Who is Ahmed Adnan Saygun?

Who is ahmed adnan saygun
Who is ahmed adnan saygun

📩 04/01/2023 08:49

Ahmet Adnan Saygun (born September 7, 1907 - Date of death January 6, 1991), Classical music composer, music educator and ethnomusicologist, who is among the Turkish Five.

One of the composers known as the Turkish Five in the history of Turkish music, Saygun was the composer of the first Turkish opera and the first artist to receive the title of "State artist". “Yunus Emre Oratorio”, one of the most vocal works of Turkish music in the Republic Period, is his most important work.

Coming from a long-established family from Izmir, who raised important religious scholars, Saygun's father is teacher Mahmut Celalettin Bey, who will later become one of the founders of the Izmir National Library, and Zeynep Seniha Hanım, the daughter of a family who came from Konya's Doğanbey neighborhood and settled in Izmir.

He started his primary education in the neighborhood school named "Hadikai Sübyan Mektebi" in Izmir and continued in a contemporary school named "İttihat ve Terakki Numune Sultanisi". At the age of 13, he started his music studies alongside İsmail Zühtü and Tevfik Bey at this school, which focuses on art education. In 1922, he became a student of Hungarian Tevfik Bey. In 1925, he translated articles on music from the French La Grande Encyclopedie, creating a large Musical Lugati of several volumes.

Ahmet Adnan Bey, who worked in various places such as the water company and the post office to earn a living, opened a stationery store in Izmir Beyler Sokak and tried to sell notes, failed in these attempts and turned to music teaching in primary schools. He wrote school songs on the poems of Ziya Gökalp, Mehmet Emin, Bıçakçızade Hakkı Bey while he was teaching in primary schools. The young musician, who wanted to take the exam that the state opened in 1925 to send talented young people to important conservatories in Europe for musical education, missed this opportunity after the sudden death of his mother. After passing the exam to teach music in secondary schools, he worked as a music teacher at Izmir Boys' High School for a while since 1926.

Student years in Paris

The artist who composed the "D Major Symphony" between 1927-1928; In 1928, when the government repeated the exam for music talented young people, this time he got the opportunity and was sent to Paris on a state scholarship. He studied with Vincent d'Indy (composition), Eugène Borrel (Fugue), Madame Borrel (harmony), Paul le Flem (Counterpoint), Amédée Gastoué (Gregorian melodies), Edouard Souberbielle (organ). While in Paris, Op. (Opus) wrote the orchestral piece with row number 1 called Divertissement. Saygun's composition won a prize in a composition competition in Paris in 1931, in which the chairman of the jury was Henri Defossé (Cemal Reşit Rey's conducting instructor), first performed by the Colonne Orchestra under the baton of Gabriel Pierné, first in Paris, Warsaw, then in Russia and Belgium. . The work thus became the fourth Turkish orchestral work performed abroad after Cemal Reşit Rey's three works - Anatolian Folk Songs (1927), "Bebek Legend" (1928) and "Turkish Landscapes" (1929).

Ankara years

Saygun, returned to Turkey in 1931 began a period in the Music Teachers' College music teacher, gave music lessons in spelling and counterpoint. In 1932 he married the pianist Mediha (Boler) Hanım; this marriage broke down after a while.

Ahmet Adnan Bey and his family received the surname "Saygın" in 1934 upon the request of his math teacher father, upon the Surname Law; However, their surname was changed to "Saygun" after a while on the grounds that it was taken by someone else.

Adnan Saygun, in 1934, president of the Ataturk's request, which will visit Turkey Open, the first Turkish opera in honor of the Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi. 9 He wrote the Özsoy Opera in a very short time like a month. The opera, written by Münir Hayri Egeli of his Liberettos, expresses the birth of the Turkish nation and the brotherhood of the Iranian and Turkish nations, rooted in the distant history. The premiere of the work took place on the night of 19 June 1934 in the presence of Atatürk and Rıza Pahlavi.

The artist presented a report on Turkish music to Atatürk, who accepted him at his summer house in Yalova after the staging of Özsoy. This report, prepared by being influenced by Sun-Language and Turkish History theories, was published in 1936 under the title "Pentatonism in Turkish Music".

