National Youth Orchestra Turkey
Principal Conductor: Cem Mansur
The Turkish National Youth Orchestra has its origins in the International Children’s Symphony Orchestra, a European Union assisted project run by the Bursa Philharmonic Association in 2005.
The Association of Youth Orchestras, founded in 2006, has been principally set up to organize, finance and develop the Turkish National Youth Orchestra, the first of its kind in the country.
In just three years, the orchestra has reached an artistic level demonstrating that young Turkish musicians are capable of the highest international standards. The members, aged between 16 and 22 are chosen by audition from all of Turkey’s conservatoires and high schools of music. A three-week period of preparation each summer when the various sections of players are coached by the best tutors and founder conductor Cem Mansur, is followed by a series of public events in Turkey and abroad.
The 2007 orchestra consisted of 70 musicians and the crowning achievement of the summer was a concert with the great pianist Murray Perahia.
İn 2008, the orchestra grew into a large symphonic ensemble of 92, and following a tour in Turkey in July, re-united in August to undertake a number of public rehearsals, entitled “Laboratory of Democracy”, where Cem Mansur has guided the orchestra and attending audience, through a journey demonstrating the workings of an orchestra as the perfect metaphor for learning about co-existence, leadership, self-respect and responsibility.
August 2008 saw the Turkish National Orchestra undertake its first tour abroad when audiences in Germany witnessed not only the virtuosity of these young musicians but also their infectious energy. One added bonus of this successful tour was the Composers’ Prize of the “Young Euro-Classic” festival won by Ahmet Altınel’s “Les Sources de la Nuit” which the orchestra premiered in front of a 3,000 strong audience at Berlin’s Konzerthaus.
The Turkish National Youth Orchestra is part-funded by Istanbul 2010, European Capital of Culutre and enjoys the patronage of His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdullah Gül.