EUTERPE: Reform, Notation and Ottoman Music in Early 19th-Century Istanbul

Date: Oct 19, 2021 Time: 2:30 PM–4:00 PM Location: Zoom Address: ,

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol discusses Euterpe (1830), the first printed collection of classical Ottoman/Turkish music in Byzantine neumes.

About the Speaker

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, New England Conservatory

Grammy nominated composer and CMES Harvard University fellow (2013–15) Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2016 premiering his commissioned piece Harabat/The Intoxicated with the American Composers Orchestra. Other recent works have been heard at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall, Jordan Hall and on A Far Cry string orchestra's recording Dreams and Prayers. He hails from Cyprus and Turkey. He is a multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, an ethnomusicologist, and a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory. Sanlıkol's first jazz orchestra album was JAZZIZ magazine's Top 10 Critics’ Choice 2014 pick, his second jazz orchestra album was DownBeat magazine's September 2016 Editor's Pick, “The Rise Up”, commissioned by NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, received a 4-star review from The Financial Times, and his trio album “An Elegant Ritual” was listed among JAZZIZ's Top 10 July 2021 albums. He has composed for, performed and toured with international stars and ensembles such as Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Cobham, Anat Cohen, Antonio Sanchez, Tiger Okoshi, Gil Goldstein, Esperanza Spalding, The Boston Camerata, The Boston Cello Quartet, A Far Cry string orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Okay Temiz and Erkan Oğur. Sanlıkol was a recipient of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Program Grant twice in 2016 and 2020 with his unique jazz orchestra/combo, Whatsnext? and has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice. The Boston Globe noted that Sanlıkol’s “music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world”, “…and he (Sanlıkol) is another who could play decisive role in music’s future in the world.”

Sanlıkol studied western classical piano with his mother Fethiye Sanlıkol and started giving piano recitals at age five. Later, he studied with the acclaimed Turkish composer/pianist Aydın Esen and won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Sanlıkol studied jazz composition with accomplished composers such as Herb Pomeroy and Ken Pullig. After studying with composers George Russell, Bob Brookmeyer and Lee Hyla, Sanlıkol completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition in 2004. During his doctoral studies, he also focused on Turkish music and ethnomusicology. Sanlıkol is the president of DÜNYA, a musicians’ collective dedicated to contemporary presentations of Turkish traditions, alone and in interaction with other world traditions, through musical performance, publication, and educational activities. Since it’s founding, Sanlıkol has produced, performed and delivered talks at over two hundred DÜNYA events. DÜNYA has also released 11 CDs, a single, a concert DVD, a documentary and a feature film with Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol both as director/performer and composer. The unique nature and the success of DÜNYA resulted with Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol going on the air numerous times on NPR and PRI.

Sanlıkol actively delivers papers and talks at academic conferences such as International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music and Society for Ethnomusicology. Sanlıkol’s book, entitled The Musician Mehters (2011), about the organization and the music of the Ottoman Janissary Bands, was published in English by The ISIS press and in Turkish by Yapı Kredi Yayınları. Currently, he is the director of New England Conservatory’s Intercultural Institute.