compositions of the Ottoman Imperial family as well as their masters of music resonated at London's Cadogan Hall on Nov. 27. Co-organized by Yunus Emre Institute London and the Turkish Culture and Information Office in London, the concert took place under the leadership of Turkish music historian Dr. Emre Aracı, who is an expert in the European musical tradition in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century.
The concert titled "Waltzes with Sultans," was performed by the Chamber Ensemble of London and featured waltzes, polkas and marches written by people from the Ottoman court as well as well-recognized musicians such as Giuseppe Donizetti and Callisto Guatelli, who were working under the patronage of the Ottoman sultans. Under the baton of Maestro Peter Fisher, the Chamber Ensemble of London and Aracı brought back the glories of a vanished and elegant past, which once flourished along the banks of the Bosporus in the 19th century in this highly original and unusual music event. Thanks to Aracı's orchestration, the concert showed the levels of musical interchange that existed between the East and West in an age that is now totally confined to the dusty shelves of archives. Commenting on the concert, Ali Selçuk Can, the attaché of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office, said, "With this historic event, we are hoping that the British public will discover the similarities of Turkish music and culture with that of Europe."