Jury



Gülden Gökşen

Born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1974. At the age of five, she began studying the piano at the Istanbul Municipality Conservatory with Nejla TİNER. Later on she continued at the Istanbul Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory with Prof. Hülya TARCAN. In 1993 she graduated from the conservatory with first prize. After her graduation she was granted The Turkish Education Fund (TEV) scholarship to study in Germany with Prof. Helmut WEINREBE and Prof. Pavel GILILOV at the “Cologne Musikhochschule”. Upon her return to Turkey she has completed her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory, Istanbul. In 2011 she has become an associate professor.
She has so far given many recitals and concerts in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Singapore, Macedonia, Russia, Greece, France, Mexico, New York and Turkey. In 1991, she won the second prize of the Mozart Piano Competition in Austria. She also took part in the master-class of Irina MUSATOVA in Krems, Austria. In 1993, she won the special award of the “Sedat Gürel – Güzin Gürel Art and Science Fund” and in 1994 she won the first prize and jury special prize of “Bülent TARCAN Piano Competition”. In the same year, she also won the second prize in “the Prokofiev Piano Competition” in Germany. She participated in the “International Competition for Young Pianists ‘Dimitar Nenov’ Razgrad” in Bulgaria and won the first prize. Recently she has performed as soloist in the “I. International Istanbul Spring Festival”, “First Balkan Forum of Young Pianists” in Bulgaria and “International Young Pianists Forum” in Bulgaria. Also she took “the best music award” from Marmara University 8th Short Movie Competition in Istanbul.
At the same time, she composed some fusion musics and released them in 2006 with the name “Guldenjazz”.
She has performed as a soloist with various orchestras in Turkey and abroad, among the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Bursa State Symphony Orchestra, Razgrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Macedonia State Philarmonic Orchestra, Vratza State Philharmonic Orchestra, Burgas Philarmonic Orchestra and Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra.
Up to now, she has played under the baton of İnci Özdil, Ivan Bakalov, Burkhon Buriev, Georgi Cemsirov, Ivan Kojucharov, Pero Petrovski, Slavil Dimitrov, Dimitar Panov and İbrahim Yazıcı.
Gülden Gökşen is currently busy as a piano teacher, performer and continues her academic career as a professor at the State Conservatory of the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul.


Ahmet Levent Atlıer

Born in İstanbul, Turkey, in 1971 Levent Atlıer, began taking piano lessons from the piano teacher Associate Prof. Sibel Kurtbey, at the Istanbul State Conservatory. Alongside his piano lessons he took harmony lessons from Önder Bali. He was accepted to Marmara University Music Department in 1990. His art major being piano, Levent Atlıer contiuned his piano studies at the university with Prof. Dilek Yonat Batıbay. Simultaneously he also took piano lessons from Ali Darman.
Levent Atlıer started teaching music at Hisar School in 2002, and has been the Department Head of the music department since 2003. Playing flute and jazz harmony with Nail Yavuzoğlu, Levent Atlıer has introduced the concept of specializing in different music branches at Hisar School and he has formed the school orchestra. His work has played an important role in the national and international success the school has received in the area of music.
Levent Atlıer, a professional musician has performed with artists and groups such as Fikret Kızılok, Bora Öztoprak, AF group. He is also the founder of the group CornFlakes.


Hakan Ali Toker

Hakan A. Toker was born in 1976 and he’s from the southern Turkish town Mersin. He holds a BM from Indiana University School of Music, double majoring in piano and composition. He has also studied jazz and electronic music at this institution. Besides his formal education, he is mostly self-taught in the fields of improvisation, Turkish music and the two secondary instruments he has picked-up after the piano: the kanun and the accordion.
Up-to- date, he has performed in 28 countries; taken part in many international festivals, appeared in the media, received good critics. He has shared the stage with many masters of Eastern and Western music; he has collaborated with various ensembles, singers, dancers, poets, jugglers, acrobats, actors and actresses. He has done classical and improvised recitals, informative concerts, music for silent films, multi-media and musical- comedy shows.
During the 9 years he lived in the United States, he particularly worked with bands specializing in Middle Eastern, Central Asian and South American music. In 2006 he returned to his homeland and took part in the forming of the bands Tanini, Abra and Toker Trio; he performed with artists such as Yıldız Ibrahimova and Dilek Türkan. In 2011 he gave the first recitals ever in Turkey, on pianos tuned specially for microtonal Turkish music. Starting from 2012, he has interpreted Turkish music through the language of the symphony orchestra with his project Senfonik Fasıl.
He has been given the “Living Values” award in 2013 during the 1st. Mersin Cultural Festival.
Besides giving private lesssons, he has taken part in symposiums and given masterclasses in many universities internationally.
He has compositions and arrangements in various genres such as Western classical music, Turkish traditional music and jazz. Among these are pieces for symphonic wind band, composed during his military service in 2008 at the First Army Division. Check out his website for his albums, videos and sheet music: http://HakanAliToker.com


Zeynep Yamantürk

Born in İstanbul, Zeynep Yamantürk started playing piano with Rana Erksan when she was three and a half years old. She gave her first concert at the age of four and a half. When she was six years old she started to take lessons from Ferdi Statzer at the İstanbul Municipal Conservatoire. At the age of seven, upon Faruk Güvenç’s request, she made radio and television programmes. Later on she went on with her studies with Prof. Meral Vardar. In 1980 she entered Mimar Sinan University State Conservatoire taking lessons from Prof. Metin Öğüt and from Prof. Judith Uluğ and graduated in 1985 with a high degree. Same year she started to work with Prof. Leonid Brumberg in Vienna. She won the Second Prize in International Doblinger Piano Competition in 1985; the Great Jury Prize in 1986, Brussels Concour International de Piano, Bösendorfer-Empire and again the same year Second Prize in Vienna International Pegasus Piano Competition. She received her MA Degree from the M.S.Ü. State Conservatoire in 1987. The same year she was invited to the European Young Pianists Festival and gave recitals in Canada, US of America, Mexico and Jamaica. She gave concerts in Los Angeles, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France. Under the guidance of Prof. Judith Uluğ she received her Ph. D. Degree in 1994. Currently she is teaching piano at M.S. University State Conservatoire.