Egemen Kesikli (b.1989) is a Turkish composer and performer, whose music has been honored with numerous performances across North America, Asia, and Europe. Egemen’s music has been heard at Forum Wallis, New York Composers Concordance, Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, Rhythm in Motion NYC, Izmir International Music Festival, among other festivals and venues. He has received premieres by ensembles including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, as well as by members of the New York City Opera Orchestra, Alabama Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Istanbul State Symphony, and West-Eastern Divan orchestras. Egemen received honors and recognition from the American Composers Orchestra, ASCAP, Beethoven Club Memphis, Eczacibasi Foundation, and Minnesota Music Educators Association. Egemen strives to promote diversity in music, and his composition catalogue varies from chamber and orchestra pieces to alternative works featuring unconventional ensemble-formations, ranging from a concerto for tap dance and large orchestra to small chamber works featuring traditional Turkish instruments.
In addition to composing, Egemen performs actively as an instrumental and choral conductor, as well as a multi-instrumentalist. As the assistant-conductor of the Viking Chorus of St. Olaf College during its 2011-2012 season, he performed at the 2011 ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) of the Minnesota State Conference and the 8th Annual Collegiate Men’s Chorus Festival Minnesota, among other appearances. An active supporter of new music, Egemen has premiered works by young composers such as JP Merz, Chris LaRosa, and Jim Simmons, as well as many of his own works. As a composer-performer, he collaborated with artists such as percussive-dancer and World Music expert Max Pollak, visual artist and violinist Michiko Theurer, classical guitarist and composer Celil Refik Kaya, and world-percussionist Burhan Ocal.
A former mentee and pupil of renowned pianists Guher & Suher Pekinel, Egemen has received his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, his Master’s in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Bachelor’s in Music Theory & Composition from St. Olaf College with Departmental Distinction. His primary teachers include Carter Pann, Dan Welcher, Daniel Kellogg, Donald Grantham, and Timothy Mahr. When he is not composing, performing, or teaching, Egemen enjoys cooking French-Indian fusion, pretending to know the difference between a Spanish Garnaca and French Grenache, improvising on his oud that was made by his beloved father, and watching cute cat and/or dog videos with his partner.