About 

As a composer, guitarist, and scholar, Can Bilir’s music is multifaceted. In his interdisciplinary works, he focuses on contemporary soundscapes, audio production and design, and music in the Anthropocene, as well as qualia and affect as embodied through complex pitch perceptions and timbre. His works have been performed in myriad geographies including the US, Europe, West Asia, and Southeast Asia. He has been commissioned for Grammy winning and nominated musicians such as the Aizuri Quartet with Kinan Azmeh for the MET in New York (2018), Ariana Kim for the CCA Biennial in Italy and NY (2016 – 2017), and JACK Quartet (2016). He also participated in European music festivals as a MusMa composer with I Solisti del Vento (2014 – 2016); commissioned for Xak Bjerken and Rachel Calloway with critically acclaimed poet Ishion Hutchinson, and created for numerous other projects.

Dr. Bilir completed his DMA at Cornell University in 2019, where he worked as a lecturer, the assistant conductor of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, a graduate teaching assistant for the theory track, and the assistant of the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center. He has additionally earned an MFA from Cornell University and an MM in composition from Bilkent University. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for his graduate studies in the US. His work was further shaped through his experiences at Harvard University (2017 – 2018), with the IRCAM/Eastman School of Music new music theory program in Paris (2017), and his self–conducted research in France and Germany (2017). His principle mentors have been Kevin Ernste, Roberto Sierra, Chaya Czernowin, Steve Stucky, Roger Moseley, Derk Pereboom, Tolga Yayalar, Turgut Pogun, Kagan Korad, and Kursad Terci. Dr. Bilir additionally holds a BM in guitar from Bilkent University. He performs with electric and nylon string guitars, self-built instruments, and readymade objects, and is interested in experimental music, rock, and partimenti.

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Education

 

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts),  Cornell University, (2019) 

Composition concentration & Musicology concentration
Dissertation: Bilir, Canbekir. “The Composer’s Mind Through the Looking Glass: An Analysis of Pitch-centricity in Zaide/Adama” ProQuest Order No. 13881788, Cornell University, 2019.

Permanent Link: https://doi.org/10.7298/dg79-8z81

MFA (Master of Fine Arts), Cornell University (2017) Fulbright Scholar (2014- 2016)


MM (Master of Music), Bilkent University (2014) Composition


BM (Bachelor of Music), Bilkent University (2010) Classical Guitar


Exchange Scholar, Harvard University (2017-2018) Composition

Publications

 

MUSIC SCORES

(G.er)i)l.)e)me) for flute, clarinet, percussion, and harp

Contemporary Music Score Collection UCLA powered by California Digital Library at the University of California, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope.

Bilir, C. (2020). (G.er)i)l.)e)me). UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2h18q951

 

Fallen, String Quartet III

Contemporary Music Score Collection UCLA powered by California Digital Library at the University

of California, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope.

Bilir, C. (2020). Fallen. UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4v1579hf

 

KATIK for orchestra

Contemporary Music Score Collection UCLA powered by California Digital Library at the University

of California, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope.

Bilir, C. (2020). Katik. UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6sd2w84q

Catalog of Species for soprano, clarinet, and piano

Contemporary Music Score Collection UCLA powered by California Digital Library at the University

of California in collaboration with Kaleidoscope.

Bilir, C. (2020). Catalog of Species. UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7081r0x6

Ivan The Terrible for guitar solo
on a theme composed by Sergei Prokofiev for Sergei Eisenstein’s film with the
same name. “Yildiz Technical University Gorsel Yayinlar No:3 Polifonik Seri No:2, Istanbul. YTU Kutuphane ve Dokumantasyon Merkezi Sayi: YTU, ST– 0855, ISBN 978 – 975 – 461 – 486 – 2, 2012“

RECORDINGS

(scheduled) Ephemeral Qualia for amplified violin
Ada Muzik Co. collaborative album project, commission of Ellen Jewett and Klasik Keyifler for a work for violin solo. Project is in studio recording phase, album release date is scheduled to Spring 2021

Ivan the Terrible for solo guitar
on a theme composed by Sergei Prokofiev for Sergei Eisenstein’s film with the same name, performed by Kazim Cokogullu, CAGSAV, barcode 8680202661074, 2013

ARTICLES

Peer-Reviewed Paper “MC Rhetoric in Beethoven Symphonies.”
Porte Akademik Journal: Research on Music and Dance. Fall 2014, 10 – 74 – 87. SSN: 2146 – 2453, Accession Number: 2014 – 71682, RILM secondary journal

Scholarships and Fellowships

 

Sage Fellowship

 for 2017–2018 academic year research the Department of Music at Harvard University, Cornell University, Fall 2017.

