Award after award for 11-year-old Turkish pianist dreaming of combining Western and Turkish music

Published 07.08.2019 21:38
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

A young Turkish pianist with perfect pitch is gaining success after success, award after award despite being only 11 years old.

Ilyun Bürkev, who has innate absolute pitch, has so far come in first place in four competitions, including the 9th Maria Herrero International Piano Competition held in Granada, Spain, and the Pera International Piano Competition. She also holds third prize in two competitions, the Paris International Piano Competition, and the Rhapsody International Piano Competition, making her total award count six at such a young age.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Bürkev said that while studying the works of worldwide known composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Litzve and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, she has also been learning about traditional Turkish music.

The pianist said Fazıl Say, Gülsin Onay, Emre Sen and Ibrahim Yazıcı were among her primary inspirations, and that her dream is to establish a big orchestra someday.

As a student of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory, Bürkev first discovered the piano when she was just four years old. Her interest peaked when her music teacher said she had absolute pitch. After being accepted into the conservatory, she started working with Professor Burcu Aktaş Urgun, who prepared her international competitions.

Reiterating that music has a unifying power, and is universal as it brings different communities together, Bürkey stressed that she sees music as a factor that beautifies human relations.

Bürkev also said that her family is very supportive regarding her interest in music and piano, adding her mother gives her a pep-talk before each competition.

The young talent's mother, Neşe Bürkev told AA that the most important thing for a mother is to see her child happy and for Ilyun this is when she plays the piano. Neşe pointed out that Ilyun never really spent much time on electronic devices such as phones and tablets which, according to her, is her biggest advantage compared to her peers.

Doğan Bürkev, Ilyun's father, said that he only wanted his daughter to pursue this as a hobby for a long time because he thought his daughter would be more successful academically, but after realizing how extraordinary talented she was and seeing her achievements, they decided to prepare her for a future full of music.

"Ilyun has the opportunity to touch humanity, embrace masses and convey the language of love to all with an instrument," he said, adding that he hopes his daughter's dream of combining western and Turkish music and creating a big orchestra would come true.

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