Cyprus-Boston Chamber Music Exchange
Ertem and his accordionist friend Mustafa playing music in Cyprus.
musiConnects teachers Marji Gere, Josh Addison, and Michael Dahlberg and violinist Ertem Nalbantoğlu and violinist/guitarist Hüseyin Altan of the LedraArt Music and Fine Arts Studio in Nicosia, Cyprus are using the tools of video and Internet to provide their students a special chance to experience the communicative, cross-cultural potential of music. With their teachers' help, young musicians in both communities are making a series of short videos to introduce themselves, their music-making, families, and neighborhoods to each other. They will play music from Cyprus, the U.S., and beyond, teach each other words and phrases in the languages they speak, ask each other questions about life on the other side of the world, and (we hope) establish long-term friendships based on a shared love of music.
Marji and Ertem met in 2003, during which Marji was traveling around Cyprus as a CASP fellow, playing and coaching chamber music, and organizing a bi-communal music festival for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot musicians. At the time, Ertem was teaching music to students all over Cyprus, performing in folk, tango, and classical music groups, and finishing his doctorate in music from Marmara University in Turkey. During the time Marji was in Cyprus, she and Ertem developed a friendship based on musical performance, teaching development, cultural exchange, and merriment spent with friends, beautiful scenery, dance, and delicious Cyprus food. Now in 2013, they find themselves living parallel lives as directors of music education organizations in their home countries, and are having fun co-piloting this project that gives their young music students a taste of what it is like to travel to another part of the world and meet a unique, surprising person who has something (maybe many things!) in common with them.