Fulbright Scholarship

Fulbright Foreign Student Program for graduate studies in the US, Fall 2014 – Spring 2016. One of thirty-six grantees worldwide in music fields including composition, theory, musicology, and conducting.

Sage Fellowship

Cornell University, Fall 2014 – Spring 2015


Merit Scholarship

for graduate studies in composition, Bilkent University Faculty of Music and

Performing Arts, Fall 2012 – Spring 2014


Talent-based Scholarship

for undergraduate studies in classical guitar, Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Fall 2005 – Spring 2010

Talent-based Scholarship

for music preparatory high school studies in classical guitar, Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Fall 2002 – Spring 2005

Grants

 

Conference Travel Grant, Graduate School, Cornell University, 2019
For paper presentation, installation, and performance in (Re)Making Memory, Southeast Asian Studies Conference at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Conference Travel Grant, Graduate School, Cornell University, 2018
For paper presentation at the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting and Conference at UCLA; panel “Beyond the Human Psyche: New and Critical Approaches to Violence and Trauma in Global Anglophone Literatures”

Research Travel Grant, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University, 2017 Research included participation in the Eastman School of Music Theory Course in Paris led by Professor Robert Hasegawa, attendance at IRCAM Manifeste, self-conducted research in IRCAM facilities on new music analysis, and research on Chaya Czernowin’s operas in Paris and Freiburg.

Research Travel Grant, Graduate School, Cornell University, 2017
*See above: same research topics with the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Research Travel Grant

Conference Travel Grant, Graduate School, Cornell University, 2015
For IMPULS academy, participation and performance in Austria

 

Performance / Competition Travel Grant, Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, 2013 For participation in Iron Composer Composition Competition in Berea, OH

Sponsorship, Bilkent University Alumni Association, 2012


For travel, tuition, and fees for Klasik Keyifler Composers Cauldron Young Composers Workshop and Academy in Cappadocia, Turkey

Selected Awards and Nominations

 

Nominee, Rapee Sagarik Composition Prize, among one of the six finalists out of 128 composers, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand, 2019.

Otto R. Stahl Memorial Award for MFA Thesis Piece Sinfonietta, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2016.

 

Grand Prize for Tuscaloosa New Music Collective Call for Scores, Tuscaloosa, AL, 2014.
 

2nd Prize, Iron Composer Composition Competition, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH, 2013.

Selected as a composer for European Broadcasting Festival “MusMA V” by SCA Music Foundation; MusMA Head Office in Brussels, with support of the EBU, EFA, and European Union, 2013.

1st Prize, Counterpoint- Italy Composition Competition, New York, NY & Lucca, Italy, 2012.


3rd Prize, Mersin International Music Festival Composition Competition, Mersin, Turkey, 2012.


Finalist, Besom - Ankara Kızılay Rotary Club National Piano Composition Competition, Ankara, Turkey, 2010.

 

Composer for the 40 Years Project of TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) Radio, selected for broadcasting, Ankara, Turkey, 2009.


3rd Prize, Yildiz Technical University 2nd Classical Guitar Composition Competition, Istanbul, Turkey,

 

2009. 3rd Prize, Yildiz Technical University 3rd Classical Guitar Performance Competition, Istanbul, Turkey, 2005.

