Pianist, composer and soprano Renan Koen gave two concerts in Prague (August 21st) and Terezin (August 22nd) as part of ‘Everlasting Hope: Gustav Mahler and Terezin Composers’ Festival. As part of her Holocaust Education program, Koen brought along two of her young conservatory students who are both Muslims, to the festival. Pianist Renan Koen has been giving concerts in different cities of the world, performing the works of composers who were killed in WWII at Terezin Nazi Concentration Camp, in an effort to pass along their music and memories to next generations. The artist gave her latest performance in the land these musical artworks were born.
Renan Koen Ensemble led by Turkish pianist, composer, music therapist, and soprano Renan Koen attended the Sephardic Music Festival in USA. The ensemble with Renan Koen at piano, Sedef Ercetin at cello, Mehmet Aydin at violin, Ozata Aydin at tanbur and Derya Turkan at kemancha gave two concerts in New York as part of the festival.
On January 26th, pianist Renan Koen gave a concert at Ataturk School in New York and touched the hearts of art lovers once again with select pieces from her Holocaust Remembrance/Before Sleep album. Turkish Consul General in New York Alper Aktas, who with his dedicated efforts played a significant role in the organization of the event, gave a speech where he specifically addressed the students: *“(…) Dear children. Nearly 500 years ago, people living in Europe were forced to leave their homes only because of their faith, religion and identity. Please put yourself into the shoes of children around your age, who lived at that period. Consider one morning your mother and father tell you ‘Pack your things. We’re leaving our house’. Naturally you ask your parents why you must leave your house, isn’t that right? Unfortunately, those parents had to answer ‘Because we’re Jewish, we must leave our house, our country. If we don’t, we might get killed!’*
Renan Koen, pianist, composer and music therapist, gave a piano recital in Madrid, Spain, on June 4th, with the special invitation of Madrid Ambassador Cihad Erginay. Renan Koen’s piano recital was organized by Madrid Embassy in cooperation with “Art, Museums, Palaces Friendship Society” in the concert hall of the “El Centro Cultural de los Ejercitos” building also known as the ‘Army House’. Koen began her concert in this historical setting with the piano sonatas of Gideon Klien and Viktor Ullmann. They had composed these during the time they were in Terezin Concentration Camp. During the concert Koen also shared valuable information about the history of Holocaust, the composers of that time and their works.
Music is a language and Renan Koen’s fluency in it and passion for it make her message universal. Our initial written communication reflects her halting, though charming, English. On FaceTime, however, her expressive description of the projects she’s spearheaded is informative and her enthusiasm carries the conversation.
Renan Koen talked about her “March of the Music” project on her YouTube channel. “Hello, I’m Renan Koen. I’m a pianist, composer, soprano and a music therapist. I created the ‘Positive Resistance through Holocaust Reality’ education in the light of Holocaust composers, whose works I have been playing for some time, and I have been teaching it to kids aged between 14 and 17.
The guests who met in the extraordinarily beautiful atmosphere of Haydarpaşa Hemdat Israel Synagogue, on the eve of October 24th, got to witness a concert full of meaning and emotion. Renan Koen, who had previously performed many important concerts on Holocaust in Turkey and abroad, was accompanied by the Czech pianist Jiří Hrubý, in this Holocaust Remembrance Piano Concert, sponsored by the Czech Consulate General in Istanbul.
The pianist, composer, soprano and music therapist Renan Koen is giving a series of Holocaust-themed concerts in South Africa and the USA, in the context of the Holocaust Remembrance events. Renan Koen, the pianist, composer, soprano, and music therapist, with the cooperation of the Turkish Embassy of Pretoria, gave 100 young people aged 14-17 ‘Positive Resistance through Holocaust Reality’ education in Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Center on January 23rd. The same night at the same place she performed her ‘Holocaust Remembrance / Before Sleep’ concert, including special narratives about the music and the composers of Holocaust-era.
Renan Koen´s new album where she performed her teacher Ali Darmar´s piano pieces is released. The pianist, composer, soprano, and music therapist Renan Koen who has been incessantly working, devising new projects, releasing albums, giving concerts in Turkey and abroad, is now presenting music lovers, her teacher of 35-years, her mentor’s piano pieces in her new album ‘Renan Koen – Ali Darmar Piano Pieces’.
Online music concerts and counseling sessions are continuing from the members of the Turkish Jewish Community during these troublesome days of Coronavirus.