The Cyprus Chamber Orchestra (CCO), following its recent establishment is having its first concert, taking place at Pallas Theatre in Nicosia on the 29th of December, at 19:30.
Cyprus Chamber Orchestra is a non-profit organization bringing together around 20 Turkish and Greek Cypriot musicians to produce music of the highest level and perform around the island and abroad, promoting peace in Cyprus through the power of the music.
In the occasion of their first concert, the Cypriot Puzzle has spoken to the artistic directors and founders of the orchestra, Natalie Neophytou and Nihat Agdac in the interview presented below.
1. What was the instigation behind the creation of this orchestra?
It’s definitely not easy to explain it. In general, it is a combination of things. Friendship, trust and our need to make great music together.
2. What were the major challenges faced upon setting up the Orchestra?
When we first decided to make this project together, we were thinking about one concert but once we started planning it, we instantly thought, “Why shouldn’t we bring people together and go for more?”. Our colleagues were very supportive and they all agreed on playing in the orchestra with no single objection. Financial issues were one of our basic concerns, but thanks to Stelios Philathropic Foundation, and the “Stelios Cyprus Bicommunal Award 2016” we were awarded with, we had the support we need for going further. We are very determined for what we are doing, so any future challenges don’t seem any difficult.
3. What has the reception of this initiative been?
We already feel that the orchestra is getting much of attention, from both parts of the island, as well as the musical scene. We got many positive comments about the orchestra and there are some people that feel that what we are trying to do is not that easy. Of course, it’s not easy and we are absolutely aware of it. But music is stronger than one would think, especially when it comes to convincing people. We are not afraid of that, but we need people to be brave and support our initiative. This island belongs to us or we all belong to this island. One way or another. Let’s make music together and let it heal our souls.
4. What is the perceived role of the Orchestra amidst this critical juncture for the Cypriot problem?
We, Nihat & Natalie in principal, and our generation in general were born in a divided country. We didn’t have the opportunity to see how it would be if there were no borders, no conflicts etc. Our generation is not responsible for anything that has been done in the past, nor were involved in the dramatic events occurred in our country. We are living a situation which was not created by ourselves, or with our decisions. What we are doing,- the music- has no borders. Let’s take a piece by Mozart. Imagine that we are performing one of his pieces that he wrote hundreds of years ago. It’s his music and we have to stick on his notes, his dynamics and style. But music allows you to put your own soul in a piece and re-create the mood. It allows you to have your own say! With the negotiations being in a critical stage, we are hopeful that we will manage to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If we find it, we shouldn’t let it go and live our own future, in a united island. At least we can try! Music might not be a political solution, but it’s one of the biggest parts of human social life. In any case, we need to have a strong social contact regarding the solution and music can be that bridge!
5. How do you envision the future of the Orchestra shaping up?
We are pretty much focused on our first concert coming up on Thursday 29th of December, at Pallas Theatre in Nicosia at 19:30. We are doing baby steps at the moment but we feel very hopeful for the orchestra’s future since we have already received extremely valuable invitations from various organisations for future concerts and projects.
6. What should the audience expect to see at the concert?
We will be performing J.S.Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin in c minor where we will appear as soloists accompanied by the orchestra and the second one will be W.A.Mozart’s 29th Symphony in A major. We are glad and thankful to the Co-Chairs of the Bicommunal Committee on Culture, Ms. Vasiliou and Mr. Kanol, who will do a short opening speech right before the concert starts.
7. Do you have any more events coming up?
Certainly! We will announce our upcoming events within the near future. For more information about us, please feel free to visit our website www.cychamber.com.