Turkish National Youth Philarmonic in Berlin, 2015

“Der Tagesspiegel”

Carriers of Hope from Turkey: The orchestra is not only technically impressive, but their conveying of the romantic pathos of Weber’s overture was so convincing that one would have wished to hear the whole opera. Following the energy of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, these musicians have the generosity to play Wagner’s “Meistersinger” overture as an encore.


Berliner Morgenpost:

Like intense activity on a building site…

A Turkish flag in front of the Konzerthaus. İt is a fine tradition for every visiting orchestra to bring the first performance by a young composer from home.

“Earthwork” is the title that Sinem Altan wrote for the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic. This 6 minute piece tells about man’s relationship with the earth. The dynamic and wild rhythms favoring the dark colours of the instruments, bring to mind the intense activity of a building site.

The TNYPO was founded in 2007 and has been a true ambassador for Turkey in Europe’s most prestigious halls. Their founder Cem Mansur has chose a program of musical moods and pictures instead of a large symphonic work for their Berlin program.

Mussorgski’’s “Sorochinsky Fair1 and Debusy’s “İbéria” are not to be taken lightly. The constantly changing rhythms and colors as well as the difficult solos for the wind seemed to pose no difficulty for the players.

The joy of making music, that this orchestra is already known for came into its own for Stravinski’s “Petrushka”. The enthusiasm of the audience expressed itself  in three brilliant encores.


Berliner Tagespiegel

The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic has chose a festive and dance-like program for its appearance in this year’s “Young Euro-Classic” festival.

These brilliant young musicians know, in additon to their colorful and virtuosic playing, how to bring voice to Sinem Altan’s “Earthwork”.

While directing the orchestra wit a firm hand, Cem Mansur also allows the players the free space to express themselves. The enchanting tone of the strings  blend with the brilliant wind sound, creating the balance of groups and soloists within the orchestra. This was particularly evident in Stravinski’s “Petrushka”. Each percussion beat, each murmur and each brilliant wind colour draw one into an emerging party atmosphere. The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic transforms itself into the “Berghain od Analogue Music”. (Berghain: Berlin’s most dynamic digital music venue)

While they play, impossible to sit still…


Press Reviews: Turkish National Youth Philharmonic

In residence: Taormina Festival, August 2014


Lo Spettacolo

Conducted wisely by Cem Mansur, the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic overcame the immense technical, emotional and expressive difficulties of “Tosca” with success. Specially noteworthy were the strings, exhibiting a level that can only have been reached with serious preparation. We too have young talents in Italy, but obviously need to review our cultural policies.


Messina News

“twenty minutes of applause…”

Expectations run high for the third performance of “Tosca”, the first two having each been greeted with twenty minutes of applause. The festival director, aiming to achieve the highest international standards, has invited the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic led by a conductor of Cem Mansur’s standing, noted for their concert here last year. The extraordinary ability and sense of balance of this group has ensured that the orchestral element of the opera was exceptional..”



Cem Mansur conducted the TNYP, a first class orchestra, in a score known for the difficulties of its musical intensity and expressive depth. Each section of the orchestra displayed a disciplined way of playing achieved through meticulous preparation.



…Our main praise goes to the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic, founded by Cem Mansur in 2007. The orchestra gave life to every moment on stage and acted as a brush, picturing the events unfolding on stage. It was impossible to ignore the virtuosity and concentration in their playing, in a score where orchestral perfection is so important.


Il Corriere della Musica

The Puccini challenge was met by the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic, way beyond what we sometimes expect of orchestras invited to the summer festival.

Mansur, in a noteworthy interpretation, reminded us that the orchestra is the protagonist in Puccini’s theatre. The fact that every important event and moment is announced, underlined and developed by the orchestra had been stressed by many great conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries. To see that this approach is far from being a cliché, it would have been enough to hear Mansur’s interpretation of the “Vissi d’arte” scene. The aria, which usually pauses the action, took on the role of an intermezzo in a vast symphonic poem with voices. Under Mansur’s direction the themes were subjected to a “symphonic scan” and kept their integrity when taken over by the voices.

A reading of dramatic and emotional integrity, providing the opera with an extraordinary flow.


