AHMED ADNAN SAYGUN

İzmir, September 7,1907 İstanbul, January 6,1991

His father Celal Bey was a teacher of mathematics. Saygun received his first musical training in İzmir, studying privately with İsmail Zühtü. At 13 years old he became the piano student of Rosati. In 1922 he became a student of Macar Tevfik Bey, and in the meantime he studied harmony and counterpoint on his own.

During the years 1924-25 Saygun taught music in primary schools in İzmir and in 1926 he transferred to the Lycée of İzmir. Earning a scholarship after a state competition in 1928, he went to Paris to study music. In Scola Cantorum he studied harmony and counterpoint under Madame Eugène Borrel, composition under Vincent d'Indy and Paul La Flem; fugue and composition under Monsieur Borrel, organ music under Edouard Souberbielle and Gregorian chant under Amedée Gastoue.

Returning home in 1931, Saygun was appointed to teach counterpoint in the School for Music Instructors, in Ankara. In 1934 he conducted the Presidential Orchestra for a year and in 1936 he began teaching at the Municipal Conservatory of Istanbul. In the same year, the celebrated Hungarian composer Bela Bartók visited Turkey and Saygun joined him in a tour of Anatolia. They collected many folk songs from Osmaniye, a region of Adana, and transferred them into conventional musical notation. Around the same time, he conducted research in the archives of the Municipal Conservatory of Istanbul and he transcribed folk dances of the Black Sea region.

In 1939, In 1939 he was appointed inspector of the public culture centers, which were established during the early Republican era. He also became the music advisor to the Republican People's Party.

As an inspector, Saygun traveled widely throughout Turkey, learning a great deal about the local rhythmical and melodic structure of the music of different districts. In 1940 he founded the Voice and String Union, where he organized the choral music of different epochs as well as Turkish compositions. In 1955 he became one of the founders of the Folkloric Research Institute in Ankara.

Between the years 1946 and 1972, Saygun taught composition at the Ankara State Conservatory. He also taught the structure of modal music and served as the head of department. Among his administrative positions we may note that he worked in the Ministry of Education as a member of the Curriculum Board from 1960 to 1965, and that he also served as a member of the Administrative Board of TRT (1972-1978). Until his death he continued to teach ethnomusicology and composition at the Istanbul State Conservatory of Mimar Sinan University.

The first incident that spread his fame beyond Turkey was the performance of his Yunus Emre Oratorio in Paris by the Lamoureux Orchestra in 1947. In the same year he was elected to the International Folk Music Council as an executive member. He was honored with the Palmes Académique Medal of the Ministry of Education in France in 1949; and in 1955 he was awarded the Frederich Schiller Medal by West Germany. The Italian government awarded him first prize of the Stella Della Solideriate in 1958, and in the same year he received the Jean Sibelius Composition Medal of the Harriet Cohen International Music Award. Because of his collaboration with Bela Bartók, Saygun received two prizes from the Hungarian Government: in 1981 he was honored with the Bela Bartók Diploma; and in 1986 he received the Pro Cultura Hungarica Prize from the Commemoration Committee of Bartók.

His local awards include the following: in 1948 he received the İnönü Award; in 1971 he was named a State Artist; in 1978 the Aegean University and the Anatolia University gave him honorary doctorates; in 1981 he received the Atatürk Art Prize; in 1984 he was awarded the Grand Prize by the Ministry of Culture and Art; he was given the Osman Hamdi Award by Mimar Sinan University on its centennial anniversary, and Sevda Cenap And Foundation’s Gold Honor Medal of 1990.

Saygun did a great deal of research in the field of ethnomusicology and his studies on pre-modal and modal music have illuminated polyphonic compositions in Turkey. He carried out studies comparing traditional Turkish modes with other modal music such as Persian and Greek. His compositions are in a modal structure. He has carried out research into Anatolian folk music, Asian songs, and songs from the Urals, as well as Hungarian and Finnish folk songs, examining their pentatonic structure and other musical characteristics.

One of his main principles was taken from Atatürk's aim of achieving an international outlook in music, which is at the same time national. He believed that art may develop without breaking away from its roots. Saygun was unwilling to analyze his works in terms of creative stages.

