“A beguiling essence born of resounding gemstones” (Gmünder Tagespost)
The Pera Ensemble, lauded by critics as “a discerning blend of flavors, a fertile and prolific interweaving of soundscapes” (Mitteldeutsche Zeitung), is named after a district in Istanbul, which for the last 2000 years has stood as a crucible of myriad cultures and religions. This is also reflected in the ensemble’s composition, which sees the internationally renowned specialists of historically informed performance from Europe coming together with the elite of Turkish art music. Moreover, this ensemble is not solely defined by a baroque Turkish fashion for the modern audience, but weaves music from the most disparate cultural circles into a new and universal sound. Through this new aesthetic paradigm, one is treated to a variety of astonishing and moving concert experiences. In this context, Early Music is no longer seen as a cultural relic, but awakens one thing first and foremost: “Emotions! And it does this in so poignant a manner, that it can hardly be put into words.” (Opernnetz).
Pera was founded in 2005 by musicians Mehmet Cemal Yeşilçay and İhsan Özer, both natives of Istanbul, and founding members of the Ensemble Sarband. They have toured throughout the world in collaboration with ensembles such as Hesperion XXI, Concerto Köln, Emre Ensemble and the Ferahfeza Ensemble, and have made a name for themselves in illustrious concert halls and at international festivals. Their performances have included venues such as Händel Festspiele Halle, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Festtage Alter Musik Innsbruck, Rheingau Musikfestival, Berliner Philharmonie, Kölner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Dortmund, CRR Istanbul and many others. Pera works in close collaboration with Berlin Classics/Edel Kultur, and has so far produced recordings such as “Baroque oriental”, “Café – Orient meets Occident” as well as the children’s CD “Kaffee für den König” (Coffee for the King). Other releases include the cross-cultural Opera pastiche “Amor oriental” (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi) as well as “Les Fêtes du Serailles” (Ludi Musici).
For “Baroque oriental”, Pera received an Echo Klassik award in the category of “Klassik ohne Grenzen” (Classical Music Without Boundaries).