Just in: Turkey bans works by dissident pianist

Just in: Turkey bans works by dissident pianist


norman lebrecht

October 20, 2014

We understand that compositions by the outspoken pianist Fazil Say have been removed from next season’s Ankara programmes by order of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

State-funded orchestras are obliged to submit concert plans for approval to the Fine Arts Directorate at the Ministry. In a climate of increadingly authoritarian Islamism, the Ankara orchestra was told to abandon its plans to perform Say’s İstanbul Symphony, piano concerto and his newest orchestral work ‘Hermias — Yunus Sırtındaki Çocuk’ (Boy Riding a Dolphin).

Turkey has taken another step back to the dark ages.


Three weeks ago, the ministry imposed strict new female dress codes at the opera and ballet.


  • Abendroth says:

    Very annoying. Turkey deserves better than that. And so does Fazil Say, a great pride for Turkish music (and a great guy too).

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    Who would have thought that there would be a government in 2014 declaring the music of a composer “entartet”, and forbidding its performances. Will films, plays, books follow? And, ultimately, people? We have seen this before….

    • Paul D says:

      I know what country you are thinking of, and you are certainly correct, but we saw this nearly happen in Australia to “Carmen.” When you take the government’s funding, you open yourself to doing its bidding.

      I could see something like this happening in the United States, where interest group politics are pervasive, if we had the level of government funding for the arts similar to Europe’s. Quotas on artists and performers would not be far fetched, nor scrutinizing works for their author’s thoughts.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    And EU politicians ALL praised Erdogan’s Turkey few years ago…