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20. NOV | Ion Vidu National College of Art
Derya Türkan Ensemble

Cantemir 300/350
Minstrel’s Era - Journey of Dimitrie Cantemir 


Ion Vidu National College of Art (Str. Cluj 12)

19:30  Pre-Concert Talk Derya Türkan

20:00 Concert

CANTEMIR 300/350

"The nearly forgotten art of music, not only revived, but was perfected by Osman Effendi, a nobleman from Constantinople." 

Dimitrie Cantemir

The year 2023 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth and the 300th anniversary of the death of the great Dimitrie Cantemir. He was a true representative of the Enlightenment, a polymath of rare erudition. His son, Antioh, considered the first great Russian poet, became Russia's ambassador to the United Kingdom and France, where he was close to Enlightenment thinkers such as Montesquieu and Voltaire.

Few people know that Dimitrie Cantemir is considered one of the most important composers of classical Turkish music, a genre born and developed in the palaces of the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul.


Building upon the musical teachings he received from his master, Osman Effendi, Cantemir developed an innovative musical notation system derived from the Turkish alphabet. His work, "Edvar-i Musiki" (The Book of the Science of Music), is regarded as the cornerstone treatise of classical Turkish music, containing over 350 instrumental works. This book was Cantemir's gift to Sultan Ahmed III in 1704 and serves as evidence of an extensive musical culture primarily passed down orally.


This unique musical legacy left by Cantemir in the realm of Turkish music is presented to the people of Timișoara through the performance of Derya Türkan, one of the top artists in the world of Turkish music, and his ensemble.

This concert will showcase the Ottoman musical culture from the decade that led to Timișoara's entry into the Austrian Empire and, consequently, the Enlightenment. It is a soundscape that certainly existed in Timișoara before 1716.


DERYA TÜRKAN, kemenche

ÖZATA AYAN, tanbur



SERDAR BIȘIREN, percussions


"Air by Cantemir" inspired by Dimitrie Cantemir's The Book of the Science of Music


Nișabur peșrevi hindliler from The Book of the Science of Music


Neva saz semai from The Book of the Science of Music



Bestenigar peșrevi from The Book of the Science of Music


Nihavend saz semai from The Book of the Science of Music


Buselik semai from The Book of the Science of Music

Derya Turkan Ensembe


The Derya Türkan Ensemble was officially established in 2018 by Derya Türkan and a group of musician friends who, with over 20 years of experience, have performed numerous concerts in Turkey and abroad, earning recognition as some of Turkey's top artists. The ensemble is comprised of distinguished Turkish musicians including Serkan Halili (kanun), Ozata Ayan (tanbur), Özgür Özgüler (cello), and Serdar Bişiren (percussion).


The Derya Türkan Ensemble comprises a group of distinguished musicians, including Serkan Mesut Halili, who is widely recognized as one of the contemporary representatives of the "Kanun" instrument and has engaged in numerous international collaborations with orchestras such as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Brandenburg State Orchestra under the direction of Howard Griffiths in Potsdam and Frankfurt Oder, L'arte del Mondo Orchestra in Leipzig and Leverkusen, as well as Ensemble Variances in France. Serkan Mesut Halili is esteemed in the field of Turkish music. The ensemble also features Ozata Ayan, a highly regarded tanbur master known for his expertise in tanbur, bowed tanbur, tarab, and lavta, earning recognition as one of the leading figures in Turkish music. Additionally, the ensemble includes Ozgur Ozguler, a cellist specializing in Turkish music, and Serdar Bisiren, an accomplished rhythm artist in Turkish music, Ottoman music, and Sufi music.

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Dery Turkan


Derya Türkan, recognized as one of the master Istanbul kemençe players worldwide, gained international acclaim with his performance of the soundtrack for the 2012 film "Argo," directed by Ben Affleck and featuring original music by Alexandre Desplat.


He has toured as a soloist under the direction of conductors like Sir Simon Rattle and Howard Griffiths, performed and recorded alongside renowned artists such as Jordi Savall and Renaud Garcia Fons in prestigious venues like the Berlin Philharmonic, Essen Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and Carnegie Hall.

In 1997, he performed at the Sorbonne in a concert dedicated to celebrating the 80th birthday of Yehudi Menuhin, organized by the French President Jacques Chirac.


He has been invited to give informative concerts, seminars, and lectures on kemençe, Ottoman music, and Turkish Classical Music at universities such as San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Harvard, MIT, and the New England Conservatory.

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