Arzu and Gamze Kırtıl are established pianists, attracting wide praise for their exciting and innovative performances. They have proven themselves as one of the most illustrious piano duos of their generation performing today. As twin sisters, sharing the delight of performing and transmitting musical expression is second nature.
Their exploration of both the standard repertoire and commissioned works is enhanced through their effervescent and comprehensive interpretation. Abundant technique does not overwhelm their strength in conveying the essence of the music performed. Eager to collaborate with a wide range of musical partners, they have engaged in some truly magical events.
Born in Istanbul, the sisters commenced their studies at the Ankara State Conservatory. After receiving their masters degrees, they won a scholarship to study in Perpignan, France from which they progressed to the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris/Alfred Cortot to study under Germaine Mounier, perhaps the most acclaimed teacher of her time.
It was in Paris that they decided to take advantage of their innate rapport and formed the piano duo. It was this duo they took to Bordeaux where they won first prize at the 6th Medoc-Aquitaine Piano Competition and again they were rewarded at the 10th International Young Pianists Competition in Rome. Graduating with a Superior Concertist Diploma for which they had the commendation of the jury, they have since taken the duo to new heights through a series of widely praised performances in France, Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, Austria, Turkey etc.
The duo has been inspired to work with Tadeusz Struała, Juosaz Domarkas, Daniel Tosi, Hikmet Simsek, Isin Metin and Erol Erdinç as well as many others. These collaborations have taken place with the support of both large orchestras and chamber groups and even an ensemble of four pianos. Transcending the challenge of performing live on television and radio, they have won many plaudits for their broadcast work.
Their repertoire ranges from the baroque and classic composers of the eighteenth century, to the masters of the nineteenth and twentieth onwards. Keen to support new music and up-and-coming composers, the sisters have been the muses for pieces specifically written for and dedicated to the duo. Always creative, they have been the catalyst for many projects for both festivals and one-off events.
Pedagogy is important to both Arzu and Gamze and alongside their many students, they have taken their knowledge to others through masterclasses, even organising a tour of regional fine arts high schools in Turkey to inspire the next generation of musicians.
Arzu is currently living in Luxembourg and Gamze in Ankara.
'Leur jeu se distingue par une exceptionnelle unité et une parfaite harmonie d'exécution ce qui aujoud'hui leur a octroyé les applaudissements unanimes du public.'
This recording is evidence of a Turkish piano-duo tradition
In the beginning we were captivated by the internationally renowned piano duo of Güher-Süher Pekinel and, in the years that followed, a succession of piano duos convinced us that there was a tradition of duo pianists of Turkish origin. As further proof of this, we had just finished listening to a recording by Selin Sekeramber & Yudum Çetiner when this excellent recording from Arzu & Gamze Kırtıl arrived. The two sisters have put together a dramatic and impeccably organized programme.
The recording begins with the Rondo in C major (Op. 73) by F. Chopin, the only work he composed for two pianos, which has all the splendour, radiance and virtuosity typically associated with Chopin. By using this piece to open the CD, the two pianists have made an intelligent choice. The rondo form allows them to get quickly to the heart of work and, as it progresses, their technique comes convincingly to the fore.
The Rapsodie Espagnole for two pianos by Ravel, which comes second, is a work which captivates the listener. The air of a mystical and secretive evening depicted in the opening part is not fully reflected in their playing, but the dance-like elements of the Malagueña and Habanera are better expressed, while the concluding movement is the finest section. This work and Shostakovich's Concertino opus 94 which follows demonstrate that the duo excel in works where rhythmical elements predominate.
Those who listen to Wintermorgen in Istanbul by Fazıl Say will feel transported to another world. Again the atmosphere could have been a touch more mystical, but it seems that this is not the Kırtıl's approach. They begin Lutoslawski Variations on a Theme by Paganini with thunder, continuing with a pure and sparkling touch and finishing with a conclusion full of excitement.
Those pieces written for the duo are interpreted w"