updated 11 July 2022
© Manu Theobald

Zeynep Gedizlioğlu

Turkish composer, born 4 December 1977 in Izmir.

Zeynep Gedizlioğlu’s musical awakening came through exploring her parents’ music collection when she was eight years old. Her experience listening to the Deep Purple album Perfect Strangers, in particular, fascinated her and inspired her to pursue a career in composing music that would be widely distributed.

She began her musical training at the age of 11 in the oboe department of the Istanbul University State Conservatory. She then enrolled in the composition department and was taught by Cengiz Tanç, İlhan Usmanbaş, Erçivan Saydam, Babür Tongur, Meliha Doğuduyal, and Hasan Uçarsu. She graduated in 2000.

In 2001, she left for Western Europe and continued her studies in Germany and France. She studied composition in Saarbrücken with Theo Brandmüller, in Karlsruhe with Wolfgang Rihm, and in Strasbourg with Ivan Fedele. She also studied music theory with Michael Reudenbach. In 2009 she completed the proficiency in art program with Rihm at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe. In 2010-2011, she went through IRCAM’s Cursus program for composition and computer music, in the class supervised by Yan Maresz.

Her compositional process is singular: she composes in public places such as cafés or libraries. Her method comes from the constraints imposed in the music theory classes she attended when she arrived in Europe: the students’ only tools were paper, a pencil, and their imagination. This approach now feeds her compositional practice, freeing her from the tools that composers normally relied upon, such as a piano or other instrument, a computer, or notation programs.

Gedizlioğlu’s sound language oscillates between vitality, tension, and roughness. She considers her music multicultural yet refuses to use cliché Middle Eastern sounds. But her awareness of her Turkish background is never far away: references to the sociopolitical context of her native country recur in her work. Her second string quartet, Susma (2007), for instance, is dedicated to the Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated by a nationalist. Durak (2013), an orchestral work commissioned by Deutsche Welle, refers to the violent repression of the Gezi demonstrations.

Gedizlioğlu’s compositions are performed at international festivals such as the Istanbul Music Festival, Musica Strasbourg, ISCM World New Music Days, MaerzMusik, Ultraschall Berlin, Beethovenfest Bonn, ECLAT Stuttgart, Wien Modern, Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, Salzburg Festival, musikprotokoll Steirischer Herbst Graz, cresc… Biennale in Frankfurt, G((o))ng Tomorrow in Copenhagen, and the SoundState Festival in London. Her music has been performed by, among others, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, ensemble recherche, Ensemble Accroche Note, Ensemble intercontemporain, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Aleph Gitarrenquartett, Ensemble 2e2m, œnm, Klangforum Wien, and the Arditti Quartet.

In 2012, she received the Young Composer of the Year Award from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, alongside British composer Luke Bedford and German composer Ulrich Kreppein. She is the first Turkish composer to receive this award. Gedizlioğlu also won the Composer of the Year Award at the 5th Donizetti Classical Music Awards in Istanbul (2014) and was nominated for the German Music Authors’ Prize in 2016 in the Music for Ensemble category. In 2018, she received the Heidelberg Female Artist Award for her entire compositional oeuvre. In 2019, she was recognized by the jury from the music category of the Berlin Academy of Arts.

She gives masterclasses in composition at Bilkent University in Ankara, the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Musik21 Niedersachsen in Hannover, and Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland in Weikersheim.

Gedizlioğlu has lived and worked in Berlin since 2001.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2022


Site de la compositrice ; Deutsche Welle ; Fondation Ernst von Siemens pour la musique.

Liens internet

(liens vérifiés en juillet 2022).

Discographie sélective

  • Zeynep GEDIZLIOGLU, Verbinden und Abwenden, Yukiko Sugawara, piano, Tomoko Hemmi, Tamara Stefanovich : piano ; Quatuor Diotima ; Klangforum Wien ; Ensemble Modern ; Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart ; Leonhard Garms : direction, 1 Cd Wergo, 2020, WER 64282.
  • Zeynep GEDIZLIOGLU, Akdenizli ; Susma, dans « Of Light and Shadows », Ensemble Hezarfen, avec des œuvres de Tolga Ayalar, Füsun Köksal, Onur Türkmen, Hasan Uçarsu, Ahmet Altınel, 1 Cd Çağsav Müzik, 2015.
  • Zeynep GEDIZLIOGLU, Aksak, dans « Tanzmusik für Fortgeschrittene », RSO Wien ; Wien Modern, avec des œuvres de Johanna Doderer, Friedrich Cerha, Reinhard Fuchs, Arturo Fuentes, Gerald Resch, Franz Hautzinger, Wolfgang Suppan, Kurt Schwertsik, Bernhard Lang, HK Gruber, Hannes Löschel, Patrick Pulsinger, Gerhard E. Winkler, 1 Cd ORF, 2013, ORF-CD-3196.
  • Zeynep GEDIZLIOGLU, « Kesik », Sarah Maria Sun ; Arditti Quartet ; Ensemble Modern ; Oswald Salaberger, direction, 1 Cd Col Legno, 2012, WWE 1 CD 40405.
  • Zeynep GEDIZLIOGLU, Die Wand Entlang (Along the Wall), dans « Seda Röder, Listening to Istanbul », Seda Röder : piano, avec des œuvres de Tolga Tüzün, Turgut Erçetin, Murt Yakın, Tolga Yayalar, Özkan Manav, 1 Cd Seda Röder, 2010.
  • Zeynep GEDIZLIOGLU, Akdenizli, dans « Bir Ağaç Gibi », Ulucan Trio, avec des œuvres de Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, Fazıl Say, Inci Yakar, 1 Cd Lilamüzik Istanbul, 2007.