Ottoman Baroque: Brandenburg And The Whirling Dervishes


The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra continues its 25th anniversary celebrations with a unique event that brings together East and West, the sacred and the secular.

Ottoman Baroque will trace the journey of a mystical and imaginary traveller throughout Europe. Designed by Artistic Director Paul Dyer AO, is reflects the riches, mysteriousness, influences and exotic sounds of the far away Orient. The concert culminates with the transcendental dance of the whirling dervishes.

Says Dyer, “My research into the Ottoman Empire and the Baroque as a concept for a concert programme culminated in a ceremony of the famous Whirling Dervishes in Konya, Turkey. And thanks to a well-connected cab driver, I was introduced and seated next to Esin Çelebi Bayru, a direct descendant of the 13th century poet and mystic Rumi, the Mevlana who is the spiritual Leader of the Sufi movement. I was incredibly moved by this powerful ritual and spectacle, and by meeting this extraordinary woman. It was life-changing and inspiring for me, both as a musician and personally.”

Paul’s concept of the Ottoman Baroque began to fall into place, with much thanks to Esin who will travel to Sydney for the concerts. The performances will feature some of Turkey’s finest exponents of the kudün (drum), qanun (a plucked string instrument), tambur (a fretted string instrument) and ney (a reed flute) and will culminate with the arrival of the spellbinding Whirling Dervishes.

As the traveller journeys through France, he hears Turkish-inspired march by the Master of the French Baroque, Lully and music by his pupil Marais; in Germany, he hears Telemann’s take on the Turkish sound and style; in Italy, Allegri’s ethereal choral work Miserere, which has been performed in the Sistine Chapel since 1630; in Spain, the famous Fandango by Boccherini; in Greece, the Hasapiko dance and in Turkey, the traditional and improvised music that accompanies the Mevlevi ritual turn of the Whirling Dervishes.

The performers: 

The Brandenburg Choir/ The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra conducted by Paul Dyer/ Alan Maddox, narrator.

Musicians of the Greek Mayhané tradition and dancers

From Turkey: Serhat Sarpel Music Director and Vocal/ Engin Baykal (kudüm) / Mustafa Tabak (qanun)/ Hasan Kiriş (tambur)/ Huseyin Ozkilic (ney)/ Sheik Abdurrahhman Nedim Karnibüyükler/ Sufi Dervishes. 

The programme: 

  • LULLY Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs


Sonnerie de Sainte Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris

TELEMANN   Overture-Suite in B-flat major “Les Nations”, TWV 55:B5 Les Turcs

ALLEGRI Miserere


TRADITIONAL Hasapiko (dance)


BUHURIZADE MUSTAFA ITRI EFENDI Tekbir in Makam Segah and Salat-ı Ümmiye in Makam Segah

SULTAN VELED Niyaz İlahisi in Makam Segah

Tickets: from $68 to $160 (Concessions/Under 30 available). Booking fees apply. 

Bookings: Brandenburg (02) 9328 7581 or 

City Recital Hall Angel Place (02) 8256 2222 or 


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