INTERVIEW

SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT - FRIENDSHIP CHAIN 1

24.08.2015


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MESSAGE 1

CELLIST LUDWIG QUANDT
SAYS HELLO TO
CELLIST VALTER DESPALJ

We met with Ludwig Quandt, the principal cellist of 12 Cellists of Berlin Philharmonic, just before their concert in Istanbul during 43th Istanbul Music Festival. 

It was still a very chilling evening, especially behind the antique stone walls of Hagia Irene Basilica. Yet we were warmed by the chat we had with him and his equally amiable colleague Martin Menking. 

Then it was time to ask them "the question"... I quickly opened up my idea: 
I would ask them to say hello to a musician friend and would record this message to make that person listen to it no matter where he/she is. 
Quandt and Menking were surprised, but liked the idea. After a brief discussion in German, they decided to say hello to their old and most beloved colleague from the times of Former Yugoslavia. 

This person was Valter Despalj, who did the arrangements of many works they have been performing, including the Brandenburg Concerto for 12 cellos, which they would play that night. 

Alas, as we didn't have any equipment there to record a video, I recorded Quandt's voice. But promise, the rest will come in videos. ;-)
 

“HE GAVE HIS ARRANGEMENTS JUST FOR NOTHING”

 
Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Ludwig Quandt on 1st June 2015 in Istanbul
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.

VIDEOS FOR YOUR INTEREST


     




MESSAGE 2

CELLIST VALTER DESPALJ
SAYS HELLO BACK TO
CELLIST LUDWIG QUANDT

It was easier than I guess. I quickly got in contact with Mr. Despalj thanks to a basic user list search in an online video chat programme. But meantime it was quite enjoyable and enlightening to read his interview on Oviationpress’s website, where the scores of his arrangements are sold. But as Ludwig Quandt said in his voice message, Despalj had given his arrangements to the 12 Cellists of Berlin Philharmonic for free. In the interview I just mentioned about, we learn that Despalj actually not only gives arrangments but also edit orchestra scores and their cello parts for this publishing company.

The first night I called Mr. Despalj, he was in a hurry and had borrowed the computer from someone else, so we agreed to meet the next morning again. It was a beautiful spring morning in Zagreb city with sun shining through Mr. Despalj’s window and birds chirping with full energy outside. There was a paintinghung just behind Despalj, depicting him with his cello. I asked him its artist. He told me that this is by a prominent Croatian painter called Gjuro Seder. 

Mr. Despalj was so happy to receive Ludwig Quandt’s message. He also confessed that he knew Quandt even before he knows him. Here is Despalj’s video message to Ludwig Quandt from Zagreb.
 

“MAYBE YOU FORGOT THOSE TIMES”


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Valter Despalj, on 4th June 2015, between Istanbul and Zagreb,
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.

VIDEOS FOR YOUR INTEREST
Below I would like to share Vittorio Monti’s Czarda arranged by Valter Despalj, but twice. Because one is performed by the famous cellist Luca Sulic (once Despalj’s student), while in the second video there is a very sentimental interprertation by Karmen Pečar from Ljubljana (again a master degree student of Despalj at University of Zagreb). And lastly you’ll find a small extract where Ludwig Quandt playing solo with Berlin Philharmonic in Strauss’s Don Quixote

     




MESSAGE 3

CELLIST
VALTER DESPALJ
SAYS HELLO TO
GUITARIST PETRIT ÇEKU

Valter Despalj, the professor of numerous students, since 20 years, has also been directing an ensemble called Cellomania. His aim is to make his students to get a better understanding of their weaknesses by giving them opportunity to compare their performances in this pure cello ensemble with what they do in an orchestra’s mixed string section.

Mr. Despalj has a strong and beautiful connection with his students, even decades after they depart, which you will witness a little bit now in this coming video!
 

“DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS MUSIC?”


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Valter Despalj, on 4th June 2015, between Istanbul and Zagreb,
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.

