The Turkish Makam: Rum Composers and Greek Folk of Istanbul

with Baha Yetkin,Stavroula Constanti, Alexandros Koustas

Sunday 11th June 2023 @ Green Note

Constantly evolving since the 13th century, the Turkish Makam has become one of the world’s great music traditions. A sound that grew out of the heart of Istanbul and neighbouring areas, its folk, religious and classical forms create an elaborate tapestry of sound colours. The Turkish Makam has served equally folk music and dance, court audiences as well as Mevlevi ceremonies.

This project will explore pieces  by Greek composers of Istanbul like Nikolaki and Petraki, as well as Greek folk tunes and dances.


Baha Yetkin, oud

Stavroula Constanti, ney

Alexandros Koustas, klasik Kemençe/politiki lyra

Baha Yetkin

Turkish oud artist and composer Baha Yetkin grew up in Istanbul, the meeting point of two continents, and the prolific melting pot of European and Middle Eastern musical cultures. So, not very surprisingly, he was able to shape a very unique artistic style which embraced both Istanbul music and Middle Eastern music; which in return, paved the way for fruitful collaborations with Turkish and European masters of music like Mustafa Keser, Zeki Cetin, İnci Çayırlı, Melihat Gülses, Petros Klampanis, Michalis Kouloumis.

Yetkin also garnered attention as the first ever Turkish oud artist to be invited to play flamenco in Spain, and to give a solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall. These milestones were preceded and followed by performances at prominent concert venues in Turkey, Europe and the UK, such as Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall(TR), Zorlu Performing Arts Cen-ter(TR), Angora Theatre(ES),Union Halle(GER), the RAH(UK), Asia House(UK), the RAS(UK), Swan Theatre(UK), Vortex(UK), Green Note(UK). He also performed in festivals like Alamar World Music Fest in Almeria, Yeldeğirmeni Spring Jazz Festival in Istanbul and Rebetiko Carnaval in London, as well as   the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has also done some Oud and Makam Music workshops in Istanbul, London, Cambridge and Madrid. His latest workshops were at Cambridge University in February 2022. He makes videos to explain Ottoman music makams on his Youtube channel and his Superpeer channel. His latest performance was in a Broadway musical “The Band’s Visit” at Donmar Warehouse Theatre in 2022.

His first single “Emperian” and first album “The Pearl” was released in 2019, his second and third singles “Shine Again” and “Tears of the Pearl” were released in 2020 his latest al-bum “The Turkish Oud” was released in 2021 by ARC Music/Naxos World. They are on all digital platforms. He continues performing and teaching in the UK and online platforms.

Stavroula Constanti

Stavroula studied ney at the Athens Conservatory (class of Harris Lambrakis). Meanwhile, she took master classes with Ömer Erdoğdular, in Crete, Labyrinth Musical Workshop. She has a master’s in music from the Rotterdam CODARTS conservatory.

Alexandros Koustas

Alexandros studied the violin and the viola at the Royal Academy of Music. He is the principal violist of the English National Ballet Philharmonic and he was recently appointed as a member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

He has been studying the Turkish Makam for the past seven years, focusing on the Klasik Kemençe. Alexandros has taken ethnomusicology classes at SOAS and regularly attends the “Labyrinth” music courses in Crete and he is currently completing a Masters in Ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield. Alexandros recently had the opportunity to play the Kemençe in ENBs’ new production of Akram Khan Giselle with the ENB Philharmonic, in London and on tour.

Event Details
Doors open: 13:45
Music starts: 14:30
Music finishes: 16:30

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