Who is İlhan Usmanbaş?

Who is ilhan usmanbas
Who is ilhan usmanbas

İlhan Usmanbaş, (Date of birth 23 October 1921, Ayvalık İstanbul). He is a Turkish classical and electronic music composer and music teacher.


He started playing cello on his own at the age of twelve and carried out his musical studies with Sezai Asal while he was a student at Galatasaray High School. When he finished high school in 1941, he started his education at the Istanbul Faculty of Literature and the Municipal Conservatory. Cemal Reşit Rey's harmony and Sezai Asal's violoncello lessons, and in 1942, he transferred to the Composition Department of Ankara State Conservatory, harmony, counterpoint and composition with Hasan Ferid Alnar, composition with Ahmet Adnan Saygun, David Zirkin ' le cello, and piano with Ulvi Cemal Erkin. In 1948, he graduated from the Ankara State Conservatory. The same year he married the soprano Atıfet Usmanbaş.

The first orchestral work he wrote while still a student was "Little Night Music" (1946), inspired by Mozart. In the same year, we see Usmanbaş in new searches: He started to watch the writings and books of Sartre and Leibowitz in French, discovered Alban Berg's opera "Wozzeck" in the library and started to examine and perform the works of other contemporary composers together with Bülent Arel. It was in these years that friendship began with Ertuğrul Oğuz Fırat, a young composer who was not a student at the conservatory.

He went to America in 1952 through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and joined the founders of the Helikon Association in Ankara in the same year. In 1956, he taught music history at the Ankara State Conservatory. In 1957-58, he went to America with the Rockfeller scholarship and found the opportunity to meet many composers.

After 1960, the composer started to move away from "serial writing" and turned to new techniques. His composing adventure generally followed a line like this:

  • Until 1948, Hindemith, Bartok, Stravinsky, Rey influences.
  • Between 1950 and 60, serial techniques and their original applications.
  • Post-serial original research from 1960 to the present; aleotoric (random), free polyphony, collage, minimal applications, monorithmic, optical-graphic free values, micromodality.

Usmanbas, in parallel composition teacher for many years that continued in Turkey, he has published books and translations, conference papers and has written articles. Among the main ones are:

  • Genres and Forms in Music (translation from André Hodeir),
  • A Brief History of World Music (translation from Curt Sachs) and
  • Genres in Music


The musical note collection of İlhan Usmanbaş's works is under the certification of the Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation.

His works 

1) "Six Preludes" for piano, Ankara 1945; Titles: Toccato, Siciliano, allo conanina, duo lyriche, V, Alla Francese; Edition: Theodore Presser, Bryn Mawr, USA

2) "Little Night Music" for string orchestra, Ankara, 1946; Titles: Allegro, Adagio, Menuetto, Finale; Edition: Ankara State Conservatory, No: 16.

3) "Sonata" for violin and piano, Ankara, 1946. Titles: Allegro, Adagio, Allegro. Edition: Ankara State Conservatory, No: 31.

4) “Strings Quartet – 47”, Ankara, 1947. In Memory of Bartok: 2/4 = 88, 1/4 = 52, 3/8 = 96, theme and variations: Fromm Prize. Edition: Boosey / Hawkes, New York.

5) "Violin Concerto", Ankara 1947. For İlhan Özsoy. Titles: Allegro, Allegro molto. Violin - Piano Adaptation: Usmanbaş. Printing: Ankara State Conservatory.

6) “Symphony No: 1”, Ankara 1948. (Revised: 1978). Titles: Preludio, Allegro, Postludio, parties at the Andean Foundation. Band Recording: 1986.

7) "Kentet" for clarinet and strings quartet. Ankara 1949. Titles: Allegro, adagio, allegro. Edition: Ankara State Conservatory, No: 20.

8) "Sonata", for trumpet and piano (in Haendel style), Ankara, 1949. Titles: Allegro, Largo, Allegro. Reproduction from the composer's handwriting.

9) "Sonata" for oboe and piano. Ankara, 1949. To Ali Kemal Kaya. Titles: Invention, Chaconne, Toccata. Reproduction from the composer's handwriting.

