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15 Questions to Toros Can

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi, I am fine, thank you. I am in Eskisehir-Turkey. I am an associated professor at Anadolu University State Conservatory at the moment.

What’s on your schedule right now?
15 February, 2006
TURKEY - Concert with Istanbul Philharmony (Hakan Sensoy)
Mozart Concerto DM K.451

1 March, 2006 19:30
TURKEY - Recital at Bogazici University Istanbul
Rzewski "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!"

30 March, 2006
TURKEY - Recital at Aksanat Istanbul
Rzewski "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!"

16-17 June, 2006
TURKEY - Istanbul International Music Festival
Participation on the project "Compete Piano Sonatas by Mozart"
K. 281, 283, 332, 457

1 July, 2006
FRANCE - Messiaen Festival
Ligeti, Mozart

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
If I had not chosen music, the music would choose me!

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
As any other musicians, I do have some people who influenced me, of course! The most important was Tedd Joselson who literally changed my life and the way I look at music. He still is the most important figure when it comes to influence... Of course, I should not forget Peter Katin too who thought me how to really play soft. All the soft sounds you hear on my playing stem from him, regardless!

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?

I do not see a significant hard part per say. The best part is that you get to have fun but at the same time you get to create something which expresses your emotions. In life, the most pleasurable things are bad for you (the fat, soda drinks, alcohol, smoking etc...) but incredibly, this is vica versa!

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
Of course there is a crisis, no doubt. We need to win more audiences, but globalism is a big handicap, I think.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
It is such an ignorant thing to say! If this would be true, (the same way) you have to cancel all Shakespare plays from the theatres, stop painting – as all the colors are used- etc... I can only understand this approach on 12 tone composition technique. As Webern said “After I used all twelve tones, I felt that the piece was finished!”... But as for the interpretation? Of course, this does not apply... Again, if this sentence is coming from the pop music people, one can ask them to cancel their concerts as well, as they are only the interpretations of what they have already recorded!

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
When was the last time you heard a performance that you could not forget for a week, it captured you so much that all you could think is that very performance for a whole week? This is the thing performers should try to catch... There has to be fire on stage which would make people think of nothing anything else but listen a live performance. Time freezes and you are - as a listener- in a different state of mind.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
N / A !!! It is physically impossible to not to put emotions when performing. Even if you try so hard to not to put it, it would be non-emotional which is an emotion itself!.... so: N/A

True or false: “Music is my first love”

False, a girl in my first grade was my first love :) I am human

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
False. Do you like Monet? Do you understand him? Or Mozart?... Of course you do, I do too… Can you say that we both understand Mozart in full? Pleasure is the key word and not the knowledge. The knowledge is the duty of the interpreter and NOT the listener. The interpreter has to know the education to reflect (“interpret”) the art. If we put the “education” duty on the shoulders of the listener, it would be wrong and we will keep on loosing audience. Thus, crisis!

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Mozart of course (because of the significance of 2006), Hindemith (because we wrongly interpreted him for many years, and it is time to correct the mistake now), Shostakovitch (because of the significance of 2006 and he should not be forgotten by the Mozart year!), Crumb (because he is one of the most important 20th century composers who is alive!), Ligeti & Boulez (for the same reason!), Schoenberg (because one can never have enough of him), Stravinsky (for the same reason, plus he is more approachable for the audience)…. Even more 20th century music… If we are tying to win over this crisis, we have to start giving much more value to the composers of 20th century, I think… It is the starting point.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
Only at the moment: Boulez: Sur Incises, Messagesquisse, Anthemes 2, DG 02894634752

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?


Thank you

Toros Can

György Ligeti 17 Etudes (L'Empreinte Digitale)
Paul Hindemith (L'Empreinte Digitale)
George Crumb (L'Empreinte Digitale)
Henry Purcel (L'Empreinte Digitale)

Toros Can

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