„We wanted to venture outside our comfort zone to discover as many different timbres and new songs as possible.“
Born in Istanbul, Ilker Arcayürek grew up in Vienna. As soloist with the Mozart Boys’ Choir he gained first experiences on international stages touring overseas as well as in joint performances at Vienna’s Staatsoper, Volksoper and Kammeroper. He became a member of the Arnold Schoenberg Choir and studied privately with Sead
Buljubasic in Vienna. He participated in master-classes with Sir Thomas Allen, Alfred Brendel, Ileana Cotrubas and Thomas Quasthoff. Ilker Arcayürek is the winner of the 2016 International Art Song Competition of Stuttgart’s Hugo Wolf Academy. He was finalist of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition 2015 and was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist through to the end of 2017. For BBC Radio 3 he recorded amongst others with Harmut Höll and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
“Der Einsame” marks Ilker Arcayürek’s debut album. He looks forward to touring the program to venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, Birmingham’s Town Hall, Vilabertran’s Schubertiada and Barcelona’s L’Auditori.
Ilker Arcayürek joined the opera studio at Zürich Opera in 2010 and became a member of the ensemble of the Stadttheater Klagenfurt in the 2013–14 season, where he appeared as Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Malcolm in Macbeth, The Prince in The Love for Three Oranges, Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Tamino in Magic Flute. Since the 2015–16 season, Ilker Arcayürek has been a member of the ensemble of the Staatstheater Nürnberg. In Nürnberg his repertoire includes roles such as Rodolfo in La Bohème, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de Perles and Andres in Wozzeck. Recent guest appearances have included Claudio in Wagner's Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Real in Madrid staged by Kasper Holten under the baton of Ivor Bolton, the Son in Hossam Mahmoud’s Tahrir at the Salzburger Landestheater conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
If you would open any biography of Franz Liszt, you would probably mostly read about his disquiet life as a piano virtuoso, his passionate love life, and the return to his catholic roots at the end of his life. Although all of this might be true, it only scratches the surface of his comprehensive musical personality. Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and organiser, but above all he was a composer of a voluminous, capricious body of work. Even though his piano works formed his core business, he gave rise to the symphonic poem, got rid of the organ's stuffy appearance, and reinvigorated the oratorio. Moreover, with his piano transciptions of Bach's organ works and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, he was an advocate of both old and new music.
Together with his son-in-law Richard Wagner, he was in the forefront of the Romantic movement and anticipated the musical revolutions of the early 20th century with his new composition techniques.
During his own time, Gustav Mahler was considered as one of the major conductors of Europe, but nowadays he is considered to a major composer who bridged the Late Romantic period to the modern age.
Few composers are so connected with the symphonic repertory as Gustav Mahler. Composing symphonies was his "core business": in every aspect he developed the symphony towards, and sometimes even over, its absolute limits. Almost all of Mahler's symphonies are lenghty, demand a large orchestra and are particularly great in their expressive qualities. With rustic and mythical atmospheres (the start of the First Symphony), daunting chaos (the end of his Sixth), grand visions (end of his Second), cheerful melodies (opening Fourth), romantic melancholy (the famous adagio of his Fifth), evocations of nature (his Third), megalomanic eruptions in the orchestra (his Eighth), and the clamant atonality of his unfinished Tenth, Mahler's musical palette seemed inexhaustible.
His symphonies are captivating, but some could find it a bit 'over the top' at times. For those, his orchestral songs could undoubtedly show there is an incredibly subtle and refined side to his compositional style as well.
In the Netherlands, Mahler is particularly popular due to its close bond with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which was already established during his lifetime!
Together with Gustav Mahler, Hugo Wolf can be considered as one of the greatest composers of Late Romantic lieder. Both of them followed the tradition of Schubert and Schumann, but intensified the gerne with Wagner's techniques of text declamation and harmonic development. What makes Wolf's song cycles special, is the fact that often they are devoted to a single poet, like in his Mörike-Lieder (1889), Eichendorff-Lieder (1889) en Goethe-Lieder (1890). For each cycle, he spent a considerable time studying the text to create the best matching music. His accomodation of musical structure, harmonic subteties and pianistic texture are all inseperable from the lyrics. Partly due to his psychological sophistication his songs can be heard as miniature operas.
Even though he did start writing on several full-fledged operas, it never became a true succes. Only his opera Der Corregidor (1896) was completed. Things went downhill from there. In 1897, Wolf had a nervous breakdown as a consequence of a syphilis infection he had since his teens. After a failed suicide attempt, he was admitted to a clinic in Vienna. The somber Michelangelo-Lieder (1898) would become his last completed composition. Wolf died in 1903, three weeks before his 43st birthday.