Turkish classical music veteran Alaeddin Yavaşca has died aged 95

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Prominent Turkish classical music performer and composer teacher Alaeddin YavaÅŸca died on Thursday at the age of 95.

Yavaşça, recipient of the honorary title of “State Artist” in 1991, was one of the last great figures of the traditional genre to survive, composing 652 pieces throughout his career.

Born on March 1, 1926, in the southern province of Kilis, YavaÅŸca studied medicine and graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine in 1951. During his nearly 40-year career as a gynecologist , YavaÅŸca served in various hospitals in Istanbul, working as a chief physician at Haseki Hospital before retiring in 1990. He is said to have composed 82 rooms in the hospitals where he worked.

On the Turkish classical music scene, Yavaşca was trained from an early age by renowned masters including Sadettin Kaynak and Münir Nurettin Selçuk. He was accepted to Istanbul Radio as a soloist in 1950 and continued to serve in the Turkish classical music departments of the public broadcaster TRT later in his career.

YavaÅŸca was one of the founding faculty members of the First Turkish State Conservatory of Music (now part of Istanbul Technical University – ITÃœ) in 1976, obtaining the title of professor in 1990.

President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan visits veteran Turkish classical music composer and performer Alaeddin YavaÅŸca at hospital in Istanbul, Turkey on December 9, 2019 (AA Photo)

An active artist until his last years, YavaÅŸca was hospitalized with a hip fracture in 2018 and has remained in the hospital since.

The historic house in Kilis where YavaÅŸca was born is being turned into a museum, while Istanbul City Lines renamed one of its ferries to YavaÅŸca in 2018.

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