US Tour February - March 2019


Manager:  Jean-Jacques Cesbron
Territory: North America


The Presidential Symphony Orchestra is among the oldest orchestras in the world. It dates to 1826 as Turkey’s first western orchestra, created at the behest of Sultan Mahmud II. In 1924, the orchestra transferred to the new capital of Ankara upon the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey.

In the subsequent decades, the Presidential Symphony has become a leading representative of Turkey’s rich orchestral history, and as an ambassador for Turkish musical culture to world. At the same time, it has entered the mainstream of Europe’s musical life through collaborations with noted conductors such as Hindemith, Mehta, Václav Neumann and Jiří Bělohlávek. The Orchestra has toured extensively across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Soloists who have played with the orchestra include David Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan, Paul Tortelier, Yehudi Menuhin and Jean-Pierre Rampal.

For its inaugural United States tour in 2019, the Presidential Symphony will offer a program featuring works by the preeminent composer of Turkish music, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, including the famed dance rhapsody "Köçekçe" which premièred with the orchestra in 1943. In addition, the tour program will feature works of Beethoven, Shostakovitch, Bernstein and Mozart. The orchestra will be led by its music director Rengim Gökmen as well as a variety of soloists from the Turkish diaspora and beyond.


  • Rengim Gökmen, conductor
  • Theodore Kuchar, conductor


  • Muhiddin Durruoglu, Piano
  • Zeynep Alpan, violin
  • Emilio Colón, cello

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