Artistic Director, Viola, Management

Ulrich Mertin is a german viola player, conductor and experimental composer, acknowledged for his work in diverse musical worlds, such as classical, contemporary, folk, experimental and electronic. 


Graduated from the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, he received scholarships from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Darmstadt International Summer Courses and the International Ensemble Modern Academy. Between 2003-2005 he was working with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. As Principal Viola, he joined the European Union Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Resonanz.  Ulrich is regularly working with world-renowned contemporary music ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern and Ensemble Musikfabrik. As a Soloist and Chamber Musician he worked with world renowned composers such as György Kurtag, Helmut Lanchenmann, Tristan Murail, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, amongst many others. He is giving masterclasses and workshops for musicians and composers across Europe and in Turkey and playing solo recitals and premiers of works dedicated to him across Europe.


Ulrich is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Hezarfen Ensemble. The award-winning ensemble is invited regularly to international festivals such as MaerzMusik Festival, Ruhrtriennale, Rotterdamer Operagdagen, IKSV Music Festival Istanbul and the infectious energy of its performances has brought acclaim for the ensemble in its appearances at festivals across Europe. The Ensemble is dedicated to the support of the turkish contemporary music scene and its lasting integration into the international music world. It’s impact on the music scene in Turkey has been profound, changing the face of contemporary music in its home country. With its landmark ERC Research Project Beyond East and West, the Ensemble has also set new standards in the transcultural music making. 


2018 Ulrich became faculty member of the Conservatoire at Maltepe University in Istanbul/Turkey. He also is giving Masterclasses for Viola, Chamber Music, Composers/Contemporary Music and seminars about Stage Fright at various Universities around Turkey.


Together With the Turkish electronic artist Erdem Helvacioglu, Ulrich released the electronic film music album Planet X at Innova Records, USA. Ulrich has also increasingly been active as an actor in music theater and film productions. In addition, he composed the film music for several short films and wrote guest articles and contributions for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio.


Ulrich is currently participating on a research project with University of Bristol about Artifical Intelligence and Musicians. He is also preparing a transcultural music project together with Kolkata based electronic musician Varun Desai for the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven in 2020, a new, transcultural interpretation of Beethovens 7th symphony, 2nd movement together with Turkish and Indian traditional musicians in collaboration with Goethe Institut.