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Ulaş Kurugüllü


          He was born in Istanbul, Üsküdar, in 1979 as the son of tenor Cemalettin Kurugüllü and music teacher Leyla Kurugüllü. While still attending elementary school, at the age of 7, he started violin lessons with Nuri İyicil at the State Conservatory of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.


          Having recently entered the conservatory, in his second year of violin training, he took on the role of Gherardino as a child soloist in G. Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi" at the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet.

          In addition to violin training, he continued his education in the "composition" department. He studied "harmony" and "composition and analysis" with Volkan Barut, "counterpoint" with Babür Tongur, "piano" with Hatice Mertcan, "orchestra repertoire and sight-reading" with Nuri İyicil, and "chamber music" with Seher Tanrıyar. Apart from the conservatory, he had the opportunity to study violin with Aleksander Samoylenko and Lukas David, "accompaniment" with Elisabetta di Stefano, and "orchestral conducting" with Orhan Şallıel and Serdar Yalçın, aside from participating in masterclasses.  


          In addition to his work in chamber music ensembles, he had the opportunity to work with the TRT Radio Tango Orchestra and Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra, where he served for three years. He also had the opportunity to work with the Metropol Symphony Orchestra and Şişli Symphony Orchestra.


          For a while, he held positions in the management team and as assistant concertmaster in the Yeditepe University Chamber Orchestra. In addition to his work as a musician in the TangoİST Quartet group, he served as a "coach" for the "Happy Days" company at Sabancı University.


          In January 2009, he played a role in the establishment of the I.D.O.B Youth Chamber Orchestra within the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, and he conducted the orchestra in a concert on March 11, 2009. In the 2008-2009 season, he served as "assistant music director" for Menotti's opera "The Telephone" and Poulenc's opera "The Human Voice," which were staged by the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet. He also served as the "orchestra conductor" for the performance of "The Telephone" and "The Human Voice" on May 20, 2009. He conducted Verdi's "La Forza Del Destino" and Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" overtures in the Young Conductor Concerts organized by the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra on January 22, 2010, and February 11, 2011. He conducted the Spring Concert of the Bosphorus Chamber Orchestra, featuring tenor Ali Murat Erengönül and soprano Betül Görgülü, on March 19, 2011. He also conducted the Spring Concert of the Başkent Chamber Orchestra in Ankara on April 15, 2012.

          In February 2010 and February 2011, he attended the Orchestra Conducting Masterclasses organized by the Antalya Philharmonic Society in Antalya, where he worked with Orhan Şallıel. In August 2010 and August 2011, he participated in the Orchestral Conductor Masterclass organized by Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, where he worked with Gianluigi Gelmetti. In March 2011, he attended the orchestration course organized by Istanbul Technical University MIAM, where he studied with Prof. Ertuğrul Sevsay. In May, he took part in an orchestral conducting course with Sascha Goetzel. In August 2016 and 2017, he worked with Rengim Gökmen at the Orchestral Conducting Masterclass organized by the Karşıyaka Municipality, and he had the opportunity to conduct the Karşıyaka Chamber Orchestra (K.O.D.A.) in the final concert of the masterclass. In August 2019, he participated in the Orchestral Conducting Masterclass organized by the Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival and worked with Lior Shambadal. He had the opportunity to conduct the Bodrum Chamber Orchestra at the concert held in the Antik Taş Ocağı as part of the festival.


          In November 2012, he achieved a placement in the "Ferit Tüzün National Orchestra Conducting Competition" and conducted the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra as the conductor in the "Ferit Tüzün Memorial Concert" on November 29, 2012. In the January 2013 issue of Andante Magazine, an interview with the other prize-winning conductors of the "Ferit Tüzün National Orchestra Conducting Competition" was published in Şefik Kahramankaptan's column.


          In March 2013, as part of the "Turkish Culture Year in China" events organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, he served as the "Assistant Music Director" and also worked as an "Arranger/Orchestrator" and "Composer" for some musical pieces in the Opening and Gala Night creative team. In June 2014, he participated in the Opening Ceremony of the Turkish Council Summit in Bodrum, organized by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, as the "Assistant Music Director" and also worked as an "Arranger/Orchestrator" for some musical pieces.

          In June 2014, he collaborated with Cenk Bıyık, a faculty member of the Stage Department at Anadolu University State Conservatory, in the production of the show titled "Hayal'Opera" and conducted the choir and soloists. He also served as the conductor on June 13-14 during the performances.

