Every concert by Hezarfen Ensemble is an adventure. Internationally recognized for its performances of contemporary music, it is above all the energy and vitality of this Istanbul-based group which has brought Hezarfen increasingly widespread recognition, as the ensemble enters its eleventh season.
With signature projects ranging from trio (Word and Sound) to interdisciplinary chamber opera (Deniz Küstü and Mevlâna-Say I am You) and Music of Displacement, the impact of Hezarfen on music in Turkey has been profound, changing the face of contemporary music in its home country, while the infectious energy of its performances has brought acclaim for the ensemble in its appearances at festivals across Europe.
Key performances abroad have included Donaueschinger Müsiktage in Berlin (2021) (2021), the Divan project (Berlin and Istanbul, 2018), Acht Brücken Festival, Cologne (2017), GHI, Rome (2016), Maerz Musik, Berlin (2013), Rotterdam Operadagen (2012), Klangzeit Festival Münster (2013), Essen Cultural Capital (2010), and the Trieste Prima festival in Italy (2015). In Turkey Hezarfen regularly appears at the Istanbul Music Festival (2011, 2012, 2016), Borusan Music House (2010-2021), Bilkent Music Academy and New Music Days (2011-2021), BAUART & Yapı Kredi (2018), Boğaziçi University (2013), Institut Francais (2011), Akbank Sanat (2011), Saygun Centre Izmir (2012, 2019), Koç University (2015) and in ongoing collaborations with Goethe Institute (2011-2021), Italian, Netherlands and Austrian Cultural Centres (2017, 2012 and 2016-17).
In 2021-2022 Hezarfen continues its collaboration with Klangforum Wien, conducted by Beat Furrer, for the closing concert of New Music Festival Ankara in September 2022. The ensemble will also make its UK debut, premiering seven new works featuring makam instruments kemençe, ney and kanun, on Bristol New Music in May, 2022. Plans for 2023 include the culmination of Hezarfen’s landmark European Research Council (ERC) Beyond East and West project, with the staging of Binboğalar Efsanesi (Where-To?), based on the novel by Yaşar Kemal, depicting the end of nomadism and pastoralist cultures, incorporating Anatolian instruments and voices and music by Michael Ellison.