10) "Narrator", string orchestra, string quartet, music for piano and timpani, Ankara, 1950. (not completed)

11) “Symphony No: 2” for strings, Ankara, 1950. Titles: Allegro, adagio, allegro. Reproduction from the composer's handwriting.

12) “Music for cello and piano No: 1”, Ankara 1951. Single section. Reproduction from the composer's handwriting.

13) "Music for Cello and Piano No: 2", Ankara 1951. Ankara State Conservatory Publications.

14) "Morgue Poetry" for narrator, choir and big orchestra. Ankara 1952. Poetry: Ertuğrul Oğuz Fırat. (not completed).

15) "Three musical poems" for soprano and piano. Ankara-Tanglewood, 1952. Presentation: Luigi Dallapiccola. Edition: Suvini Zerboni, Milano, 5306. (Koussewitzky Prize).

16) “3 pictures from Salvador Dali”, for 22 string instruments, Ankara 1952 - 1955. Titles: “Las Tentationes de san Antonio”, “El Sentuaro”, “Angel Explotando Annonicamente. Reproduction from the composer's handwriting.

17) "Five Studies" for violin and piano. Ankara 1952 - 1955. Radio recording; Reproduction from handwriting.

18) "Trial for Yaylılar Orchestra", Ankara, 1953.

19) “Oğuzata”, stage music, Ankara, 1955. Selahattin Batu's work.

20) “Four Japanese Estamp” for women's choir and orchestra, Ankara, 1956. (Score missing).

21) "Black Pen" for soundtrack, wind and percussion. Istanbul, 1956.

22) “Three pieces for clarinet and cello”, Ankara, 1956.

23) "Three Sonata" for clarinet and piano, 1056. Edition: Ankara State Conservatory No: 22.

24) "Blue Bird", theater music, Ankara, 1956.

25) “Three Chapters”, for two pianos, Ankara, 1957. Edition: Ankara State Conservatory.

26) “Poetry Music”, New York, 1958. For the mezzo-soprano and five instruments. (Koussewitzky Prize), Press: Ankara State Conservatory.

27) "Iki Madrigals" for mixed choir, Ankara, 1959.

28) “Un coup de dés”, for the great choir and orchestra on voices and consonants derived from the syllables of Stéphan Mallarmé's poem under this title, Ankara, 1959.

29) “Repos d'été”, for string quartets and soprano on Eluard's poem, Ankara, 1960.

30) “Eight”, Ankara, 1960.

31) “Two Pieces” for violin and cello, Ayvalık, 1960.

32) For Viola and Piano, Ankara, 1961.

33) “Shadows”, two parts for the big orchestra, Ankara, 1962.

34) “Immortal Sea Stones”, for piano, Ankara, 1965; It is dedicated to Kamuran Gündemir; Printing: Ankara State Conservatory.

35) "Investigation", one episode for piano. Ankara, 1965. Edition: Ankara State Conservatory.

36) "Blue Triangle", one section for oboe, Ankara; 1965. Edition: Ankara State Conservatory.

37) “… that they are alone…”, single section for solo violin, Ankara, 1965-68; Dedicated to Suna Kan; Radio Recording: 1968.

38) “Jumping into the Space”, Single section for violin solo with flute, English horn, double bass and piano, Ankara, 1965-66; Wieniawsky Composition Competition First Prize, Ponzan, Poland; Edition: Polomya State Music Streams as a violin and piano adaptation.

39) “Section” for the big orchestra, Ankara, 1965-66; "In the Name of the War of Independence"; TRT order; radio recording: Presidential Symphony Orchestra conducted by GE Lessing.

40) “12 Small Pieces”, compilations of children's theater plays, for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, violin and percussions, Ankara 1967; Printing: Ankara State Conservatory.

41) "Shattered Sinfonietta" for orchestra consisting of various instruments. Ankara, 1967-68; Ertuğrul Oğuz to Fırat; first voiceover: Utrecht, Netherlands, 1980; TRT order; Partitions and parties are TRT certified.

