This Week

Istanbul skyline
Istanbul: 2010 European Capital of Culture

Travel with Michael and Susi this week to discover Istanbul and why it was chosen to be a 2010 European Capital of Culture and learn about the events scheduled for the celebration this year. We'll explore Istanbul's World Heritage sites, savor its cuisine and listen to Turkish music with our guests who know the city intimately.


Ahmet Erdoğdular

Ahmet Erdoğdular, Musician

Ahmet Erdoğdular is on of the most important musicians of the new generation in Turkish classical music. Studying the Ottoman repertoire and following its style, Ahmet restored from history such vocal classical compositions as kar, beste, naat, and durak to present. Analyzing the techniques of old masters of Ottoman music, he learned and preserved many of the classical vocal improvisational forms including gazel and kaside. Ahmet recorded music and performed in concerts as a lead singer while still a teenager. Starting at an early age with his father, neyzen Ömer Erdoğdular, he continued his musical development with the guidance of the renowned musician Niyazi Sayın. Ahmet graduated from the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory where he completed his master’s degree in Turkish classical music. He performs in concerts and festivals and teaches seminars around the world. Ahmet Erdoğdular also plays tambur, ud and percussion and is based in New York and Istanbul. He is currently a visiting scholar at CUNY Graduate Center Ethnomusicology department. His two new albums: Songs of the Sultans-Masterpieces of Turkish Classical Music and Niyaz-Sufi Songs of Love were released in December 2009. To listen to his music and for concert schedule please visit

Stella Flame
Stella Flame, Designer

Stella Flame has always been involved in the design world. First, as a knitwear designer, expanding into ready-to-wear at both the wholesale and retail levels. Then, as an Interior Designer she created some remarkable New York City residences. In Byzantia Jewelry, she's found the best of both worlds. Her unique design sensibility and her knowledge of Mediterranean culture and art give Byzantia Jewelry a contemporary twist within a historical context.

Working on 47th street for a gem dealer and then at Barneys' antique jewelry department while earning her BA and MA at NYU, Stella has come away with both a priceless education and a finely honed design perspective. Stella, her husband Michael, and their teenage daughter live in NYC and at Rock Hall, their Addison Mizner designed c.1912 Mediterranean revival estate – now an award winning Resort- Style Luxury B&B in Northwestern Connecticut