New call for applications: Ottoman Music Seminar

Bîrûn. Ottoman Music Workshops

Director: Kudsi Erguner


Greek Composers in Ottoman Classical Music

14-19 March 2016
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice

Call for applications for 6 scholarships

Application deadline: 1 February 2016


From 14 to 19 March 2016, the Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, is holding the fifth edition of Bîrûn, a series of advanced workshops on Ottoman classical music, directed by Kudsi Erguner, and addressed to professional or semi-professional musicians.

Based on the modal system of the maqâm, Ottoman classical music has been enhanced by the contributions of Turkish, Arab, Persian, Greek, Jewish and Armenian composers who all flourished in the territories of the empire. Considering Ottoman classical music as an “ethnic”, regional or national tradition would be misleading, since it represents a taste and an art shared beyond cultures of provenance in much the same way as European classical music. The aesthetics of Ottoman music is the result of influences that range from Byzantium to the Middle East, Central Asia and India.

The workshop will focus on works by Greek composers, such as: Zaharya (d. 1740), Petros “Lampadarios” (c. 1730-1778), Vasilaki Efendi (1845-1907), and Corci, Nikolaki or Yorgi, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and composed in the various genres and forms of Ottoman classical music. 

The workshop will end with a public concert performed by the Bîrûn ensemble, conducted by Kudsi Erguner.



The Fondazione Giorgio Cini is offering six scholarships for singers and instrumentalists who will then form an ensemble at the workshop. Instruments particularly requested are: ney (flute), ‘ûd (short-necked lute), tanbûr (long-necked lute), kanûn (plucked box zither), kemençe (bowed box-shaped lute) or yayli tanbûr (bowed long-necked lute) and percussions – def or bender (frame drums), zarb (goblet drum) and kudûm (drums).

The scholarships will cover the enrolment fee, accommodation (in the Vittore Branca Center Residence ), lunches (but not dinners) and travelling expenses (in economy class up to a maximum of 400 euros).

To apply for selection, candidates must send the following material to the workshop secretary by email ( before 1 February 2016:

  • CV with details clearly referring to the type of instrument applied for (e.g.: voice; ney; etc.);
  • 1 recording in mp3 format of the piece entitled “Dôme”, composed by Kudsi Erguner; download “Dôme” here
  • 1 improvisation (taqsîm) including various modulations of different maqâm as in the downloaded piece. 

Candidates are required to be able to read European art music notation and to study the proposed repertoire beforehand; they will receive it in good time before the beginning of the workshop.


NB each file must bear the first name and surname of the candidate.

Scholarship winners and auditors* will be chosen by Kudsi Erguner.

The results of the selection will be communicated to all candidates by email and published on

As in previous editions, if the quality of the recordings are deemed to be of suitably high standard, a CD will be produced with the Nota Edizioni label.

*Candidates who are selected but not assigned a scholarship can take part in the workshop as auditors and can stay at the Vittore Branca Center Residence at their own expense (depending on the availability of rooms).

Info: – Tel. +39 0412710357