VIDEOS FOR YOUR INTEREST
Below in the first two videos, you can listen to the full recording of BWV 1003 by Çeku’s poetically pensive tranquility, and in the third video you will see young Despalj performing the first movement of Ivo Maček Sonata at Dubrovnik Summer Festival in 1976.

      



MESSAGE 4

GUITARIST
PETRIT ÇEKU
SAYS HELLO BACK TO
CELLIST
VALTER DESPALJ

When I got in touch with Petrit, he was so excited and impatient to learn who said hello to him and seeing his old professor on the laptop screen was a real “awesome” shock for him. Besides, he was even further shocked that this message came via Istanbul. I understood why so, when he all of a sudden -after the reording was over- he started talking to me in such a fluent and brilliant Turkish.
 
Petrit was born in Prizren, in Kosovo and took up guitar, first playing with his father who is an amateur player. But during Slobodan Milosevic’s regime and the war in Kosovo he had to escape to Istanbul with his family. And according to a recent interview by Christina Mari, he didn’t have to leave only his hometown, but also his much beloved guitar there. So he would almost suffer a nervous breakdown, but for her aunt Gulseren finally found him a guitar.
 
In 2002 he went to Zagreb, becoming the student of Xhevdet Sahatxhija and then worked Valter Despalj and started performing and recording Despalj’s arrangements. And now Despalj was calling him via Istanbul!
 
In the video you’ll see Petrit Çeku telling the fantastic references Mr. Despalj inspired him with during their classes, but as you can see Çeku is also a person full of fantastic references!
 
Just after a while this video was recorded Çeku was back in Istanbul for his cousin’s wedding. His aunt and her family still lives here. It seems that Çeku will continue to come here often. So we hope to see him for a recital in the city one day.
 

“OH! THOSE FANTASTIC REFERENCES!”


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Petrit Çeku, on 6th June 2015, between Istanbul and Kosovo,
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.


The book Valter Despalj signed for Petrit Çeku on 1st December 2005:


“To dear Petrit,
The Knight of Guitar, after his great success at the HGZ Hall,
Sincerely,
Valter Dešpalj”


VIDEOS FOR YOUR INTEREST

      



MESSAGE 5

GUITARIST PETRIT ÇEKU

SAYS HELLO TO
PIANIST MARTINA FILJAK

This is even a more catchy story. Because this time we passed a hello to Mars!
 
After working with Cuban guitarist Manuel Barrueco at Peabody in 2013, and winning several international guitar competitions, now, Petrit Çeku is an artist with a calender packed like a “can of sardines” as he says. He travels so much that to survive he has to carry vitamin pills with him, and the %70 of the air he breathe is produced by air conditioners. Then just imagine how often can he see his old friends.
 
When I ask him to pick some friend from any where Petrit made a very long-range shooting and hit a target from Mars!
This was a Croatian pianist called Martina Filjak with whom he met several years ago at a festival…
 
Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Petrit Çeku, on 6th June 2015, between Istanbul and Kosovo, for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.
 

SAYING HELLO TO MARS!


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Petrit Çeku, on 6th June 2015, between Istanbul and Kosovo,
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.

VIDEOS FOR YOUR INTEREST
Let’s meet the lady from Mars. First with her left hand, then her both hands and the rest…

      




MESSAGE 6

MARTINA FILJAK
SAYS HELLO
BACK TO GUITARIST PETRIT ÇEKU

Martina Filjak, who Petrit Çeku sent his hello and best wishes to, was a kid who saw the Soviet Regime’s fall and the bomb shelters, just like Çeku. But as you’ll see in this video, too, thanks to their love for classical music they both left all these traumas behind and went forward in their musical lives.
 
But actually, when I first got in touch with Martina, she was unfortunately down with the notorious seasonal and never-ending flu. So we decided to wait until she felt better to have a more comfortable chat. When we finally met online she was hardly better, sitting in her all white-walled attick room in Berlin, but she was also very curious who might have said hello to her. And of course, her best remedy came from Petrit!

