Meet the Musicians: Efe Baltacıgil

Photo: Brandon Patoc

Seattle Symphony Marks Family Foundation Principal Cello Efe Baltacıgil brings a feeling of spontaneous musicality to every moment on stage.

By Andrew Stiefel

When Efe Baltacıgil steps outside Benaroya Hall after a concert, he is immediately reminded of home. “That it's surrounded by sea, that's my favorite thing about Seattle. It reminds me of Istanbul where I grew up. When I take a deep breath, that smell of the Sound really takes me back.”

Efe grew up in a musical family: his father played double bass and his brothers are musicians too. “When I was five, my father came home with a small present, and we opened it, and it was a violin. Then when I was about seven he came home with much larger toy, a cello, and since then I've been playing it ever since.”

As a child, he often watched his father during rehearsals. “In my kid eyes, I would see this sea of musicians and their different attitudes,” he explains. “It taught me that routine, for artists, is a very dangerous thing. One has to be quite awake all the time.”

It’s one of the things he says he loves most about playing in the orchestra. “I am spending more time on stage performing than sitting on my couch, which I do like,” he grins. “I think that's a good ratio.”

He believes that for Seattle to be a great city, it must have a great orchestra that reaches people far beyond the walls of the concert hall. “Tremendous things are going on in this rapidly growing city of ours. We desperately need music in our lives,” says Efe.

“All these composers went beyond our imagination to write these messages, these letters from the past. And they are still being written. Music is the best antidote: for rush hour, for a broken heart, you name it. It will bring you to place that you didn't know existed.”

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Posted on November 1, 2019