Presentations & Teaching

Conference Presentations

The Emergence of Music as a “Profession” in Turkey

Lecture for the British Institute at Ankara, 2022

In the early 20th century, the choir’s introduction to Turkish classical music-making was seen to support broader social reforms aimed at modernizing self-Westernization. Turkish classical music choirs have since created new models of musical patronage, transmission, and sociality, as well as a new class of “professional” musician with economic power and cultural influence. Now, musicians instrumentalize the concepts “profesyonel” (“professional”) and “amatör” (“amateur”) as status markers to enforce a hierarchy that arbitrates which musicians have enough status to transmit a form of national culture. This lecture seeks to demonstrate longstanding modes of musical engagement that defy categorization within an amateur-professional dichotomy as well as how music’s professionalization serves a role within a broader nation-building project.


  • “Cultural Diplomacy Despite the State: Mobility and Agency of State and Amateur Musicians in Turkish Classical Music Choirs,” presented at the Orient-Institut Istanbul

  • “Turkish Classical Music Choirs and the Making of a Musical ‘Profession,’” presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting, Milton Keynes, UK, the British Institute at Ankara, Koç University ANAMED, and the 21st Quinquennial IMS Congress, Athens, Greece


  • “The Zildjian Cymbal: Lineages of Blood and Alloy and the Reckoning of Modern Time,” presented at the 10th International Scientific Meeting for Sound, Music, and Musical Instrument Studies, ANIMUSIC, Portugal (virtual), and the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting (virtual)

  • “A Choir of One: Virtually Transmitting Turkish Classical Music in the COVID-19 Era,” presented at Transformations of Musical Creativity in the 21st Century, Center for Advanced Studies in Music, Istanbul Technical University

  • “Producing and Transgressing the Family: State, Surveillance, Kinship and China’s Uyghurs,” invited presentation at Workshop on Contemporary Scholarship of China’s Turkic Frontier Zone, University of Washington


  • “Communities of Respect: An Ethnography of Turkish Art Music Choirs in London,” presented at Global Musics and Musical Communities, UCLA, California and at the Northeast England Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Colby College, Maine


  • “Diasporic Identities, Symbolic Production, and the Avedis Zildjian Company,” presented at Entangled Encounters: Antiquity and Modernity in Armenian Studies, Harvard University


  • “Orientalism, Regionalism, Cosmopolitanism: Musical Manifestations of Cultural Hybridity,” presented at Creating Music across Cultures in the 21st Century, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Teaching Experience and Invited Talks

  • Guest Lecturer, presented on fieldwork experiences in Ethnomusicology course led by Professor Kay K. Shelemay, Harvard University [online]

  • Guest Lecturer, Music Sociology course led by Professor Ozan Eren, MEF University, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Guest Lecturer, Music and Migration course led by Professors Kay K. Shelemay and Kate van Orden, Harvard University, [online]

  • Teaching Fellow, Critical Listening course led by Professor Kay K. Shelemay, Harvard University [online]

  • Guest Lecturer, Music Sociology course led by Professor Ozan Eren, MEF University, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Guest Lecturer, Ethnomusicology and Instrumentality courses led by Professor Frederick Stubbs, University of Massachusetts, Boston

  • Guest Lecturer, “Makam and Beyond,” invited by Professor Ted Levin, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

  • University Application Mentor, Senior Tutor, and Extracurricular and Leadership Consultant, Crimson Education (Global)

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