He wrote two operas in 1934, the first examples of polyphonic opera in Turkey. His later vocal works reflect the tribulations of those in search of truth. He was very much concerned with the correct usage of the Turkish language in all of his vocal works. He was inspired by folk tales as much as folk songs. He used Islamic hymns and also themes from epics. His conception of modal harmonization influenced the technique of the following generations.

The copyright of some of his works is held by SACEM, while some of them belong to Southern Music Publishing Co., New York and some to Peer Musikverlag, Hamburg. His works are preserved by Bilkent University.



 

 

BAŞLICA YAPITLARI/ PRINCIPAL WORKS

Operalar / Operas

Bale/ Ballets

Orkestra/ Orchestra

Şan ve Orkestra/ Voice and Orchestra

Solo çalgı ve Orkestra/ Concertos

Oda Müziği ve Oda Orkestrası/ Chamber Music

Koro/ Chorus

Şan ve Piyano/ Voice and Piano

Partitalar/Partitas

Piyano Solo/ Piano

Kitapları/Publications

 

DİSKOGRAFİ / DISCOGRAPHY

Özsoy Operası
Yöneten/ Conductor: Orhan Tanrıkulu
Ankara Devlet Opera ve Balesi Orkestra, koro ve solistleri/ Ankara State Opera and Ballet orchestra, chorus and soloists
“Atatürk ve Adnan Saygun” kitabının CD eki
Boyut Müzik, 1997
 

Yunus Emre Oratoryosu / Oratorio
Yöneten / Conductor: Leopold Stokowski
The Symphony of the Air,
The Crane Chorus of the State University at Potsdam, N.Y.
RW 3967 LP0032951

 

Yunus Emre Oratoryosu / Oratorio
Yöneten / Conductor:Hikmet Şimşek
Budapeşte Senfoni Orkestrası / The Symphony Orchestra of Budapest
Macar Radyo ve Televizyon Korosu ve solistleri /The Choir and soloists of the
Hungarian Radio and Television. Koro yönetmeni / Choir Master: Ferenc Zapszon
Hungaroton SLPX 31077 - 78-LP

 

Yunus Emre Oratoryosu / Oratorio
Solistler/Soloists: Müfide Özgüç (soprano); Cemaliye Kıyıcı (alto); Pekin Kırgız (tenor); Bülent Ateşoğlu (bas). Yöneten/ Conductor:Hikmet Şimşek
Ankara Devlet Opera ve Balesi Korosu ve Orkestrası
Ankara Devlet Opera ve Balesi Prodüksiyonu A-91-0001-CD

 

Yunus Emre Oratoryosu / Oratorio
Solistler / Solosits: Esin Talınlı, Şebnem Algın, Ömer Yılmaz, Tuncay Kurtoğlu
Yöneten / Conductor: Rengim Gökmen
Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası / Bilkent Symphony Orchestra

Ankara Devlet Opera ve Balesi Korosu / Chorus of the Ankara State Opera and Ballet

Bilkent Üniversitesi Prodüksiyonu-Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankası desteğiyle/ Bilkent University production with The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey sponsorship
BMP 0031

 

Yunus Emre Oratoryosu’dan İki Arya/ Two Arias from Yunus Emre Oratorio
(No.6, No.11)
Solist / Soloist: Attila Manizade bas/bass)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Erol Erdinç, Sofya Radyo Senfoni Orkestrası/ Sofia Radio Symphony Orchestra
UPR Classics UP 92-001-CD

 

Üçüncü Senfoni’den “Lento”/ “Lento” from Symphony no.3
Yöneten/ Conductor Niyazi Tagizade
State Symphony Orchestra of Cinematography
Melodia Mezhdunarodnya Kniga D-011581-11582

 

Birinci Senfoni / Symphony No.1
Yöneten/Conductor: Howard Griffiths
Northern Sinfonia
Koch / Schwann Mundi 3-6746-2

 

Birinci ve İkinci Senfoni / Symphonies No.1 and No.2
Yöneten / Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
CPO 999 819-2 CD (2002)

