top of page
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon


Hezarfen Ensemble Musicians

Imge Tilif (2).jpg
Our work

Hezarfen Ensemble

Every concert by award-winning Hezarfen Ensemble is an adventure.  Internationally recognized for its performances of contemporary and transcultural music, it is above all the energy and vitality of this Istanbul-based group which has brought Hezarfen Ensemble increasingly widespread recognition. With signature projects ranging from trio (Word and Sound) to interdisciplinary chamber opera (Binboğalar Efsanesi,Deniz Küstü, Say I am You) and Music of Displacement, the impact of Hezarfen Ensemble on music in Turkey has been profound, changing the face of contemporary music in its home country, while the infectious energy of its performances has brought acclaim for the ensemble in its appearances at festivals across Europe.   Key performances abroad have included MärzMusik Festival Berlin,  Rotterdam Operadagen, Bristol new Music Days, the Divan project, Klangzeit Festival Münster, Essen Cultural Capital, German Historical Institut Rome, Trieste Prima festival.  At home, Hezarfen regularly appears at the Istanbul Music Festival, Borusan Music House, Arter Museum, BAUART & Yapı Kredi, Akbank Sanat, Boğaziçi University, Hezarfen Bilkent Academy and New Music Days, Saygun Centre Izmir, Institut Francais and collaborates regularly with Goethe Institut Istanbul, Italian, Netherlands and Austrian Cultural Centres.


The ensemble has been collaborating with the Goethe-Institut Istanbul and the Kulturakademie Tarabya, a federal german artists' residency in Istanbul since 2012. In 2021, the ensemble was invited by the Donaueschinger Musiktage to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the festival with a concert at the ARTER Museum (Istanbul), in cooperation with Donaueschinger Musiktage and Goethe Institute Istanbul. In May 2022, the ensemble made its UK debut, with seven new composition commissions for a programme of makam instruments at the Bristol New Music Festival, recorded by BBC Radio 3. This was followed in June 2023 by the world premiere of Bin Boğalar Efsanesi (The Legend of a Thousand Bulls), Michael Ellison's new opera based on the novel by Yaşar Kemal, the culmination of his groundbreaking research project Beyond East and West: Developing and Documenting an Evolving Transcultural Musical Practice - a 5-year research project funded by the European Research Council on the integration of traditional instruments into a new music ensemble. This project systematises the practical processes essential to the creation of a new, East-West strand of contemporary music and opera. Its tripartite approach - workshop, ethnography, theory - combined with public events provides a new model for transcultural practice while opening a door for the world to a deeper understanding of the exquisite musical traditions of Turkey and the Middle East. In July 2024 the Ensemble will make its Sweden debut at the Kontinent Dalsland Festival, with its program Recollection of Displacement - with the friendly support of Ernst-von-Siemens Music Foundation.



The Sea-Crossed Fisherman Opera in four scenes by Michael Ellison

Based on the novel Deniz KÜSTÜ (1978) by YaŞar Kemal

Ağıt with Verse and Images 

A Programme of Contemporary Turkish Music


Literature as Muse in 21st century composition 

Hezarfen Ensemble Projects Upcoming


New and Newest Music Festival

ARTER Museum Istanbul 

25 February 2024


“Yok mu, var”

Borusan Müzik Evi

15 March 2024



Hezarfen Ensemble Past Projects


Online Musikworkshop “Zug Um: Zug Zusammen: Leben” in Collaboration with KÜPE e.V. Köln,

Verein für Kulturpädagogische Erziehung

4 & 12 June 2021


MIAM Composers & Hezarfen Ensemble

MIAM - Ilhan Usmanbas Hall, Istanbul

6 October 2021


Donaueschingen Music Days 

ARTER Museum Istanbul

8 October 2021


MIAM Composers & Hezarfen Ensemble

MIAM - Ilhan Usmanbaş Hall, Istanbul

20 October 2021


MIAM Composers & Hezarfen Ensemble 

MIAM - Ilhan Usmanbaş Hall, Istanbul

26 October 2021


Studio Bosphorus 

Kunstquartier Benthanien, Berlin

28 October 2021


Töz Trio & Hezarfen Ensemble

Borusan Müzik Evi, Istanbul

24 December 2021


Bristol New Music Festival 

St. George’s Bristol

7 May 2022


Bilgi New Music Festival

ARTER Museum Istanbul

30 June 2022






Hezarfen String Quartet

Süreyya Operası, Istanbul

10 October 2022


Christmas Concert of German Consulate Istanbul

Hezarfen Ensemble String Quartet

Kreuzkirche, Istanbul

3 December 2022


Good-Bye Paradise

ARTER Museum Istanbul

27 January 2023


BESOM Seslendirme Ödülü 2021/22

CSO ADA, Ankara

19 March 2023


Future Tradition Orchestra

Festspielhaus Hellerau Dresden

29 April 2023


New and Newest Music Festival 

ARTER Museum Istanbul

12 Mai 2023


Binboğalar Efsanesi

Süreyya Operası, IKSV Music Festival

17 June 2023


Workshop for Composers

MIAM - Ilhan Usmanbaş Hall

23 November 2023



ARTER Museum Istanbul

28 November 2023


KBSO Ulusal Beste Yarışması Final Konseri

Süreyya Operası

4 December 2023



Adress: Sardunya Sokak

Göksu Evleri Sitesi No:25 B213A

Beykoz / Istanbul

Ulrich Mertin 

+90 530 490 8364


Michael Ellison

+44 7936 584427

bottom of page