42) “Raslamsals I, II, III, for trumpet, piano, violin and double bass, Ankara, 1967; First performed with the choreography of Şebnem Aksan: Istanbul, 1977.

43) “Raslams IV, V, VI, for vibraphone, alto saxophone, double bass and percussion, Ankara 1968, first performance: Ankara, 1993, Moscow New Music Ensemble.

44) “Raslamsal, Vc-Pf I, II”, for cello and piano, Ankara, 1968; First voice acting Ankara, 1993, Members of the Moscow New Music Ensemble.

45) “Format / You (I, II, III)”, for piano, Ankara 1968: first vocalization, Ankara, 1971, Kamuran Gündemir.

46) “Kaynak”, open form for piano solo, eight cello, four double bass, Ankara, 1968.

47) "Music for ballet", for orchestra consisting of various instruments, Ankara, 1968; Geneva Ballet Music Competition Award (1969); Its first staging; Geneva, 1971; Senogrophy: Jean-Marie Sosso; first performance in Turkey: Ankara State Opera and Ballet, 1974; Choreographer: Duygu Aykal.

48) “Freedoms”, for choir, percussionists and director, Ankara 1970.

49) “Şenlikname”, for five solo, female choir, harp, cymbal type percussion and drum type percussion, on İlhan Berk's poem of the same name; Dedicated to Necil Kazım Akses, Ankara, 1970.

50) “A Lookless Cat Kara”, for voice and piano, Ankara, 1970; On Ece Ayhan's poem of the same name; first voiceover; Istanbul, 1977, Mesut İktu and Metin Öğüt; Printing: Ankara State Conservatory.

51) “Kareler”, for voices, speakers, choir and instrument ensemble, Ankara, 1970; On Behçet Necatigil's bundle of poems of the same name.

52) “Yaylı Dördül '70”, Ankara, 1970. To Faruk Güvenç; first voiceover: Yücelen quartet, Ankara, 1973.

53) “4 easy 12-tone pieces”, for piano, Ankara, 1970; To Ulvi Cemal Erkin; first voice acting: Kamuran Gündemir, Ankara, 1973.

54) “Address to the Youth”, for the orchestra and two speakers on Atatürk's “Address to the Youth”, Ankara, 1973. first performance: Presidential Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Hikmet Şimşek, 1974; Order of the Ministry of Culture.

55) “Devr-i Kebir”, for percussion sextet, Ankara, 1974; First performance: Istanbul Festival, Fink Percussion Six, 1975; Edition: Edition Simrock, Hamburg. Use as ballet: Japan, 1993, Choreography: Dilek Evgin.

56) “FI-75” for solo flute, İstanbul'1975; First voice acting: Mükerrem Berk, 1975.

57) "Bass Clarinet X Bass Clarinet", tape-tape baslarnet, Istanbul, 1976; To Harry Sparnaay; first voiceover: H. Sparnaay, The Netherlands, 1979.

58) “… where do the clouds go?”, For ballet music, four beating instruments and two oboes, Ayvalık-Ankara, 1977; first performance: Ankara State Opera and Ballet, choreographer: Duygu Aykal; Partition: At the Ankara State Opera and Ballet.

59) “Saxophone Quartet”, Istanbul, 1977-78; For Het Rinjmond Saxophone Kwartet; first performance: Evanston, USA, 1980. The first performance in Turkey: Istanbul Saxophone Quartet Festival Rinjmond; Partition TRT Music Office.

60) “Symphony No: 3”, for the big orchestra, 7 parts, Istanbul, 1979; first performance: (first 5 episodes) Presidential Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gürer Aykal, Ankara, 1980. TRT order, score at TRT Music Office; international voice acting: Danish Radio Orchestra conducted by Arturo Tamaya. Presentation: Atıfet Usmanbaş.

61) “Monoritmica” for the clarinet quartet, Istanbul, 1980; To Adnan Saygun; For Het Nederlands clarinet Kwartet; first performance: Het Nederlands Clarinet Quartet, Utrecht, 1981.