 

Üçüncü ve Beşinci Senfoni /Symphonies No.3 and No.5
Yöneten / Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
CPO 999 968-2 CD (2004)

 

Dördüncü Senfoni / Symphony No.4
Yöneten / Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
CPO 777 043-2 CD (2005)

 

Üçüncü Senfoni / Symphony No.3
Yöneten / Conductor: Erol Erdinç
St.Petersburg Filarmoni Orkestrası / St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Bilkent Üniversitesi Prodüksiyonu / Bilkent University Production
BMP 0023

 

Üçüncü Senfoni / Symphony No.3
Yöneten / Conductor: Erol Erdinç
Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası / Bilkent Symphony Orchestra
BMP 0025

 

Concerto da Camera Op. 62
Yöneten/ Conductor: Gürer Aykal
Ankara Oda Orkestrası/ Ankara Chamber Orchestra
Sevda Cenap And Müzik Vakfı/ Sevda Cenap And Musical Foundation

 

Concerto da Camera Op. 62
Yöneten/Conductor: Howard Griffiths
Northern Sinfonia
Koch / Schwann Mundi 3-6746-2

 

Orkestra Çeşitlemeleri / Orchestra Variations
Yöneten / Conductor: Gürer Aykal
Cumhurbaşkanlığı Senfoni Orkestrası / Presidential Symphony Orchestra
“Muzıka-yı Hümayun’dan Cumhurbaşkanlığı Senfoni Orkestrasına” kitabının CD eki
Boyut Müzik, 1996

 

Orkestra Çeşitlemeleri / Orchestra Variations
Yöneten / Conductor: Erol Erdinç
Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası / Bilkent Symphony Orchestra
BMP 0025

 

Op.57 Ayin Raksı/ Ritual Dance,
Yöneten/ Conductor: Hikmet Şimşek
Moskova Radyo ve Televizyon Senfoni Orkestrası/ The Moscow Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra
The Turkish Five “Great Composers of Turkey”
Sabah Duru Prodüksüyon SD05
Raks Müzik 9713661

 

Op.14 Süit / Suite
Yöneten / Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
CPO 777 043-2 CD (2005)

 

Piyano Konçertosu, No.1 Op.34/ Piano Concerto, No.1 Op.34
Solist/Soloist: Igor Zhukov(Piyano/piano)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Niyazi Tagizade
State Symphony Orchestra of Cinematography
MELODIA Mezhdunarodnya Kniga D-011581-11582

 

Piyano Konçertosu No.1 Op.34 /PianoConcerto No. 1, Op.34
Solist/Soloist: Gülsin Onay (piyano/piano).
Yöneten/ Conductor: Gürer Aykal
Cumhurbaşkanlığı Senfoni Orkestrası / Presidental Symphony Orchestra
Nonesuch 971417-1, Polonya/Poland

 

Piyano Konçertosu, No.1 Op.34 /Piano Concerto, No. 1 Op.34
Solist/Soloist: Gülsin Onay (piyano/piano)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Gürer Aykal
NDR Rundfunkorchester Hannover
Koch Schwann 3-1350-2 H1-CD

 

Piyano Konçertosu, No.2 Op.71 / Piano Concerto No.2 Op.71
Solist/Soloist: Gülsin Onay (piyano/piano)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Gürer Aykal
NDR Rundfunkorchester Hannover
Koch Schwann 3-1350-2 H1-CD

 

Piyano Konçertosu N.1, Op.34 / Piano Concerto, No. 1 Op.34
Solist/Soloist: Gülsin Onay (piyano/piano)
Yöneten / Conductor: Erol Erdinç
St.Petersburg Filarmoni Orkestrası / St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Bilkent Üniversitesi Prodüksiyonu / Bilkent University Production
BMP 0023

 

Piyano Konçertosu N.1, Op.34 / Piano Concerto, No. 1 Op.34
Solist/Soloist: Hande Dalkılıç (piyano/piano)
Yöneten / Conductor: Rodolfo Bonucci
Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası / Bilkent Symphony Orchestra
BMP 0019

 