Notable Commissions and Ensembles Worked with

the Metropolitan Museum of Art Residency with Aizuri Quartet with Kinan Azmeh

commission for clarinet and string quartet, the MET Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, New York, NY, June 2018; World Café Live Philadelphia, PA, May 2018

JACK Quartet

Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2016

Ariana Kim and Periscope for Arts, (Amie Weiss and Nicola Barbieri)

commission for two string trios, CCA (Cornell Council for Arts) Biennial in Brescia, Italy and Ithaca, NY, 2016 – 2017

Sei Solo Project by Klasik Keyifler Festival & Ellen Jewett

commission for a work for violin solo for Kerem Tuncer, Istanbul & Cappadocia, Turkey, April 2020 (also see: Publications/recordings)

Grey Matter Ensemble

MACM Hall, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand, August 9, 2019

 

TACETi Ensemble

Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Thailand, July 7, 2019


Cornell Symphony Orchestra with Adrian Slywotzky

Bailey Hall, Cornell University, April 28, 2019

 

Ensemble IPSE

Arete Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, December 4, 2018

Momenta Quartet with Cornell Gamelan Ensemble,

commission for a String Quartet and Javanese Gamelan Ensemble, Cornell University, Barnes Hall, Ithaca, NY, November 6 & 7, 2018


Ensemble sTEM

A song cycle based on spectrogram analysis of samples from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library; animal sound archive, Cornell University, Barnes Hall and Carriage House, Ithaca, NY, 2017, and Church of the Blessed Sacrament, New York, NY

 

Distractfold Ensemble

Harvard University Paine Hall, Cambridge, MA, 2018


Omnibus Ensemble 

ICM (Intercultural Music Conference and Concerts), Samsun, Turkey, 2018

 

Ensemble Adapter

Harvard University, Paine Hall, Cambridge, MA, 2017

Rachel Colloway and Xak Bjerken in collaboration with Ishion Hutchinson

on Dr. Hutchinson's poem “Doris at the River” from his book Far District, Cornell University, Barnes Hall, Ithaca, NY, 2017

Continuum Ensemble NY

by Juilliard School Professor of music Joel Sachs Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2016

Cornell Festival Chamber Orchestra with Kisun Sung

Barnes Hall, Ithaca NY, 2016

Ensemble X with Chris Kim

Ford Hall, Ithaca College, Concert Series Season Opening, Ithaca, NY, 2015

Ankara University Soloists

at Klasik Keyifler Festival, Eleni Church, Cappadocia, 2012 and 2015
 

Joseph Prusch with Ithaca New Music Collective 

Carriage House, Ithaca, NY, 2015
 

NY New Music Ensemble

in June in Buffalo, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 2015

 

Ossia New Music Ensemble 

Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2015
 

Turkey Guitar Meeting by Prof. Kagan Korad

Special Project, for commission for guitar quintet, electronics and visuals , Turkey Guitar Convention, Bilkent, 2015

 

Ernst Rombout

for Prof. Rombout’s Oboe Class, IMPULS Academy at die Kunstuniversitat, Graz, Austria, 2014


Tuscaloosa New Music Collective

Tuscaloosa, AL, 2014

Linda Wetherill

Composer’s Voice Festival, Jan Hus Church, New York, NY, 2013


I Solisti del Vento

for MUSMA V: for Festival van Vlaanderen – Klarafestival, Festival de Wallonie, Culturescapes, International Ankara Music Festival, Belgium, Italy, and Turkey, 2013 – 2014

 

Safa Yeprem with Kennesaw State University Guitar Department Quartet

Bailey Performance Center, Atlanta

GA, 2011–2012

Turkish Radio and Television Corporation Polyphonic Choir

(Composer for the Project 40th Years of TRT), TRT Radio Studios, Ankara Turkey 2010
 

Motion Picture

title sequence for original historical documentary tv program “Vizyoner” at ATA TV, commissioned by Esra Inal Karakaya, Ankara Turkey 2007–2008

Conference Presentations

 

(scheduled) Paper presentation

“Pitch, Schematism, and Isomorphism in Zaïde /Adama”

European Music Analysis Conference (EuroMAC 10), Tchaikovsky Conservatory Moscow, Russia. scheduled to September 2021.

