Our Conservatory is 40 Years Old
Mar 02, 2015

İTÜ Turkish Music State Conservatory (İTÜ TMSC), which is our country’s first Turkish Music Conservatory, celebrated the 40th year of its establishment with a magnificent ceremony held on Sunday, 1March.

Guests that were admitted to the historical building at İTÜ Maçka Campus after a red carpet walk were welcomed by a foyer decorated with black and white photographs from the conservatory’s history. On the evening attended by around a thousand people, 40th Year Special Concert and Turkish Music feast were presented. The concert hosted by Sevcan Orhan and Orhan Hakalmaz, artists who are graduates of İTÜ TMSC, started with a film screening that took the guests on a short journey through the 40 years.

Afterwards, Prof. Adnan Koç, Director of İTÜ TMSC, who went on stage for the opening speech, drew attention to the great devotion and effort with which the conservatory had been founded in 1975 and said, “In today’s conditions, it is difficult to understand, to comprehend under which adverse conditions what austerities had been struggled with and how they were coped with, beginning from point zero. However, we are certain that the only reason that we are gathered here today is the selfless defenses of that day’s long-suffering soldiers in order to protect, develop and spread our national music and carry it into the future. For this reason, we offer our boundless thanks to everyone who took office in previous administrations, our founder Ercümend Berker being foremost, and who pulled their weight.” Koç went on to say:

“The seed planted in our national music exactly 40 years ago sprouted and gave abundant fruits increasingly every day. As a matter of fact, we have here today dozens of assets who came from all over the country to experience the excitement of our 40th year. Our graduates, the number of which reaches 3500, not only contribute to their fields as Turkish Folk Music and Turkish Art Music vocal and instrumental artists, composers, dancers, instrument makers, tonmeisters, musicologists, arrangers in choruses, ensembles and orchestras in governmental institutions and teaching staff at universities but also take part in society as players who give direction to art and music agenda on a national scale. This testifies that we are a big and strong family. And this great potential, by being affiliated with İstanbul Technical University in 1982, turned into a force that gives high standard education at both undergraduate and graduate levels under the guaranty of İTÜ.”

Two Good News on the 40th Year Koç gave the good news that “Music Secondary School” approved by Ministry of National Education and Council of Higher Education (CHE) will begin accepting students as of September 2015 and said that collaboration is being made with İTÜ Development Foundation Beylerbeyi Secondary School and new soldiers of Turkish Music will be trained from the cradle. Koç mentioned 40th Year Special Albums as another good news and said, “We have the pride and joy of sharing with you the albums Pür Nida in TFM field and Meşk-i Sefa and Aşkname in Classical Turkish Music field, which we have created with our own resources as a first in the history of the Conservatory with the extraordinary support of our Rectorate.”

‘We Will Raise the Bar Higher’

Our Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca who spoke after Koç noted İTÜ TMSC’s background and said, “40 is a very important age. Age of maturity, age of grace, even age of prophethood, say the elders. I believe that the 40th year is a turning point for our Conservatory. It has the background, it has the energy... From now on we will have to raise the bar higher.” Karaca, who drew attention to our national music being very rich and said “We are standing on a perfect cultural civilization. We have our instruments and verses, folk songs, many assets,” emphasized the importance of studying our own music.

Karaca, who reminded that the Conservatory was affiliated with İTÜ by the decision of CHE, said, “We are very lucky; I’m glad that you are here, glad that you are affiliated with the technical university. Universities need music and art very much; it brings life into the institution. I have been at the technical university since 1992 and I always saw the conservatory in a different light for that reason, I valued it highly. Now, with you and with the support of our graduates, I hope that we will reach a stronger position.”

Birthday Celebration to Yavaşca on Stage

On the first half of the concert hosted by Mustafa Kemal Hall, İTÜ TMSC Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Cihangir Terzioğlu and Yeşim Altınel Çoban, was on stage with TFM and TAM songs.

At the end of the first part, a birthday surprise was made to Prof. Alaeddin Yavaşça, a doyen of Turkish Music and one of the founders of İTÜ TMSC. The great master was invited on stage and cut the birthday cake made for him.

Passage of soloists

The second half of the concert continued with a passage of soloists. Münip Utandı, Melihat Gülses, Adnan Çoban, Esma Başbuğ, Çiğdem Yarkın, Orhan Hakalmaz, Adile Kurt Karatepe, Gökhan Tepe, Sevcan Orhan and Cumali Özkaya were on stage with TAM and TFM songs. The closing song of the concert was sung by all the soloists and also İTÜ Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca and İTÜ TSMC Director Prof. Adnan Koç.

Click for photographs from the evening.