Turkish composer, educator, and performer Egemen Kesikli strives to promote diversity in contemporary music. His composition catalogue varies from orchestral pieces and concertos to alternative chamber works featuring traditional folk instruments and unconventional ensemble formations. Egemen received his Doctorate in Composition from the University of Colorado Boulder and his Master’s from the University of Texas at Austin, and his mentors have included Carter Pann, Timothy Mahr, Sonia Seeman, Donald Grantham, and Guher & Suher Pekinel.
A multi-disciplinary artist, Egemen has collaborated with numerous musicians, visual artists, writers, and dancers, and his music has been heard at classical and folk music festivals, concert halls, bars and taverns. He received honors and recognition from ASCAP, Beethoven Club, and the Minnesota Music Educators Association, among others. Collaborations include his concertino for tap dancer and large orchestra, Horon, which was premiered by the renowned percussive dancer Max Pollak in Ontario under John Morris Russell’s baton and has since been performed multiple times in Canada and the United States with Pollak as soloist. His string quartet Pulse, written for and premiered by the Altius Quartet, was recorded by the Playground Ensemble for CPR Classical and featured in the contemporary music podcast series, “Centennial Sounds” on NPR. Egemen’s recent commissions include The [Black]Outs (poem by Steffan Triplett) for the Playground Ensemble, Weltschmerz for the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone & Concert Band for Kurt Claussen and the St. Olaf Band, and The Logical Conclusion for Leslee Smucker, which was premiered in Rapallo, Italy, and later recorded for Smucker’s critically-acclaimed solo classical album, Personae.
Along with composing, Egemen performs actively as a conductor and multi-instrumentalist and has premiered many of his own compositions. He recently performed his Red for Turkish string instrument cumbus, fixed media, and live electronics, at the 360° Digital Dome Theater at Fort Collins Museum of Science and Technology; and his Mandra for oud and orchestra has been performed multiple times by various collegiate ensembles with Egemen as soloist, most recently by the Hope Jazz Arts Collective in Michigan. As conductor, Egemen made his debut with the St. Olaf Band, premiering his The Emperor for concert band, and has since guest-conducted various large and chamber ensembles featuring his music. His Breathless for solo flute, shakuhachi, and flute orchestra, commissioned by the acclaimed flutist Christina Jennings and the CU Boulder Flute Department, was recently premiered under Egemen’s baton by Jennings and a large ensemble of over forty flutists in Colorado, and performed again at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago. Egemen has studied conducting in the US with Timothy Mahr, Steven Amundson, and Robert Carnochan, as well with Mete Sakpinar in Istanbul and with Wolfgang Harrer in Vienna.
Egemen Kesikli currently holds the position of Instructor of Music Theory and Composition at Colorado State University. When he is not composing, performing, or teaching, he enjoys cooking and collaborating on various arts projects with his family.