December 9, 2023

By Dr. Demetra George Mustafaoĝlu..

Ataturk said, “The children are the roses, stars and glitters of happiness of our bright future.

Despite thousands of hours of negotiations to solve the Cyprus issue, one truth remains. The Turkish North has been blocked from rights and opportunities afforded to citizens of the south and the youth must leave the island to seek careers and opportunities. 

Rauf and Ayla Kasimov

With the excellence, love and fortitude of a special musician who deserves a Medal of Honour, Dr Rauf Kasimov has opened doors for the talented and dedicated pianists in the North as he educates, mentors and launches careers from the  TRNC (KKTC). Wife Ayla and maestro formed the KIBRIS PIYANO KÜLTÜR VE SANAT DERNEĞI (CYPRUS Piano Culture and Art Foundation) to support our magnificent young artists and walk them through lessons of technique, art, literature, traditions and performance skills. 

Our community has been treated to years of performances at Bellapais Abbey and Karmi Church with standing ovations and award presentations from our dignitaries. How wonderful for all-BUT it’s not just enough to put our hands together in applause after 2 hours of music making. Our young artists need the support of businesses and angels to send our children off the island to compete for titles that will spread the good news of Northern Cyprus, introduce our best GOODWILL AMBASSADORS, the beautiful culture, brilliant and loving people and their abilities. Kasimov’s students have taken over 30 international prizes placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd from ages 7-20!

For this reason, we are collaborating with Maestro Kasimov to present this charity event to raise travel expenses for our incredible artists. DIVA & MAESTRO will be held at the Mustafaoglu home, VILLA DIVA in Catalkoy on Saturday, January 18 at 7.00 pm with refreshments and a concert to kick off 2020 with a bang. 

Entrance to the 88 seats representing 88 piano keys is 100TL but we are asking for donations from friends, music lovers and businesses who often give early in the year. TRNC charities have done well in recent years with great awareness to their needs but we have forgotten support for our young artists and now it’s time to sing THEIR song. 

Maestro Kasimov has won many international piano competitions, received awards for his compositions and conducting. He toured the world and shared his gifts with lucky audiences.

Mehmet and Demetra Mustafaoglu

I am a former Miss Oklahoma to Miss America who met a handsome brilliant sweet man named Mehmet from Lefkosa, married him and it changed my life forever. He’s a celebrated businessman and stands as the Honorary Representative from TRNC to Los Angeles where we reside part-time and support our community.

As a Grammy List Nominee, San Francisco Opera Winner and now US State Dept Cultural Diplomacy recipient, I have performed with over 750 orchestras and many distinguished opera companies throughout most of the US, Central America, parts of Europe and the Middle East lifting hearts and sharing American culture, opera, Broadway, movie, Disney and ethnic music to the pleasure of diverse audiences.  

My dear friend Maestro Kasimov and  I will share our favourites with you on that night and my young protégé Peri Sualp will also join me in some fun. 

Please contact Ece Sualp 0533 831 0113 or Hatice Kerimgil 0533 386 6169 for tickets and come join us for a 2020 firecracker opening at Villa Diva benefiting the Piyano Sanat ve Kültür Derneği. As our own BRT TV star Can Gazi says, “Be there, or be square”! 

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