Zeynep Ucbasaran, concert pianist
Santa Barbara, California

What the critics are saying

Scarlatti / Beethoven / Saygun / Bernstein / Muczynski   and pianist 

ZEYNEP Ucbasaran
"An elegant double-helping from Pianist Zeynep Ucbasaran:  An agreeable elegance pervades pianist Zeynep Ucbasaran's playing on these discs...She fully captures [Beethoven's Bagatelles] lighthearted nature. Two selections by Ahmet Saygun showcase Ucbasaran's heritage: The harmonic delights of Preludes on Aksak Rhythms are aurally pungent in her hands while the 'episode in a little girl's imaginary world' of Inci's Book emerge with vivid color. Playful works by Leonard Bernstein and Robert Muczynski round out the disc, the latter's ranging Six Preludes presented with particular verve."
Andrew Druckenbrod, The Gramophone
"This recital amply displays [Zeynep Ucbasaran's] already amazing ability to capture the different styles and moods of the baroque, romantic and modern eras. Her Scarlatti and Beethoven are wonderful examples of controlled playing, yet the impression I got was that of a musician revelling in the simple beauties of these straightforward pieces; I dare say she really makes the music float through thin air. Ucbasaran is not daunted by the formidable demands of these pieces, on the contrary, she grabs the opportunity with 'both hands' to project and promote her amazing natural skills and virtuosic instincts."
Gerald Fenech, Classical Net
"I have already reviewed three discs by Zeynep..and have much appreciated her unselfed, very musical playing. So far she has concentrated on larger-scale works, with two CDs dedicated to Liszt – including the Sonata – and one to Schubert, with the Wanderer Fantasy as its centrepiece. Now she presents a series of very brief pieces, showing a completely different side of her musicianship..In Scarlatti she seems to take her pleasures rather seriously, with three minor-key works and the middle two in slow tempi – a rather different aspect of Scarlatti from that chosen by most pianists..I have no reservations at all about the Beethoven – the playing offers elegance, boisterousness and gravity as required, together with a scrupulous observance of every marking in the score. In some ways the Bagatelles are harder to get right than the Sonatas, where a wider interpretative range is possible. Here, if one thing jars the whole effect is lost, and nothing jarred at all for me..The mixed programme will probably make this a disc mainly for those who have been following Zeynep’s career – no bad thing to do – but others will find a very fine performance of the Beethoven Bagatelles and some interesting excursions into contemporary byways."
                                                                               Christopher Howell, MusicWeb, London
"This varied program reveals Ms. Ucbasaran as an exceptional talent. She brings real personality to the Scarlatti sonatas. The music seems to inhabit a free-flowing, almost improvisatory realm... the recording has a first rate concert hall prespective with wide-range, dynamic sound.. this recording heralds an impressive keyboard talent."
Lawrence Budmen, American Record Guide
"Zeynep Ucbasaran .. plays with great poise on another new CD of piano works by Scarlatti and Beethoven, together with three twentieth century composers: Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Leonard Bernstein and Robert Muczynski (EROICA JDT 3223). Both discs feature virtuoso performances that are never too flamboyant or hurried from a pianist of world class."
John Pitt, New Classics, UK
"A nicely diversified program marks this installment of the ongoing discography of Turkish virtuoso Zeynep Ucbarasan, who works and records in Santa Barbara, California. The four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti show off some brisk, pearly play, with quicksilver runs and crossing of hands.. Lucid, sober, and unforced playing from Ucbarasan keeps these pieces piquant and vivacious.. I find Ms. Ucbasaran a natural Beethoven exponent, as she balances musical mischief and pungent or lyrical impulses in Beethoven’s lexicon..Clear, crisp, piano sound, intelligent liner notes (by Ucbarasan), and a class production make this keyboard survey a keeper."
Gary Lemco,  Audiophile Audition