Turkish composer Hakki Cengiz Eren’s (b. 1984) music has been performed across the United States and Europe. Recent performances of his music have been given by renowned soloists and ensembles, including Garth Knox, Calvin Wiersma, Mak Grgic, members of ECCE (Diamanda Dramm, Paolo Vignoroli, Vasko Dukovski and Virginie Tarrête), Argus Quartet, Ensemble Nodus and the Thornton Edge.
Recipient of the Peter David Faith Memorial Award in Composition, Cengiz has also been a finalist in both the 2015 Donald Aird Earplay Competition and the 2013 Ensemble Et Cetera Composition Competition. In addition, he was one of the only chosen composers for the Ablaze Records Orchestral Masters, Vol.4.
Cengiz has participated in various international festivals, such as the Darmstadt Summer Course, Etchings Festival, Soundscape Festival, Once Festival Ann Arbor, Midwest Composers’ Symposium, Cappadocia Composers’ Cauldron Festival and Los Angeles Micro-Fest. In such festivals, he has studied so far with internationally renowned names like Beat Furrer, Franck Bedrossian, Mark Andre, Onur Türkmen, Joël Bons, Brian Hulse and Michael Quell among others.
He has completed his Bachelor’s degree in guitar performance at the Peabody Institute. This was followed by a Master’s degree in composition at University of Michigan. Cengiz has recently obtained a DMA in composition from the USC Thornton School of Music, where his main teachers have been Stephen Hartke, Donald Crockett and Sean Friar. In recent times, his music has evolved through the incorporation of microtonality and with it, a significantly revitalized pitch language.
Garth Knox was born in Ireland and grew up in Scotland. Being the youngest of four children who all played string instruments, he was encouraged to take up the viola, and he quickly decided to make this his career. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Fredrick Riddle, where he won several prizes for viola and for chamber music. Thereafter he played with most of the leading groups in London in a mixture of all repertoires, from baroque to contemporary music.
In 1983 he was invited by Pierre Boulez to become a member of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, where he had the chance to do much solo playing (including concertos directed by Pierre Boulez) and chamber music, touring widely and playing in international festivals.
In 1990 Garth Knox joined the Arditti String Quartet, playing in all the major concert halls of the world, working closely with and giving first performances of pieces by most of today’s leading composers including Ligeti, Kurtag, Berio, Xenakis, Lachenmann, Cage, Feldman and Stockhausen (the famous “Helicopter Quartet”).
Since leaving the quartet in 1998, Garth Knox has given premieres by Henze (the Viola Sonata is dedicated to him), Ligeti, Schnittke, Ferneyhough, James Dillon, George Benjamin and many others. He also collaborates regularly in theatre and dance projects and has written and performed shows for children and young audiences. Improvisation is also an important part of his musical activity, and he has performed with George Lewis, Steve Lacy, Joel Léandre, Dominique Pifarély, Bruno Chevillon, Benat Achiary, Scanner and many others. He appears on the Frode Haltli CD Passing Images.
In the past decade he has begun to write his own music, and is much in demand for theatre, dance and film scores as well as concert pieces and instrumental works.
Garth Knox has recently begun to explore the possibilities of the viola d’amore in new music, with and without electronics, and is in the process of creating a new repertoire for this instrument. His album D’Amore (EMI New Series 1925) features old and new music for the viola d’amore.
Garth Knox now lives in Paris playing recitals, concertos and chamber music concerts all over Europe, the USA and Japan. His solo CD with works from Ligeti, Dusapin, Berio, Kurtág and others (MO 782082) won the coveted Deutsche Schallplaten Preis in Germany.
The Argus Quartet is dedicated to reinvigorating the audience-performer relationship through new and innovative concert presentations of diverse repertoire – connecting with and building up a community of engaged listeners is at the core of the quartet’s mission.
Formed in the summer of 2013, Argus is receiving invitations from concert series throughout the United States and abroad. Performances include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Laguna Beach Live!, IN/TER\SECT at Bryant Park, Encinitas’ Music By The Sea, the Hear Now Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, the Birdfoot Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam. Argus served as the Yale School of Music’s Fellowship Quartet-in-Residence and was the first ensemble to be mentored by the Brentano String Quartet in that capacity. The quartet was also selected as the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence for the 2016-17 seasons.
The quartet was awarded a commissioning grant from Chamber Music America for a new work by composer and GRAMMY nominee, Eric Guinivan, and has premiered over a dozen other pieces.
USC Thornton Edge, previously known as the Contemporary Music Ensemble, was founded in 1976 by Robert Wojciak. Since 1984, the group has been under the direction of Donald Crockett. Composed of some of the finest student musicians of the USC Thornton School of Music, Edge has presented an annual series of concerts at USC for many years, has been a guest on the Monday Evening Concerts and Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series, as soloists with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and has presented concert tours in Berlin, Paris and Lyons. Under Donald Crockett, Edge has presented numerous premieres and has been coached and/or conducted by such composers as Witold Lutoslawski, John Harbison, Henryk Górecki, Joan Tower, Steven Stucky, Judith Weir and the members of the USC Thornton composition faculty. Edge received the 2004 LA Weekly Award for Outstanding Classical Soloist/Ensemble.
Hakki Cengiz Eren
Photography Dario Griffin
Photography François Figlarz
Photography Ben Gibbs
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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