          Since 2008, he has been part of the Modern Dance Group (MDT), affiliated with the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, under the choreography of Beyhan Murphy. He has played the solo violin in the modern dance theater piece "Güldestan" and proudly represented Turkey on various international tours by accompanying electronic music with effective and improvisational techniques, combining Western and Eastern music genres. In the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons, he was part of the creative team of the production "Alice Yıldızlar Altında" choreographed by Michael Popper, and he performed as a stage musician/performer in the shows.

          During the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons, he worked on the rearrangement and orchestration of the children's musical "Kitap Aşkına!" (For the Love of Books!) by Istanbul State Opera and Ballet. He served as the conductor for all performances of the production for two seasons.

          On June 5, 2016, he conducted the Opera Chamber Orchestra in a concert organized for the benefit of children with leukemia, accompanying the soloists tenor Bülent Külekçi and soprano Karin Bozkurt. He also participated in the orchestration and arrangement work for some pieces in the concert repertoire during the preparation stage.


          In November 2017, as part of the 2017 Turkey-Korea Year of Culture, he had the opportunity and honor to represent Turkey once again abroad by participating in the show titled "Anadolu Renkleri" (Colors of Anatolia) performed in South Korea.


          During the 2017-2018 season, he served as the conductor for the musical "Bir Şehnaz Oyun" (A Splendid Game) staged by Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality City Theatres. The libretto of the musical was written by Turgut Özakman, and the music was composed by Cem İdiz. He worked alongside Aytuğ Ülgen as the musical's conductor.

          In the 2018-2019 season, he composed the music for the play "Bir Yaz Dönümü Gecesi Rüyası" (A Midsummer Night's Dream) by Shakespeare, directed by Volkan Ateş Gündüz, at Sivas State Theatre.


          Kurugüllü has been closely involved in film and television music since 2010 and has had the opportunity to contribute to many major projects. In 2010, he served as a film music composer and arranger for the films "Ağır Abi" and "Kaledeki Yalnızlık" and was part of the team. He made string arrangements and orchestrations for the television series "Çalı Kuşu" and "Tatlı Küçük Yalancılar" as well as the film "Tamam mıyız?" released in November 2013.


          In September 2014, he had the music of the series "Kaderimin Yazıldığı Gün" (The Day of Wrotten my Destiny) recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague. In September 2015, the music of the series "Muhteşem Yüzyıl Kösem" (The Magnificent Century Kosem) was also recorded in Prague by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In February 2018, he worked on the series "Mehmed, Bir Cihan Fatihi" (Mehmed the Conqueror) in August 2018 on "Bir Zamanlar Çukurova" (Bitter Land) in April 2021 on "Kaçış," and in July and August on "Kanunsuz Topraklar." In September, he worked on the series "Aldatmak," conducting the arrangements and symphonic orchestration and serving as the studio director for the recordings.


          During the 2018-2019 season, he served as the conductor for the opera "Sihirli Flüt" (The Magic Flute) and continued in this role throughout the 2019-2020 season as the production continued. Following the negative impact of the pandemic on the world, he was assigned the task of reorchestrating Mozart's opera "Saraydan Kız Kaçırma" (The Abduction from the Seraglio) by IDOB. He rearranged the music to accommodate a smaller orchestra on stage, complying with pandemic safety regulations, so that it could be performed safely.

2019-2020, Kurugüllü contributed to the arrangement and symphonic orchestration of the ballet "Aşkın İzafiyeti" by Cüneyt Büyükyaka and the reorchestration of the musical "Deli Dolu" by Cemal Reşit Rey. These works were evaluated by the Directorate General of State Opera and Ballet for inclusion in their repertoire. The pieces have received approval from the Art Council of the Directorate General of State Opera and Ballet, and the dates for their staging by the relevant departments are awaited.

          In November 2022, Istanbul Philharmonic Association appointed Kurugüllü as the conductor of the IFD Chamber Orchestra, and his first concert in this capacity took place on December 4, 2022, at the Atatürk Cultural Center.


          Currently, Kurugüllü continues to serve as an orchestra member in the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Orchestra since 1999. In addition to his education, research, and work in orchestral conducting and film music composition, he actively performs as a violinist, violist, baritone violin, and stroh violin player in various chamber music groups. He also continues to work as a composer, arranger, conductor, and studio recording director for concerts, TV shows, films, musicals, theater plays, and advertising projects.

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