Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Eren Gümrükçüoglu is a composer of acoustic/electroacoustic music, a professional guitarist, a music technologist, and an educator. He attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC and studied jazz guitar. Eren received his Bachelor of Music degree in Film Scoring and Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has shared the stage with musicians such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Aydin Esen, Bob Moses, and Grammy Award winners Shirley Horn, Ruslan Sirota, Ben Williams and many more. In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles and composed, arranged and recorded music for ABC, WB and Lifetime TV networks. After his return in 2007 to Turkey, Eren worked as a studio and concert guitarist while also working as a producer on other artists’ albums. Following a performance of his orchestral arrangements in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw in 2008, he decided to return to academia and solely pursue his lifelong passion of composing music. In 2013, Eren earned his Master’s degrees in composition at Istanbul Technical University and Duke University.
Eren Gümrükçüoglu’s music dwells on the borders between diverse musical styles. As a concert music composer with a strong jazz background, he refrains from creating a crass amalgam of genres but rather incorporates the idiosyncrasies, contours, shapes, rhythms and pacings of different styles into his music. His compositions evoke the sense of spontaneity and elasticity that are central to musical development in jazz, while at the same time maintaining a rigorous approach to managing musical form and texture that is typical of much contemporary concert music. As he attempts to upend norms and provide context for diffusion of cultural barriers, Eren combines elements of Turkish folk music with the hallmarks of high-modernist concert music as well as utilizing culturally or politically charged materials to transform their meaning and broaden the scope of discussion that surrounds them.
Eren is currently a PhD candidate in music composition at Duke University where his research has focused on improvisation as a compositional tool, the dynamics of interaction between electronics and live instruments, the utilization of non-western elements in concert music, and genre divisions with a special emphasis on jazz. Performers of his music include Semiosis Quartet, Ensemble Suono Giallo, JACK Quartet, New York Polyphony, Mivos Quartet, Conrad Tao, Reuben de Lautour, Ulrich Mertin, Deviant Septet, yMusic Ensemble, Naked Drum Project, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest and many more.
Duke University - Ph.D. 2020 (expected)
Duke University - A.M. 2016
Istanbul Technical University - M.Sc. 2013
Berklee College of Music - B.M. 2004