Gallipoli Friendship Concert

In this centenary year of the end of the Great War, the Gallipoli Friendship Concert featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will commemorate those who lost their lives in the 1915-16 Gallipoli Campaign, and build on the enduring legacy of friendship it inspired between Turkey and the Commonwealth.

The programme, presented by the Yunus Emre Enstitüsü, will start with a unique scene-setting introduction given by bestselling author Louis de Bernieres from his novel ‘Birds Without Wings’, which is partly set in Gallipoli.

The musical focus of the concert is Turkish composer Can Atilla’s powerful 2015 requiem symphony Gallipoli – the 57th Regiment, written specially for the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign and which makes its international debut at Cadogan Hall. The composition cleverly uses Edwardian English tonalities to capture the pathos of the campaign, Atatürk’s role and his magnanimity in victory. Two lyrical soprano passages remind us of Atatürk’s immortal words, committing the fallen “Johnnies and Mehmets” to Turkish soil; and a poem by the First World War Australian writer John le Gay Brereton.

The Royal Philharmonic will be conducted by one of Turkey’s foremost musical interpreters Burak Tüzün, Director of the Haceteppe University Symphony Orchestra and lecturer at the Ankara State Conservatoire. Two other leading Turkish artists, Angela Ahıskal, soprano – Official and Onur Şenler, Cellist, also feature prominently

The full programme:

Symphony 2, Gallipoli, the 57th Regiment by Can Atilla
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad
Elgar : Enigma Variations –Nimrod & Finale

A portion of the events ticket sales will be donated to the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation, the charitable arm of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which maintains the graves of almost 50,000 troops on the Gallipoli peninsula in perpetuity.

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