Emir GAMSIZOGLU, pianist

Emir-Headshot-2Emir Gamsızoğlu has one of the most extraordinary life stories among classical musicians. He started to play the piano at the age of 20 and he was a professional basketball player in the Turkish Basketball League before 20 !

He was injured in a game and his interest in music started during his convalescence; after a few hours of practice, he succeeded to play Chopin’s Op.64 C Sharp Minor Waltz hearing it from his mother who is a ballet teacher. Having no education or interest in piano until the age of 20, didn’t stop his decision to change his career to become a pianist.

He was the shortest player in all the basketball teams he played and he is the latest to start playing the piano among professional musicians. After a year of private lessons, he was the oldest student, accepted to the piano department of Istanbul University State Conservatory in 1995. He was awarded the “Young Musician of the Year” by the Lions Club in 1999. After completing the conservatoire, he continued his studies with Seba Baştuğ Şen and Turkish State Artist Hüseyin Sermet in Paris.

He played solo and chamber music in France, Germany, Italy, Roumania, Turkey and United States. In 2008 he was the first Turkish pianist to perform J.S.Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Turkey. Beyond his solo career, he’s often invited to play chamber music by wellknown artists such as Chen Halevi, Natalie Clein, Marina Chiche and Belcea Quartet. In 2007, Gamsızoğlu, premiered his piece “Fantasy on Istanbul Tunes” with Halevi, Chiche and Clein in Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul.

Apart from his engagements as a pianist, Gamsızoğlu also prepared a radio program with famous Turkish actor Memet Ali Alabora, named “Notada Yazmayanlar (Unwritten on the Scores)” between 2001-2003, penned articles for the music magazine Andante since its first issue, realized talks about music and gave concerts to promote classical music throughout Turkey. In 2009 they started “Notada Yazmayanlar for Kids” with Alabora at İş Sanat Concert Hall, Istanbul. “Chopin’s 200th Birthday Party”, “Variations After Joe” and “Drama in Beethoven” are among the interdisciplinary projects he’s created.

In 2002, he founded “Istanbul Trio”, played concerts and made a film/recording. Then, in 2010 Istanbul Trio made a fresh start with two young musicians; violinist Deniz Toygür and cellist Cem Çetinkaya.

In 2010, meeting David Del Tredici in The City College of New York, Gamsızoğlu discovered his talent for composing. In fall 2013, his album “Alla Turca Around the World” featuring his own compositions is released.

emir with Ludwig(Picture taken at Beethovenhaus, Bonn in 2008)

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