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North American Premiere of Fazil Say's Mesopotamia Symphony with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Feb. 01, 2017

North American Premiere of Fazil Say's <em>Mesopotamia Symphony</em> with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Fazil Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony (Symphony No. 2), for large orchestra, receives its North American premiere on February 3 as part of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival. Alexander Mickelthwate leads the performance at Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall.

Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony, an expansive and revelatory work in ten movements, was given its world premiere in 2012 as part of the Istanbul Music Festival, performed by the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. The work reflects on the Mesopotamian region, exploring themes and cultural perceptions related to the area surrounding Say's Turkish homeland. Say elaborates on his approach to the work:

I jumped over my own shadow with this symphony. I exterminated some of my routines by moving in the opposite direction. I was free when I was composing and not shackled by something. And I said to myself: Why should I choose the way I already know. Let’s try a new way. 

Say introduces the work in a brief documentary as a preview to the 2012 world premiere:

For more information on Fazil Say, visit

Fazil Say
Mesopotamia Symphony (2011-2012)
Symphony No. 2
for large orchestra recorder(amp, tenor recorder)-str