Classical music has featured prominently in our work since the program's inception. At the same time, we are also committed to supporting productions that feature contemporary forms of musical expression. Against this background we initiate dance performances and sound experiments as well as musical productions and classical concerts.
An important aim of our activities is to nurture the next generation of creative talent around the world. We do this through our own competitions for aspiring artists (e.g. Siemens Opera Contest) and by forging links between new talents and established international cultural institutions (Carnegie Hall New York, Opera Garnier Paris, Bavarian State Opera, Salzburg Festival).
Going Digital against oblivion - tribute to the murdered composer Viktor Ullmann75 years ago, the composer Viktor Ullmann was murdered in Auschwitz. The Siemens Arts Program wants to keep alive the memory of Viktor Ullmann, representing numerous artists who were expelled and murdered by the National Socialists. We hope that Ullmann's music will be (re)discovered by many people all over the world. Therefore, we have started an audiovisual art project with the pianist Annika Treutler and the media artist Alexander Stublić.
Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) is an Austrian composer, conductor and pianist. Because of the Jewish origin of his parents, Ullmann was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942, where he created a large part of his works. There he composed for example "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" and "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod". On October 18, 1944, Ullmann was killed shortly after his arrival in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Stephan Frucht (artistic Director of Siemens Arts Program) says about the project: "January 27, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust remind us that remembrance can never be complete. At the same time, it is an obligation never to silence those voices that were not allowed to express themselves during their lifetime or that could no longer express themselves. This also includes many Jewish artists who were never able to fully develop their creativity because they were denied the freedom to create art. This fate of many great artists from the visual arts, who were branded "ostracized", was also shared by important musicians and composers, including Hans Krása, Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann, all of whom fell victim to the Nazi regime."
More information about the project will follow here in the coming weeks.
He came, he sang, he conqueredThe impressive performances of the 25 participants who competed in this year's Siemens Opera Contest Turkey definitely didn’t make it easy for the high-caliber jury to crown a winner. But in the end, baritone Uğur Atasoy stood out clearly with his performance of Rodrigo Aria from Verdi’s Don Carlo, showcasing a masterful technique and a mesmerizing stage presence. From the moment he hit his first note, he grabbed everyone’s attention. In fact, Uğur Atasoy seemed to have no problem filling the room with his voice. It was a well-deserved victory at the 21st Siemens Opera Contest Turkey.
Uğur Atasoy – a talent to look out for
Uğur Atasoy was born in Ankara in 1991. While still at high school, he came second in the “Best Performer” category of the Inter-High School Music Contest organized throughout Turkey by the Hürriyet newspaper.
He entered Haliç University Conservatory, Opera and Concert Singing department in 2013. He took to the stage at the Oper Im Berg Festival both in Salzburg, Austria and Munich, Germany when he was only a junior and performed in La Traviata, I Puritani, and The Magic Flute operas.
He won second prize in the 22nd International Istanbul Baroque Festival’s singing competition in 2016. He was a soloist at the Young Talents concert of Istanbul State Opera in 2018 and performed Count Almaviva of Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart.
Early 2019 he was invited to the Opera Studio of I’Opera National de Paris, one of the biggest operas of Europe. He successfully completed his voice training with vocal coaches baritone Nejat Işık Belen and baritone Kevork Tavityan. He took style and interpretation lessons from Suat Arıkan, Head of Istanbul State Opera, and joined the masterclass program of Bass Baritone Burak Bilgili.
He is continuing his vocal trainings with Prof. Güzin Gürel.
Siemens Opera Contest Turkey 2019
For three days, young talented singers from all around the country gathered at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) to compete in Turkey’s only nationwide opera contest.
Their aim was to showcase their talent, gain valuable experience and win one of the attractive prizes, which include a scholarship at Karlsruhe Opera and Salzburg Mozarteum, as well as exciting performance opportunities all over Europe.
Despite the outstanding renditions of all singers (including first- and second-placed soprano Sedef İlayda Büyükyörük and baritone Ramazan Karaoğlanoğlu, as well as Siemens Opera Contest Honorable Mention mezzo-soprano Melis Günerli), 28-year-old Uğur Atasoy from Istanbul won over the jury.
Its members included Yekta Kara (opera director), Peter Spuhler (Baden State Theater Karlsruhe), Andrea Raabe (University of Music and Performing Arts Karlsruhe) and Stephan Frucht (Siemens Arts Program). Beaming and – as always – very expressive, Uğur Atasoy accepted the award at the Prize Gala handed over by Hüseyin Gelis, CEO Siemens Turkey, whose regional company initiated the competition together with the Siemens Arts Program.