Internationally acclaimed French pianist hails CSO concert complex in Turkish capital

'When I visited [it], I felt like a little child opening his toy, his Christmas gift,' says Simon Ghraichy

Harun Kutbe   | 09.09.2021
Internationally acclaimed French pianist hails CSO concert complex in Turkish capital


Internationally acclaimed French pianist Simon Ghraichy recently expressed his admiration for the renovated CSO ADA Ankara concert complex in the Turkish capital. 

"Yesterday when I visited, I felt like a little child opening his toy, his Christmas gift. Everything smells new. This is such a privilege for me to be playing in such a beautiful place," Ghraichy told Anadolu Agency.

He also expressed his happiness to be invited back to Turkey, where he gave a concert three years ago.

"I feel loved because if they invite me again to play to the Turkish people, it means they liked very much my first tour and are very happy about it and excited to share again my music with all these nice audiences here," he added.

Performing many works, especially those of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Ghraichy opened the concert season of CSO ADA on Tuesday.

The French pianist will also perform at the Istanbul Music Festival on Wednesday.

Impact of COVID-19 restrictions on music industry

Speaking about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the music industry, he said: "It was a very difficult time for all the artists, and I suffered myself like many other of my fellow colleagues. And we had to occupy our time differently because we were not able to do our jobs, which is playing our instruments for real people on the stage."

Touching on how he utilized his time during the restrictions, he said: "In the meantime, when we could not do any concerts, I wrote a book, and it was an introspection for me."

“For almost one year, I wrote about the situation today of the culture in the world in general and in my own country, France. So I did not suffer that much because I had my time occupied differently," he added.

CSO ADA complex

After the inauguration of CSO's new building by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, the hall opened its doors to art lovers in late 2020.

The building complex houses the 2,023-seat Grand Hall, 500-seat Blue Hall, and 600-seat Historical Symphony Hall.

The campus has restaurants, a museum, and open-air spaces, making the building a meeting place for art and culture lovers.

The hall is located in the heart of the city with a view of the historical Ankara Castle and Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

While the minimalist design language is enriched with the coherent support of wood, glass, and concrete, the consultancy for acoustics was provided by Prof. W. Fasold in association with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, according to CSO's website.

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