Bîrûn Workshop of Ottoman Music The maftirîm and the works of Sephardi Jews in Ottoman classical music

Venice, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

From 13 to 18 April 2015 the Institute of Comparative Music Studies is staging the fourth edition of Bîrûn, a series of advanced workshops on classical Ottoman music for professional and semi-professional musicians, directed by Kudsi Erguner. The term Bîrûn refers to what was once the school for Ottoman court musicians. One of the overall aims of the workshops is to make San Giorgio a centre for the cultural development of and thinking about the musical heritage of the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean basin. The theme chosen by Kudsi Erguner for this year’s workshop is “The maftirîm and the works of Sephardi Jews in Ottoman classical music”.

An international group of scholarship holders is to be chosen by calls for applications for male voice and the following instruments: ney (flute), ‘ûd (short-necked lute), tanbûr (long-necked lute), kanûn (plucked box zither), kemençe (bowed box-shaped lute) or yayli tanbûr (bowed long-necked lute) and percussions – def or bender (frame drums), zarb (goblet drum) and kudûm (drums). During the week-long workshop the musicians will study works in the spiritual tradition of the maftirîm and by Jewish composers, such as Moshe Faro, who lived in the second half of the 18th century and was active at the court of Sultan Mahmud I (1730-1754), and the great İzak Fresco Romano (1745-1814), active at the court of Selim III (1761-1808).

On Saturday 18 April at 6 p.m. the workshop will end with a concert by the scholarship winners led by Kudsi Erguner. Download the poster of the concert.

As for the previous editions, this year Bîrûn will again be followed by a one day seminar entitled “Music and Jewish culture in the Ottoman world” coordinated by Giovanni De Zorzi and Piergabriele Mancuso, organized in collaboration with Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. The one day seminar will be held on Wednesday 15 April at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. Download the programme.