1- You started his piano studies at the age of 5 and by the age of 6 were accepted to The Bilkent University's junior music department with a full scholarship. Who were your influential teachers in these formative years?
I started my piano piano studies with Aylin Özugur at the age of 4.5. She was an amazing teacher and a pianist. She was the pianist of the Capital City Opera House in Ankara. During my 4 years I learned with her, gave me a very strong base to work on. My 2nd teacher Deren Eryılmaz and my 3rd teacher Elif Onal also were amazing teachers. During my studies with them, they taught me a lot about relaxation, phrasing and pulse. Because of their teachings, I was accepted to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School.
2- Is your family musical?
Yes, I am the 4th generation in my father’s family to choose music as a profession. My great grandfather played the turkish traditional guitar Oud, and my grandfather played the clarinet, saxophone and also conducted the City Orchestra in Ankara. My father plays the bass guitar and bass. They were all great influences for me to start music and choose it as my profession.
3- When you were 14, you were invited to the Turkish National Radio for a recital and interview. Can you remember what pieces you played, what sort of questions were asked and your feelings at the time?
It was an amazing experience to perform and to give an interview at the National Radio. They are very warm and nice people to talk to and to play to. I played the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C sharp minor, Carl Weber Piano Sonata no 1 and Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux No 4. In my second visit to the radio, I performed the Mozart Sonata in C minor K457, and Scriabin’s 2nd Piano Sonata.
4- In 2014 gained a place at The Yehudi Menuhin School with a full scholarship to study with Prof. Marcel Baudet. How do you recall this time and being mentored by this master?
I felt very excited and privileged when I learned that I was accepted to The Yehudi Menuhin School. During my studies with Prof. Baudet, I have learned substantially about sound, character, depth and new ways of approaching to pieces. He is an amazing teacher. Both musically and technically he had a very big influence on me, without him I would not be able to be where I am at the moment.
5- In 2017 you won a Mention Prize in the Senior Category of Ibiza International Piano Competition. What pieces did you play and how did this success feel like?
When I was awarded 2nd prize in the Beethoven Intercollegiate Piano Competition, I was very elated. The competition was held in the Steinway Hall in London and I played on a very delicate D series piano which really helped me during me performance. It was the first competition I did.
6- What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?
My first memory of the piano is when I was 4 years old. I was touching the keys of the piano in our living room. After a year and a half of piano lessons. My first performance was at a celebration event in my kinder-garden. I played Bach’s Minuet in G Major and these short set of children songs.
7- How often do your practice?
The amount I practice usually changes depending on my schedule. However I really enjoy learning new pieces, learning about composers lives and details about their individual works.
8- Would you consider teaching music in the future?
Like many musicians I would also love to teach the experiences, knowledge and clues that I have learned though out my life. I would like to do this in later stages in my life in both Music Colleges and Masterclasses.
9- How do you balance your time commitments in terms of study, research, performance? What are the biggest sacrifices?
I usually try to be very efficient with my practice and my work, so I can spend time with my family and my friends. However in busy times of course I keep focused and make sure everything is good as it can be.
10- What advice would you give music students at the beginning of their journey?
I would advise them to be very patient and efficient with their practice, not just playing through pieces. Also to practise relaxed and slowly.