62) "Peace at home, peace in the world", ballet music for the big orchestra, Istanbul, 1981; First performance: Members of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the composer, Ankara Radio Studio, 1982.

63) “Saxmarim” for saxophone and marimaphone, Istanbul, 1982-85; For Duo Contemporaine; first voice acting: Duo Contemporaiene, Istanbul, 1987.

64) “Partita (alcoarci)” for harpsichord, Istanbul, 1983-85; titles: Allemande, Corrente, Aria, Ciacona; For the year of Bach; first voice acting: Leyla Pınar, Istanbul, 1991.

65) “Gilgamesh”, for stage music, choir and percussions on Orhan Asena's play, Istanbul, 1983. first performed in Istanbul, 1983, director: Raik Alnıaçık.

66) “Concert Aria” for the harp and strings orchestra, Istanbul, 1983; Order of İnönü Foundation, in memory of İnönü, for Sevin Berk; first performance: 1985, Sevin Berk and TRT Chamber Orchestra; parties are certified by the Andean Foundation.

67) “Partita per Violino Solo”, for solo violin, Istanbul 1984-85; titles: Allemande, Corrente, Aria, Giga; For the year of Bach.

68) “Partita per Violoncello Solo”, for solo cello, Istanbul, 1985; Titles: Allemande, Corrente, Aria, Ciacona.

69) “Viva la Musica”, three trumpets, two parts for percussion and strings, Ayvalık-İstanbul, 1986. first performance: 3. Viva Concert, Bayerischer Raundfunk. Directed by: Hikmet Şimşek, Münich, 1987.

70) “Lines”, graphic music for piano, guitar, percussion, Istanbul, 1086; first voice acting: Grup AMM, Istanbul, 1986.

71) “Perpentuum Immobile-Perpetuum Mobile”, two parts for symphonic blown and percussion, Istanbul, 1988; Betin to Güneş; first voice acting: Cologne, 1992.

72) “Partita” for solo viola, Istanbul, 1989; Arrangement from partita for solo cello.

73) “Solo Piano for 12 instruments”, Istanbul, 1990 - 1992.

74) “Trio di tre soli”, one section for violin, Ayvalık, 1990.

75) "Tropic", one part for violin, viola and cello. Ayvalık, 1991; first voice acting: Ankara New Music Festival, Moscow New Music Ensemble, 1993.

76) “Lines and Points”, for harp, Istanbul, 1992; First voice acting for İpek Mine Tongur: Istanbul, 1992.

77) “Music for Wind and Strings”, Istanbul, 1994.

78) "Music for Piano" to Cengiz Tanç. Istanbul, 1994.

79) "Strings Quartet", Istanbul, 1994.

80) “Music for Cello” in memory of Lutoslavski. Istanbul, 1994

81) “Music for Clarinet and Piano”, Istanbul, 1994.

82) “Music for Violin and Piano”, Istanbul, 1994.

83) “Music for Altosaxophone and Marimba”, Istanbul, 1995.

84) “Trio” for piano, violin and cello, Istanbul, 1995.

85) “Music for the Great Orchestra”, in memory of Uğur Mumcu, 1996.

86) “Music for String Dördül”, 1996.

87) “Music for Cello”, 1997.

88) “Music for Two Cello”, 1997.

His Music for Children's Games 

1) “Keloğlan”, Ankara State Theater, 1949.

2) "Boy Crying with a Smiling Girl", Radio play, 1955.

3) "Blue Bird", Ankara State Theater, 1956.

4) “Pollyanna”, Ankara State Theater, 1956.

5) "Stork Sultan", Ankara State Theater, 1959.

6) "Mad Dana", radio play, 1965.

7) "Power of Goodness", radio play, 1965.

8) "Sleeping Beauty", radio play, 1966.

9) "Pied Piper of Fareli Village", radio play, 1966.

10) "Thief", radio play, 1966.

11) "Take Your Rose, Give Your Rose", radio play, 1967.

12) Four children's pieces.

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