Statement—Ayse Celasun

Dear All,

I still remember my dearest teacher, Anna Baldini-Enkserdji, “Don’t play too fast!” and as her family was Italian and immigrated to Istanbul in the 19th century, she kept saying, “Chi va piano, va sano; chi va sano, va lontano. (Slowly but surely)”

Now that we are founding “Fine Arts Music — Performance and Scholarship,” I have her voice in my head (and her huge hand on my shoulder!).

I would like this foundation to be a place of calm enthusiasm, of happy moments, of hard work and small egos.

I also learned a lot from Gabriella Torma, to whom I proposed to play the Rite of Spring in 1995 (University of Paris VIII).

A genuinely talented musician/pianist, Gabriella founded “Academus” and “Piano and Compagnie.” The idea of a structure where professional and amateur musicians work together, comes to me from her.

Our monthly events will provide a “dress rehearsal” to professionals and to amateurs: the possibility to perform before an enlightened audience. It will be held in the prestigious Fine Arts Building in addition to our 35 seat concert hall and my faithful Bosendorfer 225 (“who” followed me from Paris to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Chicago).

As “Fine Arts Music — Performance and Scholarship” is a non-profit, we will happily accept donations from $5 to $5,000.

The money will go to young women studying classical western music in Turkish Universities, Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi is our partner.

When I was a student in “École Normale de Musique de Paris,” I worked benevolently at the schools located north of Paris. In Chicago we will work in the south of the city. We will invite for free teaching, coaching and concerts, teens between 8 and 18-year old.

Playing Chamber music as early as possible is one of my strongest beliefs.

What indeed, could be more motivating than sharing music with friends?

Voilà ! We will try and I hope we will succeed all together.

Warm regards,

Ayse — Chicago, April 2013