Paper presentation

“Smelling the Sound: Attention and Centricity in Cross-modal Compositional Contexts and Central Anatolian Islamic Rituals”

Association of Asian Studies Conference, panel “Returns: Rituals of Remembrance Genealogies of Artistic Practice in Asia,” July 1 – 4, 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

Performance, installation, and paper presentation 

“Decolonizing Emotion in Creative Processes: Nostalgia 30-note hand crank music box”

commission for (Re)Making Memory, Southeast Asian Studies Conference at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 6, 2019

Paper presentation

“Listening to the Resonance of Apparitions: Zaide/Adama by Mozart/Czernowin” American Comparative Literature Association 2018 Annual Meeting, panel “Beyond the Human Psyche: New and Critical Approaches to Violence and Trauma in Global Anglophone Literatures” at University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2018

Paper presentation

“MC Rhetoric in Beethoven Symphonies”

Istanbul Technical University International Music and Theory Symposium, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013

Teaching

 


Lecturer, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Bilkent University

 

Spring 2021

*Studio Band (New Course Offering)

*MSC 214 Advanced Orchestration I

*MSC 114 Fundamentals of Orchestration

*MSC 112 Composition II *Composition: Individual Music Studies I

 

(*courses that are projected and will be offered in Spring)

 

Fall 2020

MSC 213 Advanced Orchestration I: Tracing Eco–Cosmopolitanism in 18th

Century Orchestral Timbre

MSC 113 Techniques of Notation and Instrumentation


Composition: Individual Music Studies I

Spring 2020

MSC 214 Advanced Orchestration II: Scoring for Stage, Film, and Games
MSC 114 Fundamentals of Orchestration: Mozart’s Orchestral Technique

in 1778–1781

Composition: Individual Music Studies II

Fall 2019

MSC 213 Advanced Orchestration I
MSC 113 Techniques of Notation and Instrumentation

Composition: Individual Music Studies I

 

Lecturer, Department of Music, Cornell University

 

Fall 2015

 

Music 3103 Musicianship III

 

 

Lecturer, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Bilkent University

Spring 2014

MSC 904 Ear Training II
MSC 912 Individual Music Studies: Composition for Non-Majors

Tonal Harmony, Bilkent Music Preparatory High School

Fall 2013

 

MSC 903 Ear Training I
MSC 911 Individual Music Studies: Composition for Non-Majors

Fall 2004 – Spring 2006

 

Individual Music Studies: Classical Guitar for Non-Majors
(advised by Prof. Kursad Terci undergraduate level, no code available due to curriculum revision, equivalent to MSC 911 and 912 Individual Music Studies)

Assistant Conductor, Department of Music, Cornell University

Spring 2016

 

Assistant Conductor for the Cornell Symphony Orchestra

with conductor Kisun Sung, and Graduate Teaching Assistant for Music 3621.

Responsibilities included teaching and conducting orchestral sectionals; orchestral administration, financing, and organization; and management of publicity materials, program notes, and webcasting.

 

 

 

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Music, Cornell University

Spring 2019

Music 3621, Orchestra with conductor Adrian Slywotzky
Responsibilities included a composition commission, rehearsing, tutoring in subjects of orchestral repertoire, program notes, and webcasting.

Fall 2018

Music 2101, Theory Materials and Techniques 1

with Professor Roger Moseley Subjects included Fuxian Counterpoint and Galant Schemata
(a program in Cornell University Active Learning Initiative)

Spring 2017

Music 2102, Theory Materials and Techniques 2

with Professor Roger Moseley Subjects included Neo-Riemannian Theory
(a program in Cornell University Active Learning Initiative)

Fall 2016

Music 1421, Introduction to Computer Music

with Professor Kevin Ernste
Subjects included practical and theoretical exploration of signal processing, Max MSP, Pure Data, Ableton Live, Reason, Arduino coding, recording, editing, and mixing.

Fall 2015

Music 3101, Tonal Theory III with Professor Roger Moseley
Responsibilities included designing and teaching weekly sections, tutoring, and grading. (a program in Cornell University Active Learning Initiative)

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Bilkent University

Fall 2012 – Fall 2013

Tonal Harmony, with Professor Gokce Altay

(primarily for Bilkent Music Preparatory High School music program, and additional undergraduate level support)
Responsibilities included teaching weekly sections, tutoring, and grading.

Music Equipment