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Kudsi Ergüner

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Along with his brother, Suleyman, Kudsi Erguner is one of the top players of the ney, a Turkish reed flute. In addition to his own recordings, Erguner has performed with Peter Gabriel, Maurice Bejart, Peter Brook, Georges Aperghis, Didier Lockwood, and Michel Portal. His compositions and collaborations have been heard in the films The Last Temptation of Christ and Meetings with Remarkable Men, theater piece and film Mahabharata, and the ballets Le Voyage Nocturne and Neva. Erguner's band, the Kudsi Erguner Ensemble, was formed in 1988, as Fasi, with the goal of preserving the classical music of the 16th century Ottomon Empire. Erguner hails from a musical family. His father, Ulvi Erguner, and grandfather, Suleyman Erguner, were well-known players of the ney. In addition to what he learned from his father and grandfather, Erguner learned from the older musicians who often visited his childhood home. Erguner's knowledge of Turkish classical music was enhanced through his studies of the Sufi brotherhoods. Launching his musical career in 1969 as a member of the Istanbul Radio Orchestra, Erguner moved to Paris six years later to study architecture and musicology.The following year, he worked on Peter Brook's movie Meetings with Remarkable Men, filmed on location in Afghanistan. Erguner later renewed his collaboration with Brook, composing and performing the score for a theater piece and film Mahabharata. After conducting research in Turkey through a grant from UNESCO in 1980, Erguner returned to Paris and founded Mevlani, an institute for the study of the classical music and teachings of the Sufis. Between 1986 and 1987, Erguner spent lengthy periods in Pakistan recording and documenting traditional music for Radio France and France Musique. In late 1987, Erguner performed a concert of Ottoman music at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In 1988, Erguner collaborated with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack of The Last Temptation of Christ. The same year, he recorded an album with his brother, The Mystic Flutes of Sufi, featuring preludes to ceremonies of the Whirling Dervishes. Kudsi and Suleyman Ergenur renewed their partnership in 1990, releasing a second album together, Sufi Music of Turkey. The following year, Erguner released three albums -- Turquie: Musique Soufi with Ilahi and Nefes N. Uzel, Oriental Dreams with Mahmoud Tebrizizadeh, and, together with the Kudsi Erguner Ensemble, was one of several artists featured on Gazel: Classical Sufi Music of the Ottomon Empire. In 1997, Erguner joined with Derya Turkan to record Chemins. Two years later, he formed the Kudsi Erguner Sufi-Jazz Project, with Christof Lauer, Michel Godard, and Marc Nauseef, and recorded Ottomania. ~ Craig Harris

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February 4, 1952 in Istanbul, Turkey

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s