New Release

October 4, 2009

In early 2010, Innova Recordings will release Invocation, which includes the Borromeo Quartet’s masterful rendition of Ellison’s seven-movement String Quartet #2, Helen Bledsoe’s solo ‘extended’ flute on Invocation-Meditation-Allegro, and the historical live recording at the 2003 Istanbul International Spectral Music Conference of the blind master Turkish Hafız, Kani Karaca, peforming Ellison’s exploration into new worlds of vocal sound and instrumental combination, Elif.  This concert was the second-to-last concert and very last recording of Karaca, widely considered one of the two most influential master Turkish singers of the 20th century.  Distribution by Naxos.

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Concerts and New Projects

October 4, 2009

Ariadne’s Thread–for Duo Arcobaleni.  Silvia Belfiore, piano, Maurizio Ben Omar, percussion.  For ‘Meditrerraneus’ Project, Acqui Terme, Italy.  October 2010.

String Quartet #3–commissioned by Fry Street Quartet (USA) for premiere in 2010-11 concert season.

Adagio Mistico and Scherzo from String Quartet #2, Hezarfen Ensemble, Borusan Music House, Istanbul.  January 16, 2010, 8PM.


BBC Symphony Premieres ‘K219’

January 26, 2009

London, November 24, 2008–The BBC Symphony Orchestra Friday night premiered Michael Ellison’s ‘Turkish’ Concerto K. 219, as the Grand Finale of a week long celebration of the music of Turkey. Renowned French conductor Pascal Rophé led cellist Gemma Rosefield, the Ali Tüfekçi ensemble and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in two performances of the BBC-commissioned work on the same day: one for London schools at 2PM and the evening ‘premiere’ at the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Maida Vale Studios in London. The work, unprecedented in its orchestration and its degree of integration between Turkish Instruments and Western orchestra, was enthusiastically received by the audience, which included luminaries of the BBC and the London musical scene as well as a significant portion of London’s Turkish community. The performance of ‘K219’ was recorded and will be broadcast worldwide beginning 15 December on BBC Radio 3.


Journey to Armenia

January 26, 2009

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On December 12 and 13th, 2008, critically acclaimed folklore ensemble Kardeş Türküler, together with the Istanbul Armenian choir Sayat Nova and the BGST dance troupe, made a historic visit to Armenia. In this first time-ever of performances given by musicians from Turkey on Armenian soil, the ensemble dedicated its program to Hrant Dink. At the centerpiece of the program was a new piece for Kardes Türküler by Michael Ellison written in memoriam for the slain intellectual and jouırnalist Dink, with words in Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish, conducted by the composer. The premiere of Güverçinlere Dokunmazlar (They don’t harm pigeons) took place at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, Opera House, Erivan, Armenia, December 12, 2008 and the program was repeated the next day in Vanadzor in the Western Caucauses mountains near Gyumri.


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BBC Commissions Michael Ellison

January 18, 2009

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June 30, 2008


Michael Ellison has been commissioned by the BBC to compose a work for symphony orchestra and traditional Turkish ensemble to serve as the finale to the BBC Symphony Orchestra‘s Diverse Orchestras Week: Discovering the Music of Turkey, 2008. The world premiere performance of the commissioned work by Ellison will be heard on 21 November, 2008, in two concerts at Maida Vale Studios in London. This is the first time in the history of the BBC SO’s Diverse Orchestras project that a finale piece has been commissioned, and is the first known UK commission to use such musical forces.


The work is to be approximately 10′, for the following instrumentation:

video (Turkish)

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Elegy Berlin CD

January 18, 2009

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New Release

“Each piece on this disc received its premiere performance by Eric Berlin and this collection of pieces speaks to Mr. Berlin’s flexibility of technique and comfort level with a wide variety of styles. The short Elegy for trumpet, saxes, and mallets, is an excellent outgrowth from the sound world of The End of the Matter.The saxophones provide excellent lyrical and contrapuntal contrast to the trumpet line. –Sequenza 21, February 2008