Pianist, composer, teacher, Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu is above all an incredibly endearing musician with an outstanding artistic persona.
Noticed at a young age for his creativity and exceptional instrumental talent, he was admitted at the age of 11 in the class of the eminent teacher Kamuran Gündemir at the Ankara Conservatoire. Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu gave his first concerts immediately in his first year, successfully mixing the works of great masters with his first trials as a composer.
Three years later, he was admitted to the bachelor’s programme and was given the opportunity to join the class of Ilhan Baran, a composer who studied in Paris under Henri Dutilleux who would soon become his mentor. Baran taught him composition and musical theory in the broad sense of the term with meticulousness and passion.
With his bachelor’s diploma under his belt from the Ankara Conservatoire at the age of 18, Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu moved to Belgium to pursue his double training with Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden (piano) and Jacqueline Fontyn (composition) at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. Two years later, he was accepted as a pianist at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, graduating in 1992 with a degree in virtuosity with great distinction.
Always anxious to better himself, he began a doctorate at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington (United States) with Edward Auer (piano) and Donald Freund (composition).
During all his years of study, Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu distinguished himself above all as a pianist (European Piano Competition in 1991, Nany Philippart Competition in 1992, Belgian Vocation Foundation in 1995, J. and W. Pelemans Award from the Belgian Union of Composers distinguishing his contribution to dissemination of the national repertoire), but starting in 1993, he also began to be recognised as a composer: his ‘Six Preludes’ for piano earned him the Arthur De Greef Award of the Belgian Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Letters and Sciences and ‘Contact’ for flute and piano led him to win the musical creation cup of the Academy of Lutèce in Paris.
In 1996, he won the Sabam Award for ‘Contact 2’ at the competition for chamber-music concerts and in 2000 he received the André Chevillion-Yvonne Bonnaud Award from the Fondation de France for ‘