Praised for being “extraordinary, unconventional, interactive and fun” and for playing that is “bold, personal and masterly” (Royal Academy of Music), Turkish pianist and composer and Turkey’s 2017 Pianist of the Year, AyşeDeniz Gökçin is widely sought-after as an international soloist and a recording artist. Gökçin’s recent solo appearances include Sureyya Opera House (Istanbul), Teatro das Figuras Faro (Portugal), Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Italy) and Le Poisson Rouge (NYC). She has been praised for her fresh, genre-bending projects, including her current concert concept “Beethoven to Rock” which melds the artistry from two wildly contrasting musical styles and produces an interactive and dynamic concert experience. For the 29th season finale of the College of Charleston International Piano Series, Gökçin will perform movements from some of Beethoven’s most-loved sonatas from Moonlight and Tempest to Pathetique. Additionally, keeping with her versatile repertoire, she also will perform a number of newly arranged rock covers in the style of Franz Liszt, as well as some of her own compositions.
The concert will take place on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., in the Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $20 and FREE for students and faculty/staff and kids under 18. Tickets may be purchased ONLINE, at the door, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (843) 953-6315.
Gökçin will also offer a master class, free and open to the public on Wednesday, April 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the Cato Center for the Arts, room 237. Students from the Music Department at the College of Charleston will perform.
AyşeDeniz Gökçin was considered a child prodigy in her native Turkey and made her concerto debut when she was nine with the Gordion Chamber Orchestra playing J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 5. At thirteen, she had already performed as a soloist with various orchestras under conductors including Ibrahim Yazici, Fahrettin Kerimov, Antonio Pirolli, Cem Mansur, Engin Sakpinar, Ertug Korkmaz, Rengim Gokmen, Vladimir Sirenko and Kirill Karabits.
In 2011, she completed her Masters in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, under the tutelage of Christopher Elton and received the Maud Hornsby Award. In 2009, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) in the studio of Douglas Humpherys, where she received the Howard Hanson and Clements Scholarships as well as the John Celentano Excellence in Chamber Music Award.
As a young pianist, Gökçin attended prestigious summer festivals including the Verbier Academy, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School, PianoTexas, Goslar Konzertarbeitswochen, Tel Hai, and Beijing International Music Festival, studying with renowned piano pedagogues such as Menahem Pressler, Jerome Lowenthal, Arie Vardi, Yoheved Kaplinsky, as well as Lang Lang. In middle school, Gokcin moved to Spain for half a year to study with the renowned Bach interpreter Rosalyn Tureck, becoming one of her last students.
Throughout her early career, Gökçin has given concerts around the world including Cathedral of Christ The Savior Moscow (Russia); L’Eglise Verbier (Switzerland); Duke’s Hall, Steinway Hall, Kings Place London (UK); Bellapais Antique Monastery (Northern Cyprus); Central Park of Culture Open Air Hall, Lysenko Hall (Kiev, Ukraine); in the United States’ PepsiCo Hall (Texas), Kilbourn Hall (N.Y.), Harris Hall (Colo.), Pacific Amphitheater (Calif.); Teatro Cine (Argentina); Teatro Cine Gouveia, Teatro das Figuras Faro, Centro Cultural de Ãlhavo , Centro Cultural da Gafanha da Nazare (Portugal); Galleria d’Arte Moderna, San Fedele Milan, Teatro Dario Fo Venice, and St. Giorgio Cathedral Palermo (Italy); and in almost all of Turkey’s most important art centres, including Sureyya Opera House, Albert Long Hall, AkSanat, Borusan Music House, The Seed, CRR (Istanbul), State Opera House (Eskisehir) and MEB Sura (Ankara).
Upon hearing Gökçin’s interpretation of Chopin Sonata No. 3, Nikolai Petrov personally invited her to perform in the Kremlin Palace (Moscow, Russia) “a concert that was very well-received and marked somewhat of a milestone. Another milestone was after three of her piano arrangements of Pink Floyd songs in the style of Franz Liszt went viral, Gökçin attracted the attention of the progressive rock listeners, and was featured on Pink Floyd’s Official Facebook Page. Upon the requests of fans, she completed the “Pink Floyd Classical Concept” Album, which she performed in the United States, Argentina, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Germany. Recently, she performed as a soloist in Wavelength (United States, 2013); Sofia Piano Extravaganza (Bulgaria, 2013); Gouveia Art Rock (Portugal, 2014); Piano City Milan & Palermo (Italy, 2014, 2016, 2017); 31st International Ankara and 38th & 41st Istanbul International Classical Music (Turkey, 2014-2015), and TanJazz (Morocco, 2016) Festivals.
In 2014, her show won the Argentinian Association of Cable Television Music Award; in 2015 her new album “Nirvana Project” dedicated to Kurt Cobain was released and reached the UK Top 10 Classical Charts on iTunes; in 2016 she won the ‘Pianist of the Year’ Award in Turkey at Donizetti Classical Music Awards. She appeared on BBC News, Classic FM, Prog Rock Magazine, International Piano Magazine, Andante Magazine, MusicOff, Vogue, and continues to attract the attention of fans with her fresh, genre bending projects. Newspapers including France’s Le Figaro, Scotland’s The Herald, Austria’s and Germany’s Taz have all given her positive reviews.
Her work as a composer and a pianist for Editta Braun Dance Company’s “Close Up” show toured Salzburg, Vienna, Linz and Edinburgh in 2015. In January 2019 her original album “Earth Prelude” entered the Top 10 iTunes classical charts in the United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey and Italy. In February, her Beethoven Senses Album with the composer’s five iconic sonatas as a preparation for his 250th anniversary is now on digital platforms including iTunes / Spotify.
Housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts, the International Piano Series (IPS) is Charleston’s longest running, year-round program with a pure focus on piano. Consistent with the School’s mission, IPS plays a distinctive role in the lives of students and the community by implementing excellence in the arts and education and cultivating piano music appreciation.