National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey

Since it was  founded by the conductor Cem Mansur in 2007, the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey has considered itself a “laboratory of democracy”, focusing not only on intensive musical work, but also on the principles of coexistence, leadership, self-respect and responsibility. Workshops and seminars play an important role in imparting these goals – thus also in 2014, when the orchestra visited the banks of the River Spree on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the city partnership between Istanbul and Berlin. Apart from its own appearances at Young Euro Classic – most recently in 2015 and 2017 – two binational projects also found a broad resonance: the Young Euro Classic Festival Orchestra Turkey-Germany in 2011 and the Armenian-Turkish Youth Orchestra in 2012. During recent years, the musicians aged 16 to 22 have appeared successfully at the Philharmonic Halls in Dortmund and Essen, at the Auditorio in Rome, in Brussels, at the Brucknerfest in Linz and the Beethovenfest in Bonn. In 2018 the orchestra completed a European tour with performances in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw.

July 24, 2019 20:00

Konzerthaus, Berlin

Ulrich Deppendorf

© ARD Hanna Lippmann


Ulrich Deppendorf is a doyen of public television in Germany, whose appearance signalled important information on current world events – he moderated the Report from Berlin no less than 289 times. Berlin is the adopted home of this child of the Ruhr area, the place the 68-year-old feels at home. After studying law in Münster, he interned at the WDR, whose television programme director he ultimately became, after many successful years as an editor responsible for multiple features and programming areas, including “ARD aktuell” and its signature shows Tagesschau and Tagesthemen. That job interrupted his position as the head and chief editor of the ARD Capital Studio, which he then took up again from 2007 to 2015. To many, perhaps himself included, he thereby “returned home”.He finds it easy to deal with the gruff nature of the Berliners; perhaps it is also the city’s cultural riches that attract him. After all, the self-confessed classical music fan originally harboured quite a different dream profession: “I never regretted my decision to become a journalist, not even for one day. But in my next life, I would like to be a conductor.” As one of the founding fathers of Young Euro Classic, he has actively accompanied the festival from the very first minute. We hope this will remain the case for many years! In May 2018, he also became the chairman of the charitable association supporting the German Historical Museum Berlin. 

Patron of the Evening

Cem Mansur

© Mehmet Çağlare

The personal and artistic biography of Cem Mansur could hardly be more cosmopolitan: the British and Turkish citizen was born in Istanbul in 1957 into a multi-national and multi-lingual family. He studied first in London and then with Leonard Bernstein at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. As the conductor of the Istanbul State Opera from 1981 to 1989 he acquired an impressive opera repertoire. The successful performance of Edward Elgar’s unfinished opera The Spanish Lady in London in 1986 was followed by internationally renowned orchestras and opera houses in Europe and the USA as well as Israel and South Africa. In 2009 Mansur conducted the European premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Symphony No. 4 in Helsinki, followed by the world premiere of his composition Veni Creator in Poland in 2010. As chief conductor of the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey he has conducted guest appearances at Young Euro Classic and led several bi-national projects, including the Young Euro Classic Festival Orchestra Turkey-Germany and the Armenian-Turkish Youth Orchestra. From 1998 to 2011 he was also chief conductor and artistic director of the Akbank Chamber Orchestra.


Gökhan Aybulus

Born in Eskişehir in 1982, the Turkish pianist Gökhan Aybulus received his initial training at the State Conservatory of Anatolia. Later, he continued his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where he was taught by renowned professors such as Naum Starkman and Sergey Dorensky. During this time, he performed in cities such as St. Petersburg, Samara and Perm; among his musical partners were Natalia Gutman, Dora Schwarzberg, Nikolai Lugansky and Alexander Kagan. Since this time, Aybulus has been invited to perform not only in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain, but also in the USA. With the President’s Orchestra of Turkey, the pianist toured China in 2012, appearing in Beijing, Xi’an, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Since 2012 Aybulus has held a professorship at the State Conservatory of Anatolia.



"Der Freischütz" Overture (1820)


Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor Op. 18 (1901)


"Silent Echoes" (German Premiere)


Symphony No. 8 in F Major Op. 93 (1811-12)

6:30 pm Werner-Otto-Saal
Culture – Partnership ∙ A Bridge in Difficult Times?
Panel discussion with the conductor of the evening, Cem Mansur, Sawsan Chebli, State Secretary for International Affairs in Berlin, and Jan Taşçı, Managing Director, Deutsch-Türkische Jugendbrücke
Part of the commemoration of the 30-year anniversary of the partnership between Istanbul and Berlin
Public panel discussion – free admission with concert ticket, or free after registering by email:


A high technical level, boundless passion and colourful programmes: those are the trademarks with which the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey has already reaped standing ovations several times at Young Euro Classic – always under the baton of its founder and chief conductor, Cem Mansur. Nor will the young musicians disappoint expectations for a diverse programme this year: the concert begins with Weber’s Freischütz overture, one of the most beautiful romantic pieces of all, followed by the sensuous yet effective Piano Concerto No. 2 by the Russian Sergey Rachmaninov. Of course the Turkish orchestra also brings a work from its homeland to Berlin, a composition by the composer Füsun Köksal, who studied in Germany and the USA. Last but not least, the young musicians also make a contribution to the festival’s Beethoven cycle, performing his Symphony No. 8 in F Major.


This concert will be recorded and broadcast nationwide by Deutschlandfunk Kultur – via FM, DAB +, Kabel, online and app.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.