Fazil Say is a famous pianist, and a composer as well. He is particularly associated with the music of Mozart. Years ago, he took Mozart’s Rondo alla turca and made a jazzy arrangement of it – an arrangement that has gone all around the world, prized by concert pianists and amateurs alike. Say himself is a Turk. He is the most famous Turkish musician, certainly in the classical world. Yet this has not shielded him from harassment by the regime in Ankara.
On Friday, Say was in New York, preparing to play in a concert at Carnegie Hall: a concert featuring a Mozart concerto and one of his own. Jay Nordlinger talked to him about this, and about a variety of musical issues. You will enjoy getting to know Say’s mind, and, even more, his playing: Start with his jazzed-up Ronda alla turca.More