Viyola Konçertosu, Op.59/ Viola Concerto, Op.59
Solist / Soloist: Ruşen Güneş (viyola / viola).
Yöneten / Conductor: Gürer Aykal
Londra Filarmoni Orkestrası/ London Philharmonic Orchestra
Koch-Schwann Musica Mundi CD 311 002 H-CD

 

Keman Konçertosu / Violin Concerto
Solist / soloist: Mirjam Tschopp
Yöneten / Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
CPO 777 043-2 CD (2005)

 

Viyolonsel Konçertosu / Cello Concerto
Solist / soloist: Arturo Bonucci (cello)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Rodolfo Bonucci
Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası / Bilkent Symphony Orchestra
BMP 0019

 

Beş Türkü Op.41 / Five Folk SongsOp. 41
Solist/Soloist: Ayhan Baran (Bas/bass). Yöneten/Conductor: Hikmet Şimşek
Budapeşte Filarmoni Orkestrası, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra
“Dört Türk Orkestra Eseri”
Hungaroton 31455-CD

 

Koro İçin Çeşitlemeler/ Variations for Chorus
Yöneten/ Conductor: Hikmet Şimşek
Kültür Batkanlığı Çoksesli korosu/ Chorus of the Ministry of Culture
“Eski Bir İstanbul Türküsü Üstüne Çeşitlemeler/ Variations on an old İstanbul Folk Song”
Hungaroton HCD 31523-CD

 

Halk Türküleri ve Yunus Emre’den iki arya/ Folk songs and two arias from Yunus Emre
Ömer Temizel (tenor) , Vedat Kosal (piyano / piano)
“Lieder Meiner Erde”
Coriolan Classic zwischen Orient Okzident Vol.2-CD

 

İnsan Üzerine Deyişlerden iki Şarkı, Op.60
“Dilek” ve “Dönsem”
“The Art of Turkish Songs”
Mesut İktu (bariton / baritone), Sergey Gavrilov (piano / piyano)
Produced by SCA Music Foundation
VMS 129

 

Dört Şarkı Op.41 / Four Songs Op.41
Solist/ Soloist: Attila Manizade (bas/bass)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Erol Erdinç, Sofya Radyo Senfoni Orkestrası/ Sofia Radio Symphony Orchestra
UPR Classics UP 92-001-CD

 

Üç Şarkı Op.23 / Three Songs Op.23
Solist/ Soloist: Attila Manizade (bas/bass)
Yöneten/ Conductor: Erol Erdinç, Sofya Radyo Senfoni Orkestrası/ Sofia Radio Symphony Orchestra
UPR Classics UP 92-001-CD

 

Beş Şarkı / Five Songs
“Ağıt, Mavilim, Bozlak, Yine de Şahlanıyor, Harmandalı)
Solist / soloist: Mustafa İktu (bas bariton / bass baritone)
Yöneten / Conductor: Hikmet Şimşek
İzmir Devlet Senfoni Orkestrası / İzmir State Symphony Orchestra
Kalan CD 297

 

İnsan Üzerine Deyişler I, Op. 60 / Five Songs Op.60
Solist/ Soloist: Işın Güyer (mezzo soprano). Yöneten/ Conductor: Hikmet Şimşek
Budapeşte Senfoni Orkestrası/ The Budapest Symphony Orchestra
Hungaroton SLPX - 31077-78

 

Beş Şarkı / Five Songs
Solist/ Soloist: Işın Güyer (mezzo soprano). Yöneten/ Conductor: Hikmet Şimşek
Budapeşte Senfoni Orkestrası/ The Budapest Symphony Orchestra
Hungaroton HCD 31483-CD

 

“Dinle Garibi Duru Su” (Kerem Operasından / from Kerem Opera)
Erol Uras
Kaf Music 1.327.005 CD

 

İnci'nin Kitabından / From İnci's Book, Op. 10/A
Verda Erman (piyano/piano)
EMI NDRSK-N. 323

 

İnci’nin Kitabı/ Inci’s Book
Vedat Kosal,piyano/piano
“Vedat Kosal spielt Türkische Miniaturen”
Phil.Lip Verlag, Münih

 

