“….The Pekinels are widely regarded as the finest
duo-pianist team since Arthur and Karl-Ulrich Schnabel.”
Alexander Letvin, The Pianist Magazine
The pianistic perfection with genuine style and interpretation of Güher & Süher Pekinel attracts exceptional attention in the international music scene. Their studies began at the Conservatoire de Paris with Yvonne Loriod and at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt with August Leopoldo before they followed a personal invitation of Rudolf Serkin’s to pursue their studies with him at Philadelphia Curtis Institute of Music. Furthermore, they worked with such piano legends as Claudio Arrau and Leon Fleisher and completed their master’s degree at the Juilliard School as well as at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt, graduating with honours. The Pekinels’ international career truly launched upon an invitation of Herbert von Karajan to the 1984 Salzburg Festival. Subsequently, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leonard Bernstein and Jacques Loussier composed and arranged different works specifically for the two pianists.
Highlights of their career include their performances with distinguished orchestras such as the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, London Phillarmonic, London Royal Phillarmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, Philadelphia Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus, as well as world’s best conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Neville Marriner, Mareck Janowski,Michel Plasson, Leonard Slatkin and Paavo Järvi among their performance at the Eurovision concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, broadcast live in 28 countries, extensive tours with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, a “Take Bach” European tour with the Jacques Loussier Trio, the opening concert of the Lucerne Piano Festival and last but not least the performance at the Schwetzingen Festival, which was broadcast live on television in collaboration with SWR and the BBC.
Their extensive discography includes all the major works for piano duo, recorded under famous labels Deutsche Grammophon, CBS, Warner Classics, Chandos, Teldec, , Arthaus Musik and Unitel. The in Fall 2018 to be released collection of 7 CDs, 2 Blu-Rays, 4 DVDs and 1 Booklet named “Treasures” combines ten concertos for two pianos and orchestra featuring their live recording of the Bartók concert with Zubin Mehta conducting the Maggio Musicale in Florence, as well as the latest live recording with the percussionists Raphael Haeger and Simon Rössler from Berlin Philharmonic and their DVD and CD recordings of their collaboration with Jacques Loussier Trio.
Güher & Süher Pekinel, who have won numerous awards, continue to be known for their extensive recital tours, spanning the major music halls of Europe, the Far East, and the United States, where they receive wide critical acclaim.
Currently after their concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Tonhalle Zürich and in Basel as well as a performance at the Lucerne Piano Festival 2017 , among other various Recitals, the Pekinels have embarked on an extensive tour in Asia during which they have performed with the China National Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra.
Lately, their Ephesus Izmir Music Festival and 46. Istanbul Music Festival with English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gerard Schwarz have been the highlights of the both festivals.
Besides their musical career, Pekinels continue to inspire young minds with their dedicated ongoing projects since 12 years. The Pekinels are welcome guests in radio and TV shows and the German TV channels ZDF and Arte/ARD dedicated two 60-minute documentaries to them, the second one entitled Double Life was acquired later by Unitel. A third documentary is on progress, to be released soon in late Fall 2018.
Live Concerts from the festival opening of Florence with Zubin Mehta & Ludwigsburg
The Pekinel biography video prepared by the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation (IKSV) for the “Honorary Award” Ceremony on 10 November 2013:
Three significant education projects
Güher and Süher Pekinel have also pioneered three significant music education projects.
For over 15 years, Güher and Süher Pekinel have been working on three significant projects they have launched themselves and which complement one another. Through their active support, all three projects have accomplished excellent results. It is of great concern for Güher and Süher Pekinel to pass their valuable experience on to younger generations.
“Young Musicians on World Stages”, gives extraordinarily talented young musicians the possibility to pursue their studies at the most significant conservatories in Europe -mostly in Germany- with the best pedagogues, and provides them with instruments of the 17th – 19th centuries by the Maggini Foundation. As part of the project, organised concerts offer these musicians stage experience as soloists or as part of a chamber music ensemble.
Tevitöl High School “G&S Pekinel Music Department” was established in 2005 for highly gifted children in Gebze near Istanbul. On the basis of excellent results of the department, the grading of Music is an important part of the curriculum at Tevitöl, which is now acceptable credit at notable universities.
Orff Schulwerk, or simply the Orff Approach (music pedagogy concept), into the Turkish curriculum as part of their “Orff Project Anatolia” is being implemented by Pekinels since September 2010 in kindergartens and primary schools in Anatolia. The project proceeds to prove itself sustainable with Orff Schulwerk Turkey-Austria-Germany collaboration. Three specially in Salzburg at the Mozarteum Orff Institute trained educators are teaching the Orff Approach to music teachers in six different provinces of Anatolia. QNB Finansbank has generously provided their financial support for this project. Already 30.000 students are reached and the goal is to reach 350.000 students with the participation of this year 6 more cities in Anatolia.
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