Cemal Reşit Rey

Piyanist, Orkestra Şefi, Müzisyen

25 Ekim, 1904
07 Ekim, 1985
St. Antoine College

Composer, conductor, pianist (B. 25 October, 1904, Jerusalem –D. 7 October, 1985, Istanbul). He was son of one of the Edebiyatı Cedide movement writers, Ahmet Reşit Bey, and brother of Ekrem Reşit Rey. The artist, who was grown in an educated and art lover family environment, was interested in music in early ages. There were important people in his family such as his father Ahmet Reşit Bey, one of the last Ministers of Internal Affairs of the Ottomans, and his grandfather Osman Hamdi Bey. When his musical talent was noticed, he learnt musical notes by taking private lessons and he composed his first composition when he was seven years old. He continued his primary education, which he started in Galatasaray High School, in Buffon High School when his family moved to Paris in 1913. In the meantime, he met the famous composer Gabriel Faure, who was the director of Paris Conservatoire, and took piano lessons from Marguerite Long through the agency of him. He went to Switzerland with his family after the beginning of the First World War. He went to conservatoire in the meantime he was continuing his education in St. Antoine College in Geneva. He went to Paris again in 1919 and enhanced his music knowledge by taking lessons such as musical aesthetics and orchestra management from the famous masters of the period in Paris Conservatoire.

He was appointed as piano teacher to Dârülelhan (Istanbul Municipal Conservatory) when he went back to Turkey in 1923. He formed and managed the first string instruments orchestra and chamber music communities during his teaching. In the same years, he composed and presented musical plays and revues with the support of Governor Muhittin Üstündağ and with the help of the manager of Istanbul City theatre, Muhsin Ertuğrul. He was appointed as music broadcasting manager to Ankara Radio, which was opened recently in 1938, and after two years, he returned to his position at Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. He started working for establishing the City Orchestra. He became the manager of this community, which was formed in 1945, and he was appointed as manager to Istanbul Philharmonic Society in the following year, which was formed again by his efforts. Rey worked as musical consultant for about one year in Istanbul Radio, which went into service in 1949.

Also, he managed the studio programs organized by City Orchestra with the name of Radio Symphony Orchestra, presented the serial Piyano Dünya­sında Gezintiler on the radio, completed his compositions, and performed works abroad for more than ten years as of 1949. In these years, he introduced his works by giving concerts in the Middle East, Balkans and Southern Europe cities. He resigned from his job after City Orchestra turned into Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra in 1970.

By the influence of education and training years he spent in France in early ages, he adopted the style of impressionism by the influence of French culture. Contrary to his works reflecting a composite view at the first glance, by his wide knowledge on Turkish folklore and monophonic music and his judgment ability, he carried out really noble and sophisticated works as in the polyphonic examples of folk songs. In addition, his commitment to life and traditions of Istanbul, and Islamic beliefs are seen easily in his works. Musicals of Üç Saat, Lüküs Hayat, Deli Dolu, Maskara and Hava Civa Oparettes, which were written by his brother Ekrem Reşit Rey, Çıktık Açık Alınla (10. Yıl Marşı -10th Year Anthem), which he adapted from the poem of Faruk N. Çamlıbel as an anthem for the 10th anniversary of the Republic, and Yedek Subay Marşı are one of the most famous works of him. Rey, one of the important names in Turkish music, was granted many awards at home and outside


La Petit Chaperon Rouge (1920), Üç Saat (1932), Lüküs Hayat (1932), Adalar (1934), Deli Dolu (1934), Saz Caz (1935), Maskara (1936), Hava Cıva (1937), Alabanda (1941), Aldırma (1942), Yaygara (1969), Uy Balon Dünya (1970), Bir İstanbul Masalı (1971), Anadolu Türküleri (Four pieces, 1926), Bebek Efsanesi (Symphonic Poem, 1928), Scéne Turques (About Folk Dances, 1928), İki Anadolu Türküsü (1930), Karagöz (Symphonic Poem, 1930 – 1931), Enstantaneler (Symphonic Impressions, 1931), Paysages de Soleil (Symphonic Impressions, 1931), 10. Yıl Marşı (1933), Initation (Symphonic Poem, 1935), Domicile Marşı (1935), Mystique (Preamble of  “Mesnevi” of Mevlana, 1938), Yedek Subay Marşı (1940), Senfoni No:1 (1941), L’appel (Symphonic Poem, 1953), Fatih (Symphonic Poem, 1953), Katibim (Piano and orchestra variations, 1953), Senfonik Konçerto (for Medium Orchestra, 1963), Senfoni No:2 (1969), Üç Anadolu Türküsü (1970), Türkiye (Symphonic Rhapsodies), 50. Yıla Giriş (Symphonic Section, 1973) Vokal Fantezi (1980), Je Me Demande (Poem: Ekrem Reşit Rey, 1919), Üç Melodi (Published by Fromont Publising Company in Paris, 1920), Chanson du Printemps (Poem: Ekrem Reşit Rey, 1922), Au Jardin (Poem: Philoxene Boyer, 1923), L’Offrande Lyrique (eight melodies, 1923), Nocturne (Poem: Ekrem Reşit Rey, 1925), Anadolu Türküsü (Published in Paris by Heugel Printing House, 1925 – 1926), Vatan (Published in the book named “Mekteplerde Musıki” of Hulusi Öktem, 1930), Dört Melodi (Poems: Baki Süha Ediboğlu, 1956), 100. Yıl Marşı (1981). 

REFERENCE: Vural Sözer / Müzik ve Müzisyenler Ansiklopedisi (s. 352, 1964), Türkiye Ansiklopedisi (c. 4, s. 1194-1195, 1974), Büyük Larousse (c. 16, s. 9800, 1986), Mehmet Nazmi Özalp / Türk Musikisi Tarihi (1986), Ana Britannica (c. 18, s. 375-376, 1987), Evin İlyasoğlu / Cemal Reşit Rey Müzikten İbaret Bir Dünyada Gezintiler (2005), İlke Boran - Kıvılcım Yıldız Şenürkmez / Kültürel Tarih Işığında Çok Sesli Batı Müziği (2010), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Sanatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 5, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).



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