A resounding achievement has been etched into the annals of classical music as a 13-year-old Turkish prodigy secures victory at the esteemed International Pianele Piano Competition in Germany, marking a momentous milestone by becoming the youngest pianist ever to claim this honor.
Hailing from the northwestern Turkish province of Bursa, Arya Su Gülenç emerged triumphant as one of the four laureates in the competition held in Fulda, Germany, on August 6. In a feat that has garnered widespread admiration, she has been acclaimed as a “Wonder Child” by the German press.
Reflecting on her entrancing journey, Gülenç recounted her initial encounter with the piano in an interview with the daily Hürriyet. Her magnetic attraction to music was kindled at the tender age of 6, during a visit to a music instrument shop. The presence of a white grand piano within the store left an indelible impression on her, igniting a fervent desire to learn the instrument. Initially, music and the piano were cherished pastimes, but as she nurtured her connection with the instrument, her ardor and dedication burgeoned. Today, the piano, entwined with the language of music and art, stands at the focal point of her life.
Her journey of accomplishment embarked with her debut competition in Bulgaria, merely a year after she embarked on her piano odyssey. Triumphing in her inaugural endeavor bolstered her determination profoundly, serving as a testament to her prodigious talent.
Among the melodic pieces she delivered with finesse at the German competition was a composition by renowned Turkish composer Ahmet Adnan Saygun. Gülenç recounted that her rendition elicited rapturous applause from the audience, with the composition leaving an enduring impact that prompted inquiries from fellow pianists for its musical notes.
Gülenç’s aspirations span beyond virtuosic piano playing, as she envisions a future marked not only by her prowess as a pianist but also by her contributions as a composer. A remarkable testament to this vision, she has already crafted two compositions. “Cry,” penned in 2019, encapsulates the urgency of the climate crisis, while “Sky” serves as a harmonious ode to the children uprooted from their homes due to various circumstances.
Ümit Gülenç, her father and a music educator himself, expressed profound pride in his daughter’s accomplishments. He underscored the significance of Arya’s recognition in Germany’s press, a nation renowned as a classical music hub. The achievement resonates deeply as a testament to her remarkable talent and dedication, firmly establishing Arya Su Gülenç as a luminous star on the classical music horizon.