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Izmir Festival > Program > HATAY ACADEMY ORCHESTRA

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 • Izmir Historical Agora • 21.00

Ali Uğur, founder, conductor




Hatay Academy Orchestra, which conducts its activities under the Hatay Symphony Orchestra Culture and Art Association (HSO), is the first and only symphony orchestra in Hatay. The members of the orchestra are all conservatory graduates, conservatory students and music teachers. Our orchestra, acting as a whole with the Hatay Polyphonic Choir and conducting activities under the umbrella of HSO, defines itself as a transformational movement in the field of culture and arts.

In line with this mission, it has carried out various concerts, projects, training, and workshops, and established children’s choirs and orchestras with the goal of a fundamental transformation since its establishment in 2019. It has continued to carry out joint projects by establishing networks with institutions and groups in different cities, such as Cukurova University State Conservatory, Izmir Mahal Aura, etc. It has also taken part in projects supported by Culture Civic, Space for Culture, and EU Think Civil. In a very short period of time, it has created a visible awareness in the field of culture and arts at the level of both society and institutions.
As you all know, Hatay is one of the provinces which has been most affected by the earthquake that took placeon 6th February 2023, when all the districts of Hatay suffered great damage and our ancient city of Antakya was completely destroyed. Our orchestra also suffered great destruction during this earthquake. Four of our members lost their lives and our surviving members lost many loved ones. In addition, the vast majority of our
instruments were buried under the rubble, - instruments which accompany us on this journey we set out on, both in good times and bad, and which we grow up with and develop alongside, learning   and teaching with them. We leave our mark on them as they leave their mark on us, and we believe that each of them has a soul.
When we founded the Hatay Academy Orchestra, we set out with the idea of transforming the field of culture and arts in our own region. The fact that Antakya, a ancient land known globally for its cultural richness, is completely lacking in cultural and artistic associations, activities, ideas and schools, has pushed us to fill this vacuum. 
The fact that Antakya, one of the most important cities of civilisations like the Hittites and Romans, influencing the whole world with their cultures, was far behind the place it
deserved in terms of culture and arts, was upsetting to us, Antakya’s artists and music instructors.
However, instead of just being upset, we preferred to take steps to change this situation.
We lost four members of our orchestra, percussionist Abdurrahman Düzgün, soprano Cansu Çilingir, viola player Büşra Kırkıcı and contrabass player Ali Yılmaz, in the February 6th earthquake. Many of our surviving members were pulled from the rubble hours
later, having lost loved ones, their homes destroyed, their instruments lost underground
and their cities completely destroyed. As a result of all this traumatic event, our orchestra suffered a huge amount of ain and grief. Apart from the founder/conductor of our orchestra and 3 members, all of the orchestra’s musicians had to migrate from their homes. Yet they all want to return and take responsibility for creating the conditions for this return. We believe in the healing power of art. We need the orchestra to get well, to recover, and to stand up again in order to build a new life. One of the best ways for an artist to recover is to continue producing. We want to recover by continuing to perform our art and then return to our hometown and do our part in building a new life. Throughout history, humanity has experienced various disasters and traumas. Art has always been one of the most important dynamics that play a role in the recovery of society from such traumas. Based on this reality, we are aware of the responsibility attributed to us by history. As artists, art instructors and children of this country, we are ready to fulfill our duty on the stage of history. This 8th destruction and catastrophe experienced by Hatay has happened during outr time on earth, yet at the same time, our existence has also coincided with this 8th catastrophic event.
Like the grain of dust that turns to diamonds under the pressure of the earth, we want to build a new existence, a new life from the dust caused by this destruction. We want to channel the expression that will come from out of our pain and grief into production and creation.
The philosopher Libanius of Antioch, who lived in Antioch in the 4 th century, had this to say: “If the angels decide to descend to Earth again, they will land in Antioch.” We want to be the angels mentioned by our fellow countryman Libanius and descend to Antakya and have a say in the construction of the new city in accordance with the history, architecture and spirit of Antakya, to build a new life through culture and art. With our art, we want to point out the sufferings, to keep the memories alive and make a mark in history, - but at the same time we want to give birth to “hope” on this road to a new life. Your solidarity, support and suggestions will be invaluable for us to do this.
We send you our hope with Bertolt Brecht’s“Will there also be singing in dark times? Of
course, there will be singing, too, about the dark times.” With love.
Board of Directors of Hatay Symphony Orchestra Culture and Art Association
Artistic Board of Hatay Academy Orchestra
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hatay Symphony Orchestra Culture and Art Association and
Founder / Conductor of Hatay Academy Orchestra
Hatay Academy Orchestra
Hatay Academy Orchestra consists entirely of professional musicians, music teachers and conservatory students & graduates. We also have a polyphonic and multilingual professional choir consisting of music teachers within this orchestra.
Hatay Children and Youth Orchestra & Choir
Students in our youth and children orchestra and choir are selected through an exam that measures their musical competence. The selected students receive notation, solfege, harmony, instrument, choir and orchestra training by the music teachers in our orchestra.
Training Choir
Our training choir consists of amateur individuals who are interested in music and have musical competence. Choristers in this choir are selected through an exam that measures their musical competence. Those who are selected for the choir receive notation, solfege, harmony, polyphony and choral training by the music teachers in our orchestra.
A Music Band: Elmanın Şarkısı (The song of the apple)
Elmanın Şarkısı is a music band that performs world music and ethnic music in their concerts. Its repertoire includes Anatolian music, Balkan music, Latin, Jazz, Gypsy music
Classical Music
Western Classical Music Works (Medieval-Renaissance-Baroque Period-Classical Period- Romantic Period-Contemporary Period-Today’s Classical Works)
Turkish Classical Music Composers’ Works
World Music
The most popular music in the world
Ethnic music of different peoples and languages in the world
Ethnic works
Folk Songs in different languages (Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian, Greek, Greek, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Circassian, Berber... )
Hatay Folk Songs
Folk and religious music of religions and cultures living in Hatay
Anatolian Music - Folk Songs - Turkish Music Works
Uzun Hava (Bozlak, Barak, Hoyrat etc.)
Kırık Hava
Deyiş (Alevi songs)
Oyun Havası (traditional dance music)
Bar (Turkish folk dance)
Folk Songs from Different Regions
Phone: 0 553 420 05 05 Ali UĞUR
Founder / Conductor of Hatay Academy Orchestra


HATAY ACADEMY ORCHESTRA - Program - Izmir Festival | İKSEV - İzmir Foundation For Culture Arts And Education