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"Civilized" & "Sophisticated"


One sees that more and more "civilized" people are sorely lacking in our mist. I don't mean "sophisticated"- there are plenty of those. What I mean by civilized can be represented maybe by two people I know. One is definitely the composer. Ilhan Mimaroglu, and the other the international lawyer, Mordo Dinar There is a kind of unspoken grace with Mimaroglu; although he is extremely knowledgable in many a subject, I have never seen him flaunt it.
When I asked him, a couple of years ago, to hear me and help me with a Mozart Concerto, I was to perform, even though he is not fond of Mozart, he came to my apartment and we worked together for more than two hours and he had wonderful ideas to impart with generosity.

Even his famous criticisms have seen him deliver, on some occasions, come with a tinge of humor and lightness. I have never seen him lock to an inflexible judgment; if an artist (be it a visual artist a musician, a film maker, etc.) one time disappoints him-if the work that shows up in the future is up to his standards, he readily will praise it. Some people might feel that he is reticent, but when he voices himself, he is precise, succinct and effective in all the languages he speaks.

Dinar, although he is more outgoing, has the same quality of gentleness, he never wants to hurt anyones feelings. He, also, has a vast knowledge on varied subjects, and his curiosity makes him explore more. There is an underlying cohesion to his approach to daily life. I have seen him deal with people and situations of all kinds with the same amount of dignity and grace. Once after hearing me play a Haydn piece at his home, he approached the piano and said" You are not just a pianist, but a philosopher, having a discussion with the music at the piano." This showed me his involvement and generosity also.

I have thought a great deal about what it was in their background that made these two men exceptional; and finally I realized that their formative years and growth happened in an era in Turkey, where the force of Ataturk was at its peak, encouraging them to their potential heights; and after all these years, this notion of being civilized is still ever-present with them.

Hats off gentlemen!

 

Husnu Onaran is a concert pianist who lives in New York City. His upcoming Concert in Istanbul is at Cemal Resit Ray Hall on November 29, 2000.

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