Awarded every year since 2012 by the Istanbul Foundation of Culture and Arts to promising young musicians in the fields of classical music and opera to support their development, the Aydın Gün Encouragement Award's recipient has been determined. The fifth annual Aydın Gün Encouragement Award was given to 21 year-old marimbist Elman Mecid.
Elman Mecid, who won the 15,000 TL worth Aydın Gün Encouragement Award, was born to a musician family in Ankara in 1996. He started his musical training with piano at Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts Music Preparatory Primary School as Gülnara Aziz's student and continued with percussion since 2006 as Aydın Mecid's student. He currently studies at Hamburg University of Music and Theater with Cornelia Monske. Ranking first in his own category at Pendim International Percussion Competition (Bulgaria) in 2009, fourth at Nutcracker International Young Talents Competition (Russia) in 2009, first and third in group A at the 8th International Giornate della Percussione Competition (Italy) in 2010, second at 2011 Perkulliria 4th International Percussion Competition (Spain) and first at 4th Marimba Competition (Germany) in 2012, Mecid also holds a Special Jury Prize from the latter. Elman Mecid, who has been performing in various concerts at home and abroad both as an orchestra member and a soloist throughout his student life has also been performing as a supporting artist with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra since 2015.
The Aydın Gün Encouragement Award's recipient is selected by a committee from among applicants in the categories of instrument, voice, composition, and conducting. The selection committee is led by İKSV General Director Görgün Taner, and consists of conductor and State Artist Rengim Gökmen, State Opera and Ballet Director Yekta Kara, violinist Cihat Aşkın, Borusan Sanat General Manager Ahmet Erenli, and Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak.
Five bright young artists in five years
Presented by İKSV every year to a musician under the age of 29, the Aydın Gün Encouragement Award's previous recipients were violinist Hande Küden, violoncellist Cansın Kara, double bassist Salih Emre Şahin and violinist Emre Engin respectively. The young artists who won the Aydın Gün Encouragement Award continue their works by adding new successes to their lives.
Hande Küden, who was born in 1992 and awarded the first Aydın Gün Encouragement Award in 2012, has become part of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra through its youth programme in June 2015 and has given close to 40 concerts with the orchestra since then. In September 2016, Küden was also appointed as Assistant Concertmaster of Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, one of the world's best orchestras.
Born in 1995, violoncellist Cansın Kara won the award in 2013. Kara continues his education with violoncellist Wen-Sinn Yang at Munich University of Music and Theater since the fall of 2014.
The third winner of the Aydın Gün Encouragement Award Salih Emre Şahin was also born in 1995 and continues his undergraduate education at the Royal Music Academy in London with scholarship.
The winner of the previous year Emre Engin was born in 1991 and finished his master's degree at Pinchas Zukerman's class in New York Manhattan School of Music. He still continues his chamber music studies with Nomad Ensemble as a co-founder and runs the International Notes by the Bay Violin Festival in USA, also as a co-founder.