Bellini News (“Tosca”)

The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic, under Cem Mansur’s dynamic and careful direction, proved itself a balanced ensemble capable of brilliant colours. The clean and intensive playing of the winds was astonishing.


Bellini News (concert)

Conducted energetically by Cem Mansur, the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic surpassed even the expectations raised during  first half of the concert. Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” showed them to be an ensemble capable of a rich variety of colours and good phrasing. The brilliant young Turkish musicians gave renewed life to this masterpiece, within the walls of this great Sicilian monument.


Bellini News (concert)

The last concert of the orchestra was devoted to German composers. Cem Mansur conducted with grace and attention. This very strong and well balanced orchestra displayed its best qualities in works by Beethoven, Strauss and Wagner. The enthsusiasm of their playing of the “Russlan and Ludmilla” ouverture as an encore was worth witnessing.


Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Press Reviews, Italy 2013


Blog Sicilia

Bellini Festival, Mintz enchants Taormina.

The renowned violinist Shlomo Mintz and the prestigious Turkish National Youth Philharmonic successfully gave the final concert of the fifth Bellini Festival. The soloist (following his performance of the Beethoven Concerto) was applauded during 10 minutes while the orchestra members, aged between 16 and 22, also greatly impressed the audience. Conducted by the orchestra’s founder Cem Mansur, they performed Bellini’s “Norma” ouverture, “Guglielmo Tell” by Rossini, Kodaly’s “Dances of Galanta” as well as  a suite by Turkish composer Ferit Tüzün

The young musicians proved once more, the extraordinary professionalism and discipline with which they enchanted audiences in many international centers.


Tempo Stretto/Messina

The great success of violinist Shlomo Mintz and the Turkish National Youth Orchestra.

One of the most eagerly awaited concerts of the Bellini Festival took place on Monday. The thread of Beethoven’s music, started at the festival in 2009 when Lorin Maazel conducted all the symphonies, continued with the Violin Concerto. The Turkish National Youth Orchestra started with Bellini’s ouverture to “Norma”. They did justice to all works in their varied repertoire. The orchestra, conducted by Maestro Cem Mansur in works by Verdi, Tüzün, Kodaly and Rossini exhibited the extraordinary mastery, discipline, enthusiasm and energy for which they are admired in many great venues.


İl Giornalde di Vicenza


Turkish Philharmonic, youthful enthusiasm that exalts Beethoven..

A very special and excellent concert. The young musicians, conducted majestically by Cem Mansur and soloist Shlomo Mintz have interpreted  the programme with lyricism and virtuosity in a totally full Teatro Filarmonico.

“Young Turks” on the stage of the Filarmonico. I do not mean some talk-show about Italian politics. Here finesse, hard-work, and passion combine enthusisastically in the microcosmos of a symphony orchestra. These young people, contrary to what is understood by the word in our parts, are truly young. They are 18, 20 at most 22. They have become citizens of the world, thanks to universal music. They are unpretentious, passionate and attractive. Founded by Cem Mansur a conductor of great international experience, they prove that youth orchestras that feed on tradition but know that they need to go further, are the most attractive element in classical music.  Great names of the music world increasingly share their experience and wisdom with these young players on the world’s leading stages.

The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic, presented themselves with Shlomo Mintz, to a packed and expectant hall in Verona for the last concert of their Italian tour. The soloist, a the end of the concerto showed his enthusiasm for the young musicians almost more than acknowledging the warm reception he was given.

The concert programme was substantial and interesting. A first half of Beethoven (the magnificent Leonora ouverture and the Violin Concerto) and a more eclectic selection in the second half. Mansur and Mintz favoured a leisurely pace in the concerto, allowing for the lyrical qualities of the music to shine. The orchestra, accompanying with just enough volume,  was notable for the dense and introvert sound of the strings and the wind soloists, coming to prominence whenever necessary (specially the bassoon in its dialogue with the soloist.) This interpretation was in contrast to the hard, but very attractive energy of the ouverture.

The stage belonged entirely to the (predominantly female!) young musicians in during the second half. Tüzün’s suite showed signs of German music of between the wars, combined with local colors and a Mediterranean sensitivity. Kodaly’s “Dances of Galanta” exhibited perfect ensemble, complemented by brilliant colors.  Mansur, with his unorthodox but effective gestures, conducting the concert with care and finesse, proved the detailed technical and musical work that goes into realizing this extraordinary project. The torrential applause was rewarded with Verdi’s ballet music from “Macbeth”.


