Idil Biret in 2013 and moving to 2014
2013 was another year of travels, concerts, jury work, music editing, master classes and the release of one of the largest number of new and old CDs ever in a year (20 in all) on Idil Biret’s own record label IBA and Naxos. It was also the year, when the major collaborative work with Yale University reached its conclusion with the release of the 2CD set of all Hindemith’s piano concertos on the Naxos label. With this release Idil Biret’s recordings reached the landmark of one hundred (in LPs and CDs). The other CDs released this year on IBA were a CD of Mozart sonatas (including the Turkish March), two Schumann sonatas (with Bunteblätter, Fantasiestücke, Carnaval and Waldszenen), a CD with the works of the Turkish composer Ertugrul O. Firat and the box set of 14 CDs “LP Originals” which contain the LPs in their original jackets which Biret made between 1956-1986 for Pretoria, Vega, Atlantic/Finnadar, Decca and HMV/EMI. This last box is also the fourth in the series of nine box sets which will be included in the IDIL BIRET 100 EDITION. The forthcoming releases in 2014 will be the complete Chopin and Rachmaninov box sets that were released internationally by Naxos in 1992 and 2000 as well the Schumann, Concerto and 20th Century Editions.*
The year started for Biret with another trip to New Haven to record the last of the five Hindemith works for piano and orchestra with the Yale Symphony. This was followed by a well deserved rest in Honolulu. Upon return she gave many concerts and recitals in Turkey including concerts in March in Ankara and Izmir conducted by Toshi Shimada who had led the Yale ensemble in the recordings of the Hindemith concertos. In April she participated in the jury of the 2nd Rachmaninov Competition at the Russian consulate in Istanbul; sadly the president of the 1st Competition Victor Merjanov, an old friend of Idil, had passed away. Later in April, together with Gottfried Wagner, the great grandson of Richard, they made a joint program at the Süreyya Opera House in Istanbul for the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth. Subsequently she gave a rare performance of Schönberg’s “Ode to Napoleon” in Izmir. In late May Biret traveled to Jersey for a recital and master classes and then to Budapest for a recital at the National Museum on June 4th. The rest of the month was spent on a boat sailing the Aegean sea for the annual “Blue Trip” with friends. In July Biret went to Lugano for a recital and also a chamber music concert performing cello sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms. This was followed by a trip to Gebele in Azerbeijan, in the South Caucasus mountains for the festival there. She performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jean Bernard Pommier. In September after the annual week of master classes in Ayvalik, Biret was in Worthing, England for a performance of Rachmaninov’s 1st Concerto with the orchestra conducted by John Gibbons. The concert was repeated with Maestro Gibbons again conducting, this time with the State Symphony Orchestra in Adana, Turkey. In the months that followed Biret performed the Schumann Piano Quintet with Ankara Chamber Soloists and the Borusan Quartet, gave a recital for the commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of the Lausanne Treaty in the presence of Özden Inönü (the daughter of President Inönü, who had signed the treaty in 1923) and toured eastern Turkey with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra performing the Grieg Concerto. In November she participated in a symposium in Amsterdam on her teacher Nadia Boulanger and in December in the jury of the Beethoven Competition in Bonn. In December, Biret played jazz for the first time when she joined her brother in law and his high school friends’ band “The Colours” for a performance of Dave Brubeck’s “Rondo a la Turca” in Istanbul.
The new year will start with a performance of Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto at the newly built Zorlu Centre in Istanbul with a 2300 seat auditorium. Two recording sessions are planned; Scriabin’s Etudes and Vers la Flamme in Brussels in March and Schumann’s Piano Quintet and solo works in Heidelberg in May. The high point of 2014 will be a recital in New York which is being planned to take place in December at one of the famous concert halls of the city.
* IBA – IDIL BIRET 100 EDITION
1) Beethoven Edition – The complete piano sonatas, concertos and symphony transcriptions
2) Liszt 200th Anniversary Edition – All the Liszt recordings of Biret since 1978
3) Brahms Edition – The complete works for solo piano and the two piano concertos
4) LP Originals Edition – The 14 LPs of Biret in their original jackets
5) Chopin Edition – The complete works for solo pianos and for piano and orchestra
6) Rachmaninov Edition – The complete works for solo piano and all the concertos
7) Schumann Edition – All the Schumann recordings of Biret
8 ) Concerto/Solo Edition – All the concertos and solo piano works not in the other editions
9) 20th Century Edition – All of Biret’s recordings of the 20th Century composers