Turkish State Choir, Türkiye
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor: Burak Onur Erdem The Turkish State Choir is the leading professional choral ensemble of the country. Since its foundation in 1988 initiated by Prof. Hikmet Şimşek, the choir acts both as a strong symphonic choir and a refined a capella ensemble. Past chief conductors include Walter Strauss, Ahter Destan, İbrahim Yazıcı and Cemi’i Can Deliorman. Since 2017, the artistic director and principal conductor is Burak Onur Erdem. Every season the choir performs more than 30 concerts including symphonic concerts with all the professional symphony orchestras of Türkiye, a capella programmes containing new commissions, and education concerts for youth and children. The choir has given more than thousands concerts in all parts of Türkiye and has performed in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Israel, Bulgaria and South Korea. In its debut concert, the choir performed under the direction of memorable Turkish composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun. Since then, notable performances include Harbison’s world premiere in Vatican to Pope John Paul II, Mahler 2nd in Konzerthaus Berlin, Britten’s War Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem with prominent European symphony orchestras. Awarded the ‘Best Choral Ensemble in Türkiye’ in 2010, the choir has been endowed ‘Voices from Heaven’ by music critics in Europe. The choir has recorded many albums until now, including Orff - Carmina Burana, Mozart - Requiem, Saygun - Yunus Emre Oratorio, Say - Nazım Oratorio, a capella folk songs by Saygun and Sun. The Turkish State Choir has commissioned many composers like Eurico Carrapatoso, Giovanni Bonato and Henning Sommerro. The choir initiated its choral conducting masterclass in 2016 and hosted international experts like Paulo Lourenço, Lorenzo Donati, Ragnar Rasmussen and Josep Vila i Casanas as guest conductors. The Turkish State Choir is a member of TENSO Network Europe as of January 2019.