Sunday, December 9, 2018

Ayla Erduran

Ayla Erduran is a Turkish violinist and teacher born (in Istanbul) on September 22, 1934.  She is one of Turkey’s best known concert violinists.  She is also one of the very few pupils of Zino Francescatti.  Erduran is still active as a recitalist.  Although her career began with a recital at age ten, she was never known as a child prodigy.  That first recital included Mozart’s fourth concerto and Beethoven’s Spring Sonata.  She began violin lessons at age 4 - her first teacher was her mother (who was a violinist though not a very good one.)  Erduran’s early years were difficult because her mother was not unlike Guila Bustabo’s mother, which is to say, she was domineering and very pushy.  (Guila Bustabo’s mother was known to beat her on occasion.  Bustabo’s fellow pupils many times saw her with bruises on her little head and arms.)  After a short while, Erduran began lessons with Karl Berger in Istanbul.  Berger was known as the best violin teacher in Turkey at the time and Erduran studied with him for five years.  From age 10 to age 15 or 16, Erduran studied in Paris with Rene Benedetti, also a very well-known French violin teacher of that day.  (Several biographical summaries say Erduran studied at the Paris Conservatory but I was not able to confirm that.  Perhaps it’s true.)  In 1951, she traveled to the U.S. where she studied for four years with Ivan Galamian and Zino Francescatti, presumably in New York and not at the same time.  Many concert violinists concertize while studying but I do not know if Erduran did that.  She left the U.S. in 1955 – she was either 21 or 22 years old.  Before leaving, she made her American debut in New York but I do not know with which orchestra she played or when or what she played – all I know is that Thomas Scherman conducted the program.  Her European debut took place in Warsaw, Poland, where she played the Glazunov concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic.  In 1957 she went to Moscow to study with David Oistrakh.  She stayed until sometime in 1958.  She was 24 or 25 years old.  In 1957, she was awarded fifth place in the Wieniawski violin competition – there were more than 120 competitors that year.  The next 40 years she spent concertizing around the world playing with many famous conductors and orchestras in prestigious concert halls.  Erduran premiered the Elgar concerto in Turkey.  Between 1973 and 1990 she taught at the Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland.  She returned to Istanbul in 1990 – she was 56 years old.  Erduran has been recognized for her artistic achievements by several countries, including Turkey, the Netherlands, England, Poland, and Belgium.  Among the violins she has played are a Guarnerius from 1720 (not a Del Gesu) and the famous Roederer Stradivarius from 1710, now played (though not owned) by French violinist David Grimal.  Two biographies have been written about Erduran – they are probably still in print.  Here is a YouTube audio file where Erduran plays a popular Kreisler piece.