Bîrûn Ottoman Music Seminars

plus OCT, 24 2017

New announcement for scholarships offered by Fondazione Giorgio Cini onlus

 Bîrûn Ottoman Music Seminars

Director: Kudsi Erguner

Religious music and songs of the Istanbul Armenians

Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 19-24 March 2018

Deadline for presentation of requests: 15 January 2018
10 Scholarships 
addressed to: solo singers,‘ûd players, tanbûr players, kanûn players, kemençe players and percussionists.

The Intercultural Institute for Comparative Music Studies is offering ten scholarships to young professional or semi-professional musicians to take part in the latest Bîrûn, advanced seminar on Ottoman music directed by the maestro Kudsi Erguner, in 2018 dedicated to the religious music of the Istanbul Armenians.

The liturgical chants known as Sharagan and religious hymns in Armenian composed in the maqâm of the Ottoman modal system will be studied. The two genres together make up a precious, unexplored repertoire.

There is often some confusion between the Armenian cultural music of the Caucasus and the music that developed in the big cities of the Ottoman Empire, from Constantinople to Istanbul and not only, but these are two fairly different musical aesthetics. Immediately after the taking of Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmet II established an Armenian patriarchate and there was already an active presence of Armenian composers in Ottoman musical art by the seventeenth century. Some works in Armenian by the celebrated composer Hamparsum Limonciyan (Constantinople, 1768-1839) will be looked at in particular during the seminar, along with some of his instrumental compositions.

The selected Ensemble will be made up of five singers and five expert players of the typical instruments of cultivated Ottoman musictanbûr lute, kanûn zither, ‘ûd lute, keman or kemençe vielle and percussion. The seminar will end with a public concert of the Ensemble Bîrûn, conducted by Kudsi Erguner, on Saturday 24 March 2018.



The Fondazione Giorgio Cini is offering 10 scholarships for singers and musicians who will make up an ensemble with voice, ‘ûd short-necked lute, tanbûr long-necked lute, kanûn zither, kemençe vielle and percussion.

The scholarships will cover the enrolment fee, accommodation in a single room from 18 to 25 March (at the Centro Vittore Branca residence) and breakfasts and lunches (not dinners). Travel and urban transport costs will be paid by the participants.

To take part in the selection, candidates must send the following materials to the seminar secretary

(via email to: birun@cini.it)  by no later than 15 January 2018: 

  • Enrolment request
  • Copy of the passport or identity card
  • Detailed CV with clear reference to the candidacy sought (e.g. voice; tanbûr,);
  • 1 music recording in mp3 or mp4 format

 Candidates must be able to read music in eurocolta notation and, especially, must study in advance the repertoire that will be sent before the start of the seminar.

Only requests for admission sent in Italian or English will be accepted.

For information:

Istituto Interculturale di Studi Musicali Comparati – Fondazione Giorgio Cini onlus – Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, 30124 Venice – Email: birun@cini.it – www.cini.it  – Tel +39 041 2710357

For information on the International Vittore Branca Center and its facilities:


centrobranca@cini.it | Tel. 39 041 2710253

Enrolement request Birun 2018