Giselle Tavilson was introduced to music by her father İstemihan Taviloğlu, a famous composer. After studying in the violin department of Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory, Tavilson traveled to Texas to further her studies at the age of 14. The versatile artist did her undergraduate studies in the International Trade Department of Texas Tech University.
She focused on her violin career after returning to Turkey and managed to carry it to new dimensions. She is the first and only aerial violin artist in Turkey. She has also become well-known globally for her dance performances and shows.
She has taken part in the Roswell Symphony Orchestra, the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra, the Lubbock Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra, the Adana Symphony Orchestra and the Eskişehir Orchestra as a violinist. The artist has performed in the U.S., Cannes, Monaco, Germany, France, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Romania to date. She is one of the most sought after figures for launches, galas, festivals, congresses, fashion shows and special ceremonies.
Tavilson has certainly been affected by her family as her father, İstemihan Taviloğlu, is a famous composer. "My family often took me and my brothers to symphony concerts and operas. We often visited museums and art galleries. I will always remember the concerts where I watched the British National Symphony Orchestra as they played at the magnificent ancient theater of the Ephesus. I believe these all played roles in my career," she said about her family's contribution to her musical journey.
"I was born into music. My father is a well-known and respected composer in Turkey. I grew up listening to the sound of my father's piano as he worked on new compositions. I started studying piano at the age of 5, then violin at 11 at Hacettepe Ankara State Conservatory," she said.
Tavilson is breaking taboos by accompanying her music with colorful choreography and shows that capture the audience's attention throughout her performances.
"Music is a way of expressing my inner feelings, and it is the language I chose to use during my performances. Whether it is my facial expressions, body language, the music I play or the way I dance, I make sure that my passion, excitement, love, humor and crazy parts come out. I believe audiences love sincerity and being able to connect and relate to the performers. As performers, we need to be as transparent as possible to be sure we can pass all these feelings to the listeners easily. An unforgettable performance occurs when a connection between the audience and the performer takes place," she said.
KEEPING PASSION ALIVE
In fact, she is not the only violinist who combines music with bodily performance and talks. Musicians like Igudesman&Joo and Ara Malikian also hold very interesting shows which, in turn, help keep the audience focused on the music. This style has proven successful in promoting children's growing interest in the genre as well.
On why she chose shows that blend music with choreography she noted: "I have wanted to be a performer for as long as I can remember. Being on stage is not only my true love and it is also where I feel at home. I change things as often as possible to keep up the excitement and utilize my creativity. I like don't playing songs the same way or with the same choreography. I do it for myself to keep the passion alive. I realized that when I enjoy doing something that energy passes to the audience. I love what I do and believe that's the key to my performances."
As well as a successful violinist, Tavilson fits in perfectly on stage among the professional dancers. The secret to her stage presence is her background in gymnastics and theater. "I have always been athletic and I believe this has helped me tremendously. Being an ex-gymnast helped me with my aerial performances. In addition, I also took theater classes in conjunction with my main studies at Texas Tech University. Studying theater helped me use my body language while performing. I work out as often as possible with personal trainers and love practicing Pilates. My shows are prepared by a team, which I am fortunate to have. For example, my choreography is created by Ozan Aydemir, the founder of Oda Dans. I am also receiving private dancing lessons from Senem Yelkenci," she said.
After seeing one of her performances, it is impossible to not sense her flexible dynamic and energetic psyche. It seems like new projects, shows and covers will keep coming from her soul. She credits her energetic and productive work pattern to hard work and passion.
"My training in classical music has helped and shaped me to become who I am today. I don't perform classical music now but I utilize the skills I gained during my education and studies in Turkey and the U.S. There is no secret component but there are few things that are musts: Dedication, hard work and passion. I love what I do, and I have worked very hard to get to where I am today. I will keep up the hard work."
As a productive violinist full of inner strength, Tavilson always has new projects going on behind the curtain. "I am currently working on a new single and music videos with amazing singer Jimmie Wilson. I am always exploring new ideas and ways to grow. I believe growth is part of life and I believe you must always progress. I also love supporting and being active with charity and fundraiser events. I am also working on growing my social media presence by actively searching for things that would capture the attention of large audiences," she said.
Interestingly enough, apart from being a violinist and dancer, she has an undergraduate degree from the Department of International Relations at Texas Tech University. She stressed that this degree contributed greatly to her personal improvement by broadening her horizons. "Texas Tech University was a great experience as it not only broadened my horizons but also enabled me to see the world from a whole new perspective. I believe in trying, learning and combining all of those skills to create something extraordinary. I like thinking outside the box. Studying international business helped me manage my career as an artist better. I utilize my work - I really don't like to call it work because it's a lifestyle - skills up until I take the stage. Managing and dealing with people requires certain skill sets and experience. My business degree has helped manage all of these. It gives me an additional perspective I am very fortunate to have," she concluded.