Born in İzmir, Turkey, in 1988, Emre Gökalp began to study classical guitar with Ahmet Kanneci at 8 years old. He began participating in master classes from the age of 10, and winning prizes in international competitions from the age of 11.
Since 1998, Emre has benefited from master classes offered in guitar festivals given by internationally famous virtuosos and pedagogues such as Alirio Diaz, Michael Lewin, David Russell, Fabio Zanon, Julian Byzantine, Tilman Hoppstock, Gary Ryan, Pavel Steidel, Carlos Bonell, Gerald Reichenbach, Javier Garcia Moreno, David Martinez Garcia, Takeshi Tezuka and Hiroki Terashima.
Emre’s prizes include 1st prize in the Second Classical Guitar Competition in Orleans, France in 1999, 2nd prize in the Third Antonio Lauro Classical Guitar Competition in Ankara, Turkey in 2000, 3rd prize in the Eighth International Festival and Competition for Classical Guitar Interpretation in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2001, and 1st prize in the First Balkan Festival and Competition of the Classical Guitar in Velingrad, Bulgaria in 2002.
Following these early successes, Emre was accepted into the Bachelor of Arts (Music) Degree programme at Hacettepe University's Ankara State Conservatory to continue and consolidate his studies. During the 2008-9 academic year he took leave to go to London, where he took private classical guitar lessons from Professor Michael Lewin, head of the Guitar Department of the Royal Academy of Music, for 5 months. Professor Lewin then invited him to attend his masterclasses in Scandiano, Italy, where he also had the opportunity to take further classes from him as well as to perform in concerts.
On returning to Ankara State Conservatory, in the 2010-11 academic year Emre travelled with the Erasmus Student Exchange Program to the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid in Spain, where he studied classical guitar with Miguel Trápaga for 6 months. He then returned again to Ankara and graduated with a BA degree in June 2011.
Thanks to his successful application and scholarship from the Borusan Kocabıyık Foundation, Emre has graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, Master of Arts programme with DipRAM and Frank Britton Prize. Between the academic year of 2012 - 2014, he had the opportunity to perform with some wonderful musicians including; Srdjan Bulat, Nazrin Rashidova, Christine Buras, Joseph Havlat.
Since 1998, Emre has performed in various places such as; United Kingdom, USA, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Turkey. His most recent performace was in Machynlleth Music Festival, Wales to which he was invited by the great pianist Julius Drake who was the artistic director of the festival.