Yüksel Koptagel

Concert pianist and composer, was born in 1931, Istanbul, Turkey. She was the grand daughter of general Osman Nuri Koptagel, an eminent commander of the Turkish War of independence. She gave her first concerts when she was six years old and studied the piano, theory and composition in Istanbul with Cemal Resit Rey, and then in Madrid and Paris with Joaquin Rodrigo, Jose Cubiles, Lazare Levy, Tony Aubin, and Alexandre Tansmann. She obtained the Diploma Superieur of the Paris conservatoire with several prizes and mentions for composition and the piano. She participated in various music festivals including the Santiago festival in 1959 for Spanish music interpretation and composition and has given numerous recitals and appeared as a soloist with many international orchestras. She is a member of the jury of the Schola Cantorum, Ecole Superieur de Musique, and Paris and of the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra.

Füsun Köksal

Composer of contemporary classical music, was born in 1973, Bursa, Turkey. Her awards include, Third Prize at the Sixth Concourse International de Composition Henri Dutilleux (2008), Second prize at the Third International Deutsche-Polnische Kompositions Wettbewerb, Köln (1998), AscapPlus Awards (2008,2009), SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission Regional Prize (2006, 2007, 2008). Kösal has recently been nominated for the Third International Pablo Casals Composition Prize in France (2009). Köksal has a Bachelor degree in Theory-Composition from Bilkent University-Ankara, and studied composition with Krzysztof Meyer and theory with Johannes Schild, earning a Diplom Musikerin from the Hochschule für Musik Köln. In 2005, she received a “Century Fellowship” from the University of Chicago, where she has studied composition with Marta Ptaszynska and Shulamit Ran. She is currently a PhD candidate in composition and theory at The University of Chicago.

Catherine Kontz

(b. 1976) is a London-based composer from Luxembourg. As part of her PhD in Composition at Goldsmiths College, University of London, she single-handedly produced and directed her mime-opera, MiE, for a set of six sold-out performances at The Space, London in 2006.
She has since then worked extensively within the world of contemporary opera as well as writing works for performers such as Monica Germino, Véronique Nosbaum, Danny Standing, Kate Ryder, Rhodri Davies, Henri Växby, BJ Cole and Ensemble Lucilin. Catherine has been commissioned for new works by Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Rational Rec/London, Chetham’s School of Music, Centre National de L’Audiovisuel/Luxembourg and Banque centrale du Luxembourg. In collaboration with director Roswitha Gerlitz and with long-term creative partners in DrawnForth Opera Ellan Parry and Alexia Anastasiadis, her work is regularly programmed for Tête-à-Tête opera festival at Riverside Studios. Her music has also been performed extensively throughout Europe. She currently works on a new opera commission for Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg to premier in 2013.