The artist, who was appointed as the Conductor of the Presidential Orchestra by proxy on his return from Yalova; He could only continue this task for a few months due to his bad health and his departure to Istanbul. He gave his first concert with the orchestra on 23 November 1934.

At the end of November 1934, Saygun received a new opera from Atatürk. The artist, who succeeded in composing the Stone Doll opera to be represented on the night of December 27, told the birth of the new Republican people in this opera. The work was staged at the Ankara Community Center on the night of December 27, 1934; Saygun led the orchestra himself, although he was very ill.

After the performance, Saygun, who went to Istanbul and had two ear surgeries at five-month intervals, was dismissed from the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and then at the Music Teachers School for neglecting his duty; He was also dismissed from the establishment of the Ankara State Conservatory. Saygun worked on opening ethnomusicology departments in State Conservatories, but these could not be implemented by the relevant institutions despite Atatürk's support.

Istanbul years

Saygun returned to teaching at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory in 1936 and remained in this post until 1939. The artist entered a period of disgrace that would last until the performance of his famous work "Yunus Emre Oratorio".

While Saygun was in Istanbul, the work to establish a new conservatory in Ankara was continued by those who supported the understanding of "universal music", not the idea of ​​"cultural nationality" that Saygun advocated. The conservatory was founded in 1936 in line with the universalist music views of the conservatory Paul Hindemith, who was brought in as a consultant for this job. The Hungarian composer Adnan Saygun came to Turkey upon the invitation of the Community Centers in 1936, and was accompanied by ethnomusicologist Bela Bartok on the Asian trip. Together, they notated the folk songs they collected especially around Osmaniye. Studies, "Bela Bartok Folk Music Research in Turkey" turned into a book titled Hungarian English knowledge was suppressed in 1976 by the Academy.

Saygun, in 1939 he accepted the inspector's duties as proposed Community Centers and traveled to Turkey on the occasion. In 1940 she married Irén Szalai (later named Nilüfer), a member of Budapest Women's Orchestra, who came to Ankara for a concert in 1940 but did not return from their country due to Nazi pressure; the couple did not have a child. In addition to his work at the Community Centers, Saygun founded a choir called “Turkish Music Association” in 1940 and gave regular chamber music concerts with this choir. He published a book called “Music in Community Centers”. "Kiss. He composed his works such as 19 Old Style Cantata, “A Forest Tale” and “Yunus Emre Oratorio” during this period. Yunus Emre Oratorio shared the first prize in the competition opened by CHP in 1943 with Ulvi Cemal Erkin's piano concerto and Hasan Ferit Alnar's Viola Concerto.

After the performance of Yunus Emre Oratorio

Yunus Emre Oratorio, completed by Saygun in 1942, was performed at the Faculty of Language and History-Geography in Ankara on May 25, 1946 and achieved great success. This work, considered to be his most important work, was later performed in Paris and in New York in 1958, under the direction of the famous conductor Leopold Stokowski. With this work, Saygun carried the melodies he heard from the Mevlevi dervishes on Dervişler Street (today Anafartalar Street) in İzmir Kemeraltı Bazaar to Europe and America, under the umbrella of the United Nations, to 5 different languages ​​to which the work would later be translated. After the first performance of the work in Ankara, the artist was appointed as a composition teacher to the Ankara State Conservatory in addition to the People's Houses advisor and inspector. Upon the invitations he received, he went to London and Paris, studied folk music; gave lectures.

After Yunus Emre, three operas, especially Kerem, Köroğlu, Gilgameş, choral works such as “Epic to Atatürk and Anatolia”, 5 symphonies, various concertos, orchestra, choir, chamber music, vocal and instrumental pieces, numerous He wrote folk songs, books, researches and articles. His works include ensembles such as New York NBC, Orcher Colonne, Berlin Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony, Moscow Symphony, Soviet State Symphony, Moscow Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Northern Symphony, Julliard Quartet and Yo-Yo Voiced by virtuosos like Ma. Adnan Saygun was awarded the title of the first State Artist within the framework of the State Artist Law enacted in 1971.

