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The pianist and composer Fazil Say, who was born in 1970 in Ankara, initially studied with Mithat Fenmen, a student of Cortot, at the State Conservatory of his native Turkey and became conversant early on in the art of improvisation. At the age of 17 he received a scholarship that enabled him to continue his training with David Levine at the Robert Schumann Music Academy in Düsseldorf and at the University of the Arts in Berlin. In 1994 Say won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York and began his international career. Since then he has appeared as a soloist with the leading American and European orchestras and performed on all five continents. He has been associated in recent years as an artist-in-residence in particular with the concert halls in Dortmund and Berlin and with the Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau Festivals. Special Fazil Say Festivals presenting him as both a creative and a recreative artist have been held in Paris, Hamburg, Merano, Tokyo, and Istanbul. In the chamber music realm, Say has been a regular partner for many years with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja; the cellists Sol Gabetta and Nicolas Altstaedt as well as the Borusan Quartet also figure as important partners in his concerts. As a composer, Say’s catalogue includes such compositions as three symphonies, two oratorios, nine instrumental concertos, chamber music, solo works, and film music. He has won the ECHO Klassik Award no fewer than three times, most recently in the fall of 2013 with a special award for his Istanbul Symphony. Additional recordings have garnered the Diapason d’Or and the German Record Critics’ Prize. In 2008 Fazil Say received the Bremen Music Festival Award and, in 2013, the Rheingau Music Award.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 24 November 2002 in works by Bach, Haydn, Ravel, Liszt, and a composition of his own.