Derya Turkan is a young master of classical Turkish kemenche (3-stringed fiddle). He plays improvisational as well as the Ottoman classical music repertoire.
Turkan was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1973. He grew up in a musical family and his first music lessons were with the well known Turkish cellist Firat Kiziltug. From 1984 to 1994, Turkan attended and graduated from the Turkish Music Conservatory Instruments Education Department of the Istanbul Technical University, where he studied kemence with Ihsan Oezgen, an internationally recognized Turkish musician. In 1990, Turkan was invited to join the Turkish Cultural Ministry’s Istanbul National Turkish Music Ensemble, directed by Necdet Yasar. Turkan performed for seven years with this ensemble as a guest musician.
In 1991 Turkan joined Turkish Radio Television (TRT), Istanbul Radio division, where he earned outstanding praise. In 2000, he became a permanent employee of the TRT. He had the opportunity to perform alongside such master musicians as Alaeddin Yavasca, Bekir Sidki Sezgin, Niyazi Sayin, Erol Deran, Mutlu Torun, Inci Cayirli and Yavuz Ozustun. During this time, he performed at many concerts both nationally and internationally with well known groups such as the Necdet Yasar Ensemble, and Ihsan Oezgen’s Anatolia Ensemble.
Turkan has given many concerts in the United States, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Greece, Israel and many other countries in addition to his native Turkey. In particular, he performed and gave workshops both East and West coasts of the United States in universities such as MIT, Harvard and UC Santa Cruz as well as New England Conservatory. In some of these concerts he was joined by Sehvar Besiroglu and Feridun Oezgoeren.