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ILHAN USMANBAS  

(b 1921 )

İlhan Usmanbaş, born in 1921, is the major representative of the second generation of Turkish composers of polyphonic music and one of the most influential figures for the younger generation with his depth of vision and ceaseless aspiration for newer musical expression. He studied cello and composition at Ankara State Conservatory and became a student of the prominent ‘Turkish Five’ (Saygun, Erkin, Rey, Alnar and Akses), who forged the foundations of Western music in Turkey, composing their most outstanding work in the early years of the Republic. However, Usmanbaş shifted to the movements the movements neglected by the ‘Turkish Five’: neo-classicism, twelve-tone composition, serialism, aleatoric music, and open form. As an advocate for the new, he was a pioneer of extended playing techniques in Turkish contemporary music. Through scholarships from UNESCO and The Rockefeller Foundation, he visited the USA in 1952 and 1957–58, studying composition with Luigi Dallapiccola and Milton Babbitt in Tanglewood. Throughout his life, Usmanbaş has been awarded numerous international prizes.

Role: Classical Composer 
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