La Reppublica

Young Turks conquer Italy

By “Young Turks” I don’t mean the modernists who deposed Sultan Amdulhamid of the Ottoman Empire. These “revolutionaries” with their serious but candid faces are the 100 musicians of the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra is, in the opinion of its founder, conductor Cem Mansur a “Laboratory of Democracy”.

The young musicians moved audiences during their 12-day passage through Italy, with their great discipline and enthusiasm. The high point of the tour was the concert in the great hall of Rome’s Parco della Musica. The distinguished violinist Shlomo Mintz was their soloist. The musicians and audience were witnesses to his mature and dependable playing. The relatively broad tempo Mansur took, served the lyrical character of the music. Brahms’ First Symphony was astonishingly full of  lyricism.


İl Tempo

Lessons to be learnt from the young musicians..

The key to the success of the Turkish National Youth Orchestra, these days on a tour of Italy, is present in its CV: The personal and social development made possible by making music together is evident in this orchestra that sees itself as a “Laboratory of Democracy”.

The Turkish Youth Philharmonic proving its expertise in a wide range of repertoire in Rome’s Sala Santa Cecilia, accompanied Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with concentration and discipline. “Guglielmo Tell”, Rossini’s most symphonic ouverture was performed with great mastery. The young musicians overcame the monumental difficulties of Brahms’s First Symphony with enthusiasm.



“A first class, very special orchestra was the guest of the Brucknerfest on Monday evening: The Turkish National Youth Philharmonic. Taking into account its musicality and technical level, this orchestra should fear no comparison with the best of Europe’s youth orchestras, quite the contrary! An extraordinary motivation combines with a joy of music-making based on a solid technical ground. The orchestra’s extraordinary quality showed itself  even in a work of the extreme difficulty of Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” Symphony. Brilliant strings, unbelievably clean woodwinds, powerful brass and effective percussion. The sensitive ensemble playing is the result of Cem Mansur’s intense conducting. He also succeeds in extracting music-making of the highest quality in Bartok and Berlioz , power and softness of touch appearing side by side”.


Klassikbegeisterung Webarchive

“The 100 young musicians bewitched us at the very beginning of the concert with Ferit Tüzün’s “Turkish Cappriccio”. Under Cem Mansur’s protective and careful conducting, they reminded us of Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Orchestra. It was impressive to hear each section of the orchestra with clarity and detail through Dvorak’s “New World Symphony”. I urge the festival director, to invite this interesting and worthy orchestra again.”


Augsburger Allgemeine

“The young talents sustained the joy of making music until the last chord of the “New World Symphony”. The enthusiastic applause was a result of their obvious ability. Investing in culture is really worth it. The orchestra and soloists showed the full house, how sensitivity and ensemble can co-exist in a concert”.


Leverkusener Anzeiger

“The musicians, aged between 16 and 22 gave a two-hour lesson in musical integration. The powerful playing of particularly the strings of this enormous ensemble is specially impressive. Even the playing of the well-known soloist Bernd Glemser paled into second place compared to this”.


Bonner Rundschau 21.9.2012

“Young Turks Besiege the Podium”

The Beethovenfest offered us a multi-faceted program. The Turkish Youth Philharmonic’s concert on Wednesday was undoubtedly one of the festival’s highlights”.


Bonner General-Anzeiger 21.9.2012

“The Turkish Youth Philharmonic at the Beethovenhalle”

“They can do (almost) anything”

“We are good at it all, even the classics”, This seemed the message of the orchestra to the audience. And they indeed know the classics! A trip through the history of Western music from Beethoven to Bartok also included a world premiere, E. Tanman’s “The Traffic”. The orchestra, formed since six  years from among the best students in Turkey’s conservatoires showed itself to be an ensemble of the highest level, not only technically but also musically mature. In Beethoven’s Triple Concerto they performed flawlessly and solidly under the direction of Cem Mansur and their handling of the complex textures of Bartok’s “Dance Suite” was astonishing. Ravel’s “Bolero” reached its final climax in a controlled and exciting manner and Strauss’s “Rosenkavalier” Waltzes combined brash playing in the noisy passages with transparency where necessary”.