THE YOUNG PIANO PRODIGY
THE YOUNG PIANO PRODIGY
Born in Istanbul in 2006, Tarık Kaan starts his piano lessons at 4 with her mother. In 2014, he is admitted to Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSÜ) State Conservatory, and continues his piano learnings with Prof. Burcu Aktaş Urgun. He is awarded the first prize at the International Pera Piano Competition in 2016, which is also the year when he participates and is awarded the Grand Prix at the 2nd International Young Talents Piano Competition. Again in 2016, he comes in the first category at the 6th International
Piano Competition “Piano Talents” in Milan Italy in June. Having been admitted to the singing examination at the MSGSÜ State Conservatory in December 2016, he takes the stage at the CRR (Cemal Reşit Rey) together with the university's orchestrate on the 20th of April in 2017. In March 2017, he is awarded the first prize at the piano competition held by “Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Branch Turkey”, and after that he is admitted to Prof. Markus Becker’s master class at Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He is given the privilege o giving a concert at Stiftung Mozarteum due to his success in class.
Having successfully passed the Rising Stars auditions promoted by İş Bankası in 2017-2018, Tarık Kaan is elected the Rising Star of the piano at 11, and gives a recital at Milli Reasürans concert hall. Having a certificate of merit issued by the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) for piano grade 8 at 11, he is entitled to sit for the university admission exams of the Royal Academy of Arts. At the Memorijal Jurica Murai-Murai Grand Prix competition in The City of Varazdin, Georgia, he is awarded the first prize in his category.
At the end of the Rising Star series promoted by İş Sanat, Tarık Kaan becomes the first pianist elected and is awarded the "Promising Young Talent" Meriç Soylu Prize. In June 2018, the jury of Modern Education Foundation (ÇEVSanat) formed of Fazıl Say, İbrahim Yazıcı, Cihat Aşkın, Bülent Evcil, Şeniz Duru Koevoets, and Ece Dağıstan selects him the first winner of all instrument branches for 8-13 years of age, so on the 7th of January in 2019, he performs at "Young Talents 10th Anniversary Concert" by ÇEV Sanat at Zorlu Performance Center. Having been awarded the first prize at the "Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition" (New York), Tarık Kaan takes the stage at Carnegie Hall to pick up his prize on the 6th of March in 2019.
Continuing his studies with Prof. Burcu Aktaş Urgun, Tarık Kaan
Alkan is still studying within the scope of the Young Talents Project promoted by ÇEVSANAT (Modern Education Foundation) which is also supported by the main sponsor QNB Finansbank.
Ayşe Dora Özdemir, the youngest correspondent of our magazine, who has been learning piano for four years now, had an interview with Tarık Kaan Alkan, the young piano prodigy. We believe it will shed light on the path of the youth.
Piano helps music enthusiasts improve the talent of singing correctly, and develops an ear for music for those that are not connected with it. Piano is not as easy to handle as it seems, that's for sure. I give my thanks to Tarık Kaan, who wows us all with his talent.
Tarık Kaan, the talented son to my teacher, Eser, plays the piano as effortlessly as her. We appreciate that he lights the path for us, the modest enthusiasts. It is our wish and aspiration to play as beautifully as he does. As a kid I wondered if there would ever be anybody who would represent the piano and encourage us to play. I am hoping that it will be you. I wish you continued success, Tarık Kaan.
Let's proceed with the questions that I have prepared for you.
How did you choose to become a pianist?
I can say that it is thanks to my mum and dad both being musicians. My talent would probably go unnoticed if they did not have a background in music.
Did you come across difficulties after becoming a pianist?
Yes, of course being a pianist is sometimes tiring and challenging. Even though the challenges increase every passing year I remain unaffected because I love being a pianist and I am determined on my way.
How did you decide to go to the conservatory?
I can't remember exactly how but first I took the half-time exam (which is way more difficult than the full-time one). Having passed the half-time exam, I waited for two years until I have turned, and I started the full-time.
Do you have any composition or do you consider making one?
Yes, I do have compositions. I am planning to work on it in the future, so I do it professionally.
What are your targets for the future?
I want to study music abroad and then come back to Turkey to share my experience with the young pianists like me.
Did you think differently about becoming a pianist before you became a pianist?
My thoughts about being a pianist were basically the same but I did not know I would enjoy it this much.
How many hours a day do you practice?
Two hours on weekdays. I aim at four to five hours on weekends.
Did you determine and choose the competitions that you attended, or was it your parents or teacher?
My parents and my teacher provide me information about the competitions and I select the ones I want to attend. At the end of the day we made the final decision and make the best choice for my selfimprovement.
What are your feelings when you are presented an award?
I fill with pride and I am feeling that I am rewarded for my hard work.
Who is your favorite composer?
My favorite composer is Johann Sebastian Bach because all other composers recognize Bach as the best composer. His compositions have excellent musical structures and counterpoints.
And your favorite composer that you enjoy the most while playing at the piano?
Of the foreigners, I love Frederic Chopin. Of the Turkish composers, I love Ahmet Adnan Saygun. I love pieces that are emotionally charged and that also require virtuosity.
Which artist is your role model?
I cannot name a single artist. I try my best to take good sides of all of them.