İnci’nin Kitabı / İnci’s Book
Zeynep Üçbaşaran (piyano /piano)
Eroica Classical recordings JDT3223

 

Dört Etüd (Aksak Tartılar Üstüne On Etüd'den) / Four Etudes (from Ten Etudes on Aksak Rhythms, Op. 38)
(nos. 4, 7, 9, 1)
Gülsin Onay (piyano/ piano)
Apparto-Schwann APO 86407 –CD

 

Aksak Tartılar Üstüne On Etüd, Op.38 / Ten Etudes on Aksak Rhythms, Op.38
Hande Dalkılıç (piyano /piano)
Bilkent Üniversitesi Yapımı / Bilkent University Production
BMP0014

 

Oniki Prelüd-Aksak Tartılar Üstüne / Twelve Preludes on Aksak Rhythms
Gülsin Onay (piyano/piano)
PRE 66027 AUL-CD
Also: Koch-Schwann Aulos 3-1382-2-CD

 

Aksak Tartılar Üstüne Prelüd Op.45, No.12 / Prelude on Aksak Rhythms
Gülsin Onay (piyano / piano)
Universal

 

Oniki Prelüd-Aksak Tartılar Üstüne / Twelve Preludes on Aksak Rhythms
Zeynep Üçbaşaran (piyano /piano)
Eroica Classical Recordings JDT3223

 

Sonatine Op.15
Gülsin Onay (piyano/piano)
PRE 66027 AUL-CD
Also: Koch-Schwann Aulos 3-1382-2-CD

 

Sonatine Op.15
Hande Dalkılıç (piyano /piano)
Bilkent Üniversitesi Yapımı / Bilkent University Production
BMP0014

 

Sonat, Op.76
Hande Dalkılıç (piyano /piano)
Bilkent Üniversitesi Yapımı / Bilkent University Production
BMP0014

 

Demet Op.33 / Suite Op.33
“Yerelden Evrensele”
Orhan Ahıskal (keman / violin), Ian Buckle ( piyano / piano)
Proje ve Uygulama / Project and realization: Şefik Kahramankaptan

 

 

Demet Op.33 / Suite Op.33
“Kırsallardan Ezgiler”
Jülide Yalçın-Dittgen (keman), Yeşim Gökalp (piyano)
Proje ve Uygulama / Project and realization: Şefik Kahramankaptan
CD 2004

 

Demet Op.33 / Suite Op.33
“The Contemporary Voice of Turkish Music”
Atilla Aldemir (keman), Şevki Karayel (piyano)
Dryer.Gaido CD21026

 

Horon, Op.33 Demet’ten / Horon, From the Suite, Op. 33)
Saim Akçıl (keman/ violin), Wim Wijinbergen (piyano/ piano)
Universe Production LS29

 

Yaylı Çalgılar Dörtlüsü No.1, Op.27/ String Quartet No.1, Op.27
Anadolu Yaylı Çalgılar Dörtlüsü/ Anatolian String Quartet
“Chamber Music from Turkey, vol.1”
Hungaroton HCD 31521

 

Yaylı Çalgılar Dörtlüleri (1-4) / All String Quartets (1-4)
Danel Quartet
CPO 999 923-2 CD (2005)

 

Rüya ve Masal (org uyarlaması)/ Dream and Fairy Tale (arr.organ)
Leyla Pınar (org/organ) -“Yeni Bir Deyiş”
Museum /MMD/SABAM 16 368, MMD 010/93-CD

 

Köroğlu
Ayhan Baran (şan/ voice); Judith Uluğ (piyano/ piano)
Evin İlyasoğlu, Zaman İçinde Müzik-Kitaba ek 10.CD/ “Music over Time” 10th CD
Yapı Kredi Yayınları/ Yapı Kredi Publications, 1994
Müzikotek Kla-1 TR 16

 

Sonatina
Yeşim Gökalp (piyano/piano)
“Türk Piyano Ezgileri” / Turkish Piano Pieces
A.K. Müzik Yapım, dağıtım: EMI 408 601-2

 

Çağdaş Türk Bestecileri, Evin İlyasoğlu
Pan Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2007

 

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