But by a strange twist of fate, a vey fantastic thing happened. She was on her mobile phone and the moment she opened Petrit Çeku’s video the poor web connection played such a trick that Martina became a Martian! How? Watch and see…

Ancak kaderin tuhaf bir cilvesi sonucu, son derece ilginç bir şey yaşandı. Martina görüşmeye cep telefonu ile bağlanmıştı. Petrit’in videosunu açtığında da zayıf internet bağlantısı bir oyun oynadı ve Martina Marslı’ya dönüştü! Nasıl mı? İzleyin ve görün... J
 

I WAS LIKE: “OH MY GOD! YOU ARE GREAT!”


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Martina Filjak, on 18th June 2015, between Istanbul and Berlin,
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.

AND A SURPRISE REUNION
2 months after this video was recorded, I bumped into these two photos in facebook. Petrit Çeku stopped in the town of Samobor in Croatia for a guitar workshop and so was Filjak at a spot very close to that town. And so they met at last! Later Çeku told me that when they met, they discussed how often they can see their friends normally. And after a discussion they decided if an average is taken, all musician friends can see each other only once in 2 years. That sounds really pathetic. But hope SAY HELLO TO MUSIC will be a cure for this situation, whose maybe first proof can be seen in these photos.







MESSAGE 7

PIANIST MARTINA FILJAK
SAYS HELLO TO
MAESTRO JOSEP CABALLÉ DOMENECH
 

Martina Filjak, without a second thought, wanted to say hello to Maestro Josep Caballé Domenech, who is a Catalan conductor. She said she has great respect for the work he has been doing and also she adores his family.
Maestro Domenech had also visited Turkey last year. He had conducted the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra on 22nd November 2014, in Bilkent Odeon Concert Hall, in Ankara. The night’s soloist was the young Austrian pianist Ingulf Vunder.
 
And as a final note, Martina Filjak also will be in Ankara on 19th March of 2016 to play Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 2 with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra under the conductorship of Stefan Sanderling.
 

“HE HAS A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY”


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Martina Filjak, on 18th June 2015, between Istanbul and Berlin,
for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.


A PHOTO FOR YOUR INTEREST
When I asked Martina if she would like to share any souvenir with us, she shared the link of a photo taken at Halle Staatskapell’s Hall. There the Maestro Domenech and Filjak are holding a tower of chairs staked on top of each other. We will learn about the story of this picture in the next video.



Photo credit: Claudia Brinker




MESSAGE 8

MAESTRO JOSEP CABALLÉ DOMENECH

SAYS HELLO BACK TO PIANIST
MARTINA FILJAK

Music Director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra, Josep Caballé Domenech was born in Barcelona, Spain, into a family of musicians. He studied piano, percussion, singing and violin and took conducting lessons with David Zinman and Jorma Panula at the Aspen Music Festival, Sergiu Comissiona, and also at Vienna’s University of Music and Scenic Arts. So in time, he moved from the back row of an orchestra’s percussionist to its head position. Now he also remains his close ties with Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Orquesta Nacional de Catalunya, Royal Philharmonic and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Also presently he is the Music Director of Staatskapelle Halle.

I found Maestro in Brasil, he was teaching at a summer camp and was in his hotel room in the small hours of the morning. He was glad to see Martina on the screen and his face brightened up with a caring smile.
 
Then of course I asked what is the story of the picture Martina Filjak shared with us taken in Halle. Here you can listen it… 

SAVING A CONCERT AND TAKING CARE OF THE REST 


Recorded by Sanat Deliorman with Josep Caballé Domenech, on 21 July 2015, between Istanbul
and Brasil, for the SAY HELLO TO MUSIC PROJECT©.


A VIDEO FOR YOUR INTEREST



TO BE CONTINUED...
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TÜRKÇESİ İÇİN
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