“Ninni” (Lullaby) was composed in 2019 and will receive its World Premiere in Georgetown, Texas on September 17th, 2019. It is connected to Beethoven’s Sonata no. 28 in A Major, Op.101.

The piece is dedicated to victims of the 2013 Gezi Park Protests in Turkey.


Aslıhan Keçebaşoğlu was born in Ankara, Turkey, in 1994.  She attended Bilkent University, studying theory and composition under the guidance of Onur Türkmen.

Her works include large ensemble pieces such as ’Moments for Six Distinct Manners’ and “Encounters” which has been performed in Turkey and in Germany. Two of her chamber music works “Duet for viola and piano” and  ‘Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano” received premieres at the Istanbul Composers Festival.

Her first major orchestral work, ‘Introspection’, was written for the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and performed by the orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ponkin in February 2018.

Ninni,  Aslihan Kecebasoglu

Ninni, Aslihan Kecebasoglu

Composer’s Note:

The word “Ninni” means “Lullaby" in Turkish. This new work, written for the “32 Bright Clouds” project, is dedicated to the thousands of young people and children who were abused and injured in the 2013 Gezi Park Protests in Turkey. These demonstrations lasted for twenty days and spread throughout the country, creating an event that remains significant to me and many others in our country.

The protests began as a reaction to the illegal attempt by the government to destroy protected public land in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul. An initial small group of protestors grew over time and spread throughout the country, as the meaning of the protests also expanded. Thousands of people, tired of the state's brutality and forced sanctions, gathered in inclusive communities irrespective of language, religion or race, calling for justice, unity, respect for nature and the humanity of all people. These protests were completely peaceful. However, the government used disproportionate and aggressive force and weapons, denying the right of peaceful assembly.

With his “Dona Nobis Pacem” motif, Beethoven called for inner and outer peace. However, I cannot approach this concept in a utopian way. Finding peace requires effort and persistence. Therefore, I use this motif in the piece incompletely and repeatedly, just as the spirit of the Gezi Park resistance is still alive and unending. The sense of incompleteness in the music is deliberate. Although the motif is heard clearly in some passages, it is immediately disrupted by other forces.

I chose to connect this motif with the first movement of Beethoven’s op. 101 piano sonata because of the expressive title of the movement, “ to be played with innermost emotion”, which also sheds light on the inner world.  I believe that if people return to the pure emotions of their inner world, they will find their childhood there. This lullaby is not only for the children who died untimely in the Gezi Park Protests, but also for the wounded children both in Beethoven and all of us. The lullaby expresses the dream of making peace with the pure and vulnerable child that is in everyone. I believe that peace and freedom will be possible if we can make peace with our own childhood and sing lullabies to it.