Lynda Sayce in Istanbul



A noted lutenist and scholar who has performed with many of Britain’s leading period-instrument ensembles, including Ex Cathedra, King’s Consort, and Musicians of Globe, Lynda Sayce only recently made her first trip to Istanbul, Turkey, where she performed on the “Akbank Sanat Baroque Days” series.

Prior to her visit, Sayce gave an extensive interview to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, where she talked about her background, repertoire and research interests, current projects, and ongoing fascination with the oud.

She also expressed what it meant for her, a professional lutenist, to perform in Turkey for the first time.

“It’s my first time in Turkey,” says Sayce, “though I’ve wanted to visit Istanbul for years and years. I’ve always been very interested in history, and whether as Byzantium or Constantinople or İstanbul the city has been a major force in history for millennia. It’s a bit scary playing here, because there is such a strong oud tradition here and so many fantastic players, so I expect the audience’s expectations from a lute player will be higher than in many countries in which I’ve played. Also, I think it’s impossible to be a Western European lute player and not be a bit jealous of Turkish culture. The lute is still alive here — it’s not archaeology; everyone knows what it is, most people love it, no one thinks it’s weird to play the lute. In England I get stopped all the time by people asking me what’s in my lute case, because they have no idea what it is.”

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(photo: Ian Baldwin)

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