Hungarian Gypsy Music, Balkans Music and Turkish Music all together in Edirne

The Grand Synagogue in Edirne hosted a unique concert and an exhibition opening in May as part of Foundations Week. World-renowned violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos and Turkish clarinet player Serkan Cagri, whose fame spread beyond Turkish borders, gave a two-hour long concert, together.
Hungarian Gypsy Music, Balkans Music and Turkish Music all together in Edirne

Large number of guests from Istanbul arrived at Edirne in busses and their private cars. The event started with the opening of “Encounters in Edirne” Exhibition. Curated by Dalia Maya, the exhibition serves as a reminder of women of Edirne who have contributed to society throughout history.  The exhibition displays the life stories of those heroic women who worked hand in hand in Edirne, a city that was once the capital of Ottoman Empire. Through the life stories of these women, the exhibition portrays Edirne’s multicultural characteristic which diminished in time due to wars and politics.


The concert started following the exhibition opening. Clarinet player Serkan Cagri was invited to the stage for his performance. Cagri gave a short speech before his performance. He said, “I’m proud to bring you together with music in the city I was born and raised in. Roby Lakatos and I will perform some of the songs together. Roby Lakatos is one of the most famous violin virtuoso in the world. Two years ago, in this magnificent synagogue as part of Foundations Week, we had given our first concert, together. We had audience from Istanbul and even from Israel. The sound of music is the biggest form of communication between people. Music makes us feel that we all share common feelings. We would like to thank General Directorate of Foundations for reviving this magnificent building.”


Serkan Cagri started his performance with, in my opinion, one of the most emotional Sephardic and Ladino song “Adios Kerida”. The song’s sweet melodies coming from his clarinet acted as a salute to all our ancestors who lived in Edirne. Cagri continued his performance with another Ladino song, “Avram Avinu”. After this song, the audience greeted Roby Lakatos who entered the synagogue playing “Hava Nagilah”. Lakatos came directly from another concert to Edirne taking several flights that took almost 24 hours.


Lakatos and Cagri made a perfect duo. They performed classical music with Hungarian Gypsy Music’s rhythms. They also performed nostalgic and romantic songs. The duo conquered the hearts of the audience with their genuine approach and their cheerful personalities. Lakatos said that this concert was very different and special for him. He stated that he has given several concerts in various cities in Turkey, but never in Edirne, before.  He also said that when combined, Hungarian Gypsy music, Balkan Music and Turkish music is an extraordinary experience. The concert ended with a Turkish tune.

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