And how did Ahmet come up with the Stretto® products? By his own invaluable experience as a professional musician whose career spans over 35 years! Even though most of his career was spent as an orchestral viola player in the Zurich Symphony Orchestra (and Ahmet would be first to tell you all the viola jokes!), his music career started back in Turkey, his country of origin, as a jazz musician. Ahmet grew up with a classical music all around him thanks to his father who was a famous violinist at the time. Still, he found himself drawn towards composition and piano studies winning the Berkley Scholarship for Jazz, which sadly, he wasn’t able to follow up. Instead, his music career took a turn in the direction of warm sound and deeper undertones of viola, which then led him to a chamber music summer course with conductor George Hurst in England, follow by two years of study with Walter Gerhardt at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
It is just wonderful to listen to Ahmet telling you about his amazing experience of playing in the orchestra at the William Walton Anniversary concert under the baton of Sir Adrian Boult back in the 1970s! Imagine the sheer exuberance of that long-gone era and what it would have been like as a musician in such an orchestra! Although, it is interesting to note that Ahmet considers that the job of a musician hasn’t changed that much over the past few decades, and that the same problems that he and his colleagues faced then are still pretty much shared and endured by orchestral musicians nowadays. The long hours of practicing, rehearsing, travelling across the globe and giving back-to-back concerts month after month are still with us. This fully packed and very busy performing diary started to have an effect on their instruments, especially when the tours crossed many time zones and performances occurred in many different climates.
Music For A While by Michael Letchford at Recorded Vocal Art Society