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Biography

Opening of the New Opera House with Maggio Musicale and Zubin Mehta in Florence
London Philarmonic Orchestra 2017 in Basel, Zürich and London
Borusan American Festival with percussionists of the Berlin Philharmonic in İstanbul
Concert with Shanghai Philarmonic in Shanghai and Beijing
Tokyo New Japan Philarmonic in Tokyo

Biography

With their extraordinary poetic understanding, and within the creation of their unique musical language and their perfection, Güher and Süher Pekinel attract exceptional attention in the international music scene. The Pekinel’s are the only duo to play without eye contact; focusing intensely on the depth of their musical breathing. The duo, made their first concert appearence at the age of six, giving their first live broadcast concert at the age of nine, accompanied by the Ankara Philharmonic Orchestra.

Their professional studies began at the Conservatoire de Paris with Yvonne Loriod and at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt with August Leopolder before they followed a personal invitation of Rudolf Serkin to pursue their studies with him at Philadelphia Curtis Institute of Music and later in Juilliard School of Music New York with Adele Marcus as soloists. Furthermore, they worked with such piano legends as Claudio Arrau and Leon Fleisher and completed their master’s degrees at the Juilliard School N.Y. as well as at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt, graduating with honours. The Pekinels’ international career truly launched upon an invitation of Herbert von Karajan to the 1984 Salzburg Festival. Subsequently, Leonard Bernstein, Krzysztof Penderecki and Jacques Loussier composed and arranged different works specifically for the two pianists.

Highlights of their career include their performances with distinguished orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philarmonic, New York Philarmonic, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, London Philarmonic, London Royal Philarmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchener Philharmoniker, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, Philadelphia Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus, as well as world’s most reknown conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Neville Marriner, Riccardo Chailly, Marek Janowski, Michel Plasson, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Paavo Järvi, among their performance at the “Eurovision concert” with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, broadcast live in 28 countries, extensive tours with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, a “Take Bach” European tours with the Jacques Loussier Trio, the concert of the Lucerne Piano Festival and the performance at the Schwetzingen Festival, which was broadcast live on television in collaboration with Südwestrundfunk (SWR) and the BBC. The Pekinels are welcome guests in radio and TV shows and the German TV channels ZDF and Arte/ARD which dedicated two 60-minute documentaries to them, the second one entitled “Double Life” was acquired later by music company Unitel.

Their extensive discography includes all the major works for Piano Duo, recorded under distinguished labels like Deutsche Grammophon, CBS, Warner Classics, Chandos, Teldec, Arthaus Musik and Unitel. Their latest release “Treasure Box”, stands as an archive of Pekinel’s mostly Live Concert Interpretations. This collection of 7 CDs, 2 Blu-Rays, 4 DVDs combines their Recital concerts with 10 concertos for two pianos and orchestra featuring their live recordings of the Bartók concert with Zubin Mehta Opening Concert of the New Opera House conducting the Maggio Musicale in Florence, their live concert with Sir Colin Davis and English Chamber Orchestra in London Cadogan Hall, their recording with Sir Neville Marriner and London Philarmonia, including their performances with the percussionists Raphael Haeger and Simon Rössler from the Berlin Philharmonic performing Leonard Bernstein’s “Westside Story” arranged under his supervision for Pekinel’s as well arranged by Krzysztof Penderecki’s Chaconne from Polish Requiem and their DVD and CD recordings of their collaboration with Jacques Loussier Trio.

Güher and Süher Pekinel, continue to be known for their extensive recital tours, spanning the Major Music Halls of Europe, the Far East, and the United States, receiving wide critical acclaim also at their last Asian tour in 2017-2018. After their concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Tonhalle Zürich and in Basel as well as a performance at the Lucerne Piano Festival, among other various Recitals, the Pekinel’s have embarked on an extensive tour in Asia during which they have performed within others China National Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic and the Tokyo New Japan Philharmonic.

The Duo has won numerous prestigious international awards including their first prizes, which they shared as soloists at the German National Piano Competition in 1970 and as Duo several international 1st prizes; in Germany, USA and Italy.

The Duo is also holders of numerous Honorary awards including: “Turkish State Artists” Titel, “Honorary Doctorate” Degrees from “Boğaziçi University” Istanbul as well as Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation (IKSV) “Honorary Award for their lifetime achievements”, further “Gold Medal” for their lifetime achievements and contributions to music education in Turkey by Sevda & Cenap And Foundation.

In 2021 Pekinels were given the “Order of Merit” by Federal Republic of Germany by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for their international achievements and music education systems for children and youth at all ages.

Besides their musical career, the Pekinels established “3 Music Education Systems” since 2010, in order to improve music education for professional musicians and all children in Turkey.

Their First System DSGM “Young Musicians on World Stages” created as an education system for “Outstanding Professional Young Musicians” receiving all the professional support they need in order to compete with musicians around the world. The Young Musicians earned 19 First Prizes within the important international competitions. This system was awarded with the “Best Social Responsibility Project Award” in Turkey. The Second Project for outstanding young minds for their musical development also within in “Pekinel Music Department” founded in 2001 “TEVITÖL/TEV Highschool” (Gebze) in collaboration with conservatory teachers.

Parallelly their Third Project “combined European Music Education Systems with Orff in Anatolia” is carried out with the Ministry of Education in all schools.