Turkish composer, pianist, and conductor Erberk Eryılmaz was born in Samsun, Turkey in 1989. He received his education at the Samsun Municipality Conservatory, Hacettepe University – Ankara State Conservatory, the Hartt School and Carnegie Mellon University. He studied composition with Serdar Mukhatov, Stephen Gryc, Robert Carl, David Macbride, Leonardo Balada and Reza Vali; piano with Nuran Taşpınar, Oxana Yablonskaya, Gulmira Tokombaeva and Margreet Francis; conducting with Christopher Zimmerman, Edward Cumming, and Robert Page. He will continue his studies as a doctoral candidate in composition at Rice University – Shepherd School of Music starting from Fall 2016.
He has also worked with world-famous pianists such as Idil Biret, Andrej Jasinski, Vicenzo Balzani, Stanislav Pochekin, Felix Gottlieb, and composers Bright Sheng, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, William Bolcom, and John Corigliano.
Eryılmaz has received numerous awards including the Diemente Prize from the Hartt School, grand prize as a pianist at The Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, Silberman Chamber Music Competition, Carnegie Mellon University’s Harry G. Archer Orchestra Composition Competition and String Quartet Composition Competition, the BNY Mellon Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, and Apollo Chamber Players’ International Composition Commissioning Contest. He was also selected to participate in the Moon Arts Project which will include his work, “Was her face the moon or sunlight?”, expected to be sent to the moon in 2016. This project will bring the first music to the moon.
As a composer, pianist, and a conductor he has collaborated with many ensembles including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Hacettepe Chamber Orchestra, Gazi Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Hartt Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Foot in the Door, Carpe Diem, Tesla, Del Sol String Quartets and Apollo Chamber Players as well as with musicians including Vakhtang Matchavariani, Dmitry Yablonsky, Leonard Slatkin, Edward Cumming, Glen Adsit, Andrés Cárdenes, Alberto Almarza, Cyrus Forough, Robert Black (from Bang on a can), Esra Pehlivanlı, and Ismail Lumanovski. He is the founder and former artistic director/conductor of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra.
Eryılmaz has been featured several times on national radio stations in Turkey including Turkish State Radio and many regional stations in North America. Turkish State Television produced a documentary based on his musical career as part of series called “The Succesful Turkish People in the United States”. His piece Tepki 1 (Reaction 1) was the subject of a short film by Aytaç Akkan Karagüzel.
His compositions, performances and recordings have received praise by Fanfare Magazine, CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, and Hürriyet. The Washington Post describes his music as a “dervish-like explosion” and Turkish arts website Sanattan Yansımalar calls his music “21st Century Turkish Music”.
Eryılmaz and his wife Laura Krentzman are the co-directors of Hoppa Project which focuses on performing music of the Balkans and the Middle East.
© Del Sol Performing Arts Organization • Photos by RJ Muna