The artist died of pancreatic cancer on January 6, 1991.

He has many works on orchestra, chamber music, opera, ballet and piano, as well as publications on ethnomusicology and musical education. His works and other documents are in the "Ahmet Adnan Saygun Music Education and Research Center" established within Bilkent University in Ankara.

The rights of Ahmed Adnan Saygun's works over the voiceover belong to SACEM. Some of the published works are copyrighted by Southern Music Publishing, Peer Musikverlag of New York and Hamburg.

His comprehensive biography, written by musicologist Emre Arac, was published by Yapı Kredi Publications in 2001 under the name Adnan Saygun - Music Bridge Between East and West; Her life story was also novel by Mucize Özinal under the title "Dar Köprünün Dervishi" (2005).

The main street in Ulus district in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, is named Ahmet Adnan Saygun Street and there is a statue of the artist on this street. At the same time, Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center (AASSM), named after it in Izmir, was opened in 2008.


1 Divertimentologist for orchestra 1930
2 follows piyano 1931
3 Laments tenor and solo male choir 1932
4 Senses two Clarinets 1933
5 Monastery folk song choir and orchestra 1933
6 Turkish Red Crescent soprano and orchestra 1933
7 Shepherd's Gift choir 1933
8 music for instruments Clarinet, Saxophone, piano and percussion 1933
9 Ozsoy opera 1934
10 The Book of the Pearl piyano 1934 (Orchestra arrangement 1944)
11 Doll opera 1934
12 Sonat cello and piano, 1935
13 Magic Raki orchestra 1934
14 follows orchestra 1936
15 Sonatina piyano 1938
16 Tale sound and music 1940
17 A Jungle Tale ballet music for orchestra 1943
18 From the mountains to the plains choir 1939
19 Cantata in the Old Style 1941
20 Sonatina piyano 1938
21 My passing minutes sound and orchestra 1941
22 A pinch of partridge choir 1943
23 Three folk songs bass and piano 1945
24 halay orchestra 1943
25 From anatolia piyano 1945
26 Yunus Emre oratorio, 1942
27 1st quartet 1942
28 Kerem opera 1952
29 Symphony 1 1953
30 Symphony 2 1958
31 Partita cello 1954
32 Three ballads voice and piano 1955
33 Bundle violin and piano 1955
34 1. Piano Concerto 1958
35 2. Quartet 1957
36 Partita keman 1961
37 trio oboe, clarinet, harp 1966
38 10 Studies on Aksas Weighs piyano 1964
39 Symphony 3 1960
40 Traditional Music 1967
41 10 folk songs bass and orchestra 1968
42 Sensations three female voice choir 1935
43 3. Quartet 1966
44 Violin Concerto 1967
45 12 Preludes on Imperfect Scales piyano 1967
46 Wind Quintet 1968
47 15 Pieces on Imperfect Scales piyano 1967
48 Four Lied voice and piano (arranged in orchestra) 1977
49 dictum string orchestra 1970
50 The Three Preludes two harps 1971
51 Little things piyano 1956
52 Köroglu opera 1973
53 Symphony 4 1974
54 Lamentations II tenor choir orchestra 1975
55 trio clarinet, oboe and piano 1975
56 Ballad two pianos 1975
57 Ritual Raki orchestra 1975
58 10 Drafts on Imperfect Scales piyano 1976
59 Viola Concerto 1977
60 Sayings on Human I voice and piano 1977
61 Sayings on Human II voice and piano 1977
62 Chamber Concerto string instruments 1978
63 Sayings on Human III voice and piano 1983
64 Sayings on Human 4 voice and piano 1978
65 Gilgamesh opera 1970
66 Sayings on Human 5 voice and piano 1979
67 Legend to Atatürk and Anatolia soloists, choir and orc 1981
68 Three Songs for Four Harps 1983
69 Sayings on Human 6 voice and piano 1984
70 5.Symphony 1985
71 2nd Piano Concerto 1985
72 Variations for Orchestra 1985
73 Poem for three pianos 1986
74 Cello Concerto 1987
75 Legend of Dove ballet music 1989

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