Composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Claimed

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Be the first to review

Composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

About Us:

Composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol is a Grammy-nominated Turkish-American composer. CMES Harvard University fellow, jazz pianist and singer. Grammy-nominated composer and CMES Harvard University fellow (2013-15) Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2016 premiering his commissioned piece Harabat/The Intoxicated with the American Composers Orchestra. Other recent works have been heard at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall and on A Far Cry string orchestra’s recording Dreams and Prayers.

He hails from Cyprus and Turkey and is DownBeat Magazine’s September 2016 Editor’s pick, JAZZIZ’s Top 10 Critics’ Choice 2014 pick, a Jazz pianist, a multi-instrumentalist, a singer, an ethnomusicologist as well as a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory. Sanlıkol was the recipient of numerous respected awards including The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Grant twice in 2016 and 2020 as well as the New Music USA Project Grant in 2020 and has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice. The Boston Globe noted that Sanlıkol’s “music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world”, “…and he (Sanlıkol) is another who could play a decisive role in music’s future in the world.”

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Music:

A musical polymath, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol has composed for, performed, and toured with international stars and ensembles such as Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Cobham, Esperanza Spalding, Gil Goldstein, Antonio Sanchez, Anat Cohen, Tiger Okoshi, The Boston Camerata, The Boston Cello Quartet, A Far Cry string orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Okay Temiz, Erkan Oğur, and Birol Yayla. Sanlıkol’s unique blend of jazz composition and Turkish music has been praised by the Boston Globe as “a true fusion of jazz and folkloric Turkish language and colors.” Sanlıkol pairs Turkish instruments such as zurna (double-reed wind), ney (end-blown flute), kös (large kettledrums), and neck are (small kettledrums) with the jazz orchestra/combo to perform his Turkish music-influenced compositions, in which Turkish makam (mode) and usul (rhythmic cycles) are intertwined with modern jazz as well as specifically film noir influenced music.

On the other hand, his “coffeehouse opera”, entitled Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül The Black Eunuch, which has been the recipient of the Paul R. Judy Center grant at Eastman School of Music in 2015, bridges the musical cultures of opera house and coffeehouse, Baroque Italy and Ottoman Turkey.


Sanlıkol studied western classical piano with his mother Fethiye Sanlıkol and started giving piano recitals as early as age five. Later on, he studied with the internationally acclaimed Turkish composer/pianist Aydın Esen and won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee Sanlıkol studied jazz composition with accomplished composers like Herb Pomeroy and Ken Pullig. After studying with composers George Russell, Bob Brookmeyer, and Lee Hyla, in the year 2004 Sanlıkol completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition. During his doctoral studies, Sanlıkol also focused on Turkish music and ethnomusicology as a result of which he helped find the organization DÜNYA based in Boston, Massachusetts. Sanlıkol is the president of DÜNYA, a musicians’ collective dedicated to contemporary presentations of Turkish traditions, alone and in interaction with other world traditions, through musical performance, publication, and educational activities. Since its founding Sanlıkol has produced, performed, and delivered talks at over two hundred DÜNYA events.


  • South Arts Jazz Road Creative Residency Grant, 2021
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Traditional Artist Apprenticeships Master Artist, 2021 & 2022
  • New Music USA Project Grant, 2020
  • The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program Grant, 2020
  • Live Arts Boston Grant from The Boston Foundation, 2020
  • The American Turkish Society Moon & Stars Project Grant, 2020
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship Finalist, 2019
  • Live Arts Boston Grant from The Boston Foundation, 2019
  • TEDx Talk, 2019
  • Live Arts Boston Grant from The Boston Foundation, 2018
  • Creative City Grant from New England England Foundation for the Arts, 2017
  • The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Performance Program Grant, 2016
  • Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research Grant from Eastman School of Music, 2015
  • Grammy award nomination with A Far Cry string orchestra, 2014
  • Associate of the Music Department designation at Harvard University, 2013
  • Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art granted by Turkish Cultural Foundation, 2012
  • Clare Fischer Award from the Professional Writing Division of Berklee College of Music, 1997


Contact Us:

Phone: 617 993 3350


Website: Click here!

Turkishbazaar: Click here!

Social Media


The information is taken from this website.  Click Here!