HAPPENED TODAY - On December 7, 1887, the pianist and composer Ernst Toch was born in Leopoldstadt

Melih Selen

Surfing the web, I find a very suggestive video: a cellist plays in the ruins of ancient Ephesus. Intrigued, I decided so to contact him to find out more about him. So begins my conversation with Melih Selen, a Turkish cellist.
When did you see and hear a cello first?
When I was 13 years old, I saw and I listened to a cello during a concert.

And, when did you decide that you wanted to play that instrument?
Since I was 12 years old, I have been playing classical guitar. When I was 18 years old, I have won the Music Faculty exam and the professors told me that my talent and physiological structure fitted very well to play the cello. So, they suggested that I try playing the cello. When I took the instrument to play the first time, they really surprised to notice that I have been playing the cello with great ease as if I have been playing it for a long time. So, at that moment, my teachers discovered my natural talent for cello. It is told that I was really born to play the cello. This was, for me, the start of playing the cello and ending of playing the guitar. I have adapted to cello many exercises and etudes which I have been applied for guitar. That’s why, following this way, I improved very fast.

Which of your teachers do you think was the most important for your musical and human training?
First of all, my music teacher at primary school, Sultan Göknil Kara was the first person who discovered my talent. After that, these 3 teachers such as one of them was an Azerbaijan conductor Associate Prof. Dr. Yusuf Habibov, the other one was an old cellist at Moscow Radio Yuri Semerov and the last one was a folk artist & cellist Prof. Dr. Eldar İskenderov, who were the most important people holding me at the forefront and affected both my music education and my music career as well.

What was the moment of your professional career that you remember with more pleasure?  
All concerts which were given by myself in each time makes me happy and pleasure much more rather than before. My very best pleasure moments come first are that the concert in 2018 which I have played cello as a soloist with Ukraine Poltova Symphony Orchestra and also the concert in 2019 which I have both played cello as a soloist, composed and conducted my own composition as a maestro with Ukraine Ahşaruma Chamber. Besides, one of the other moments which I remembered with more pleasure is that, filming my music projects which have been realized at antique cities in Turkey and foreign countries such as Ephesus Suite Music, Nysa Suite Music Documentary, Tralleis Seikilos Music Documentary, Music Envoy Ukraine.

[to be continued]