A City An Artist

We asked world-renowned harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu about her city, Ankara.

Where does Ankara figure in your life?
Ankara is where I was born and grew up, where I had my first memorable experiences. I have strong ties to Ankara. Although I’ve gone to Ankara only for concerts in recent years, I still love the city.

What role did Ankara play in
your development as an artist?
An enormous although indirect role. We listened to a lot of classical music at home when I was little, especially guitar music. There was a community in Ankara that loved guitar and my father was part of that.

What is your favorite season in Ankara?
I love the Ankara summers. The air is dry and the evenings are always cool. It makes a very pleasant contrast. Sometimes you have to dress warmly on a July evening. It’s like having two seasons in one day.

What are some things that any visitor should definitely do in Ankara?
A visitor should definitely see the inside of the Ankara Castle in Ulus, Arslanhane Mosque, the Ethnographical Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

Do you have an unforgettable memory connected with Ankara that you could share with us?
We used to go to Ataturk Farm to eat ice cream. It was sold in individual portions in Dixie Cups. I will never forget the taste of the flavor made with Turkish clotted cream.

Şirin Pancaroğlu’s new concert project, which she developed together with Jean-Christophe Frisch, musical director of XIII-21 Nomade, will be held in Paris at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 8 October. Incorporating an Ottoman string instrument known as the ‘çeng’ and its European counterpart, the arpa doppia, the concert is an intercultural musical dialogue based on themes of travel and imagination.