The Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO), one of the standard bearers of Turkish music, will celebrate its 190th anniversary with a special concert.
“Traditional Dance Music” by Muammer Sun, “Concert for Piano” by Charles Camille Saint-Saens and “Symphony No.6” by Ludwig van Beethoven will be presented by world-famous conductor Rengim Gökmen and soloist-pianist Gülsin Onay in the framework of the event to be held on Nov. 17 and 18 at the CSO Concert Hall.
During the year, CSO will also publish a book of 700 pages describing its 190 years of history in Turkish and English.
The manager of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Altan Kalmukoğlu, said the CSO, which was founded under the name of “Mızıka-i Hümayun” in the Ottoman era in 1826, Giuseppe Donizetti assumed the role of principal conductor, is one of the best orchestras in the world.
After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the State orchestra moved to the new capital Ankara on April 27, 1924, upon the orders of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Founding President of the Republic of Turkey.
Upon moving to Ankara, the Music Teachers School was also formed in 1924, with the efforts of Zeki Üngör. This school later became the basis of the Ankara State Conservatory.
On June 25, 1932 the orchestra was named the Republican Orchestra. With this new formation the band and the orchestra clearly separated.
Hasan Ferit Alnar became the conductor of the orchestra, and remained until 1957. In 1957 a law was passed changing the name of the orchestra to the Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
Also arguing that Ottoman art had been falsely maligned, Kalmukoğlu emphasized that many sultans had a life entwined with art.
“The CSO is older than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra which was formed in 1842, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra formed in 1887 and all orchestras in the United States. This demonstrates the importance given to art by the Ottoman Empire,” Kalmukoğlu said.