Sinem Altan

© Andre Wunstorf

She is from Ankara and lives in Berlin: for the 31-year-old German-Turkish composer Sinem Altan, the dialogue between these two cultures is the central subject of her artistic work. Even as a young girl, she won first prizes as a pianist and composer in Turkey and Germany; she was accepted at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler as a junior student at the age of only 11. Later, she initiated the concert series “Yenilige Dogru – On the Road towards Novelty”, which later resulted in the founding of the ensemble Olivinn, which moves freely between European classical music, Turkish folk music and contemporary sounds. Sinem Altan’s activities are uncommonly broad-ranging: she has been composer-in-residence at the Neukölln Opera; she has set several stories about Keloglan, the Turkish equivalent of Till Eulenspiegel, for the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB); and for the Amsterdam Opera she composed a new version of Verdi’s Aida including a gospel choir and oriental percussion. In 2013 her Concerto for Baglama (Turkish lute) and Symphony Orchestra had its successful premiere at the Konzerthaus Berlin. In 2015 she won the European Composers Award at Young Euro Classic for her work Hafriyat – Earthwork.