Masterclass with Onur Turkmen, composer October 6, 2020

For information on attending, contact Dr. Mahir Ceitz

“Onur Türkmen is one of the few composers who has been deeply, conscientiously, and, I think, pioneering transcultural music (…) Onur is for me the perfect cultural and aesthetic “ambassador” for an artistically and musically convincing treatment of Turkish Makams in a contemporary context” ( Ulrich Mertin, violist, Hezarfen Ensemble’s co-director, podcast at Van Outernational)

“(…) (on “Beautiful and Unowned” for solo violin) this composition is full of mystery and magic” (Glyn Pursglove, Music Web International)

“In a real sense Türkmen has expanded the vocabulary of international Postmodernism, because as he explains it, his compositional technique refers to a traditional Turkish calligraphic term, hat, or line, which leads to many cultural ramifications” (Huntley Dent, Fanfare Magazine)

“For me Onur Türkmen is one of the most important living composers. The use of singular musical lines driven from classical Turkish Art to create a world of images in order to reflect the spirit of our times and also sending shocking messages to our consciousness decayed by virtual realities renders him unique” (Orhun Orhon, conductor, CD liner notes, “Mozart, Beethoven, Türkmen, Ankara Youth Symphony Orchestra”, Çağsav Müzik)

Onur Türkmen (1972 Eskisehir, Turkey) is a Turkish composer whose work mainly centers upon two concepts: “Hat”, contemplations on Turkish music makams and instruments; “Ritualistic Drama” that focuses on interconnections between poetry, drama and ritual.

Türkmen has won the 8. Donizetti Classical Music, Composer of the Year Award in Turkey in 2018.

His pieces have been performed by many different ensembles at Schleswig Holstein Festival (2011), Maerz Musik Festival (2013), ISCM (2012, Belgium), November Music Festival (2018), Schiermonnikoog Festival (2018), Bristol New Music (2020), German Historical Institute International Musicology Congress (2016), Left Coast Chamber Ensemble/ Volti Chorus Season Opening Concert (2016), MUSMA (2012), Kreuztanbul (2009), Istanbul Music Festival (2008), Mediterraneus Project (2010), China-Turkey Communication Concerts (2013) among others.

His two Ritualistic Dramas so far, have been performed by Yurodny Ensemble (Dublin) (Sailing to Byzantium) (2016 – 2019) and by Diamanda La Berge Dramm (Amsterdam) (Songs from a Circle) (2018).

He is the colloborator of European Research Center Project “Beyond East and West: Developing and Documenting and Evolving Transcultural Practice” and Ellen Jewett’s Klasik Keyifler. His solo violin piece is featured in Ellen Jewett’s CD “Beautiful and Unowned” published by Naxos Records (2019).

He is the artistic director of NK Ensemble which aims to form a research platform for composers on the usage of Traditional Turkish Music elements in New Music.

He studied composition at Berklee College of Music (undergraduate) and İstanbul Technical University’s MIAM (masters and phD.) with Pieter Snapper and İlhan Usmanbaş.

He is an assistant professor, assistant dean at Bilkent University’s Faculty of Music and Performing Arts in Ankara (

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