Gülsin Onay, piano, Turkey
Gülsin Onay began playing the piano at the age of three and gave her first public recital on Turkish Radio when she was six. With the aid of a special state scholarship, she studied with Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Mithat Fenmen, and then in Paris, where her teachers include Pierre Sancan, Monique Haas and Nadia Boulanger. She graduated from the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 16, winning the prestigious and prizes in top international competitions. Gülsin Onay’s subsequent, truly international career has spanned 80 countries across all continents, from Venezuela to Japan. She has given concerts in the major musical centres of the world such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall, the Salle Gaveau in Paris and many more. She has performed as a soloist with such leading orchestras as Dresden Staatskapelle, Philharmonia Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, Munich Radio Symphony, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony Orchestras. Gülsin Onay holds the title of State Artist in her native Turkey, where for many years she has been official soloist for the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara. Gülsin Onay’s over 20 recorded albums to date illustrate the breadth of her repertoire as well as her interpretive power, with solo works and concertos from Haydn and Mozart to the contemporary era. She is “Artist in Residence” at Bilkent University in Ankara and holds honorary doctoral degrees from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, and from Hacettepe University in Ankara. In 2014 she was awarded the Honorary Medal of the 42nd Istanbul Music Festival, and later Honorary Medal from the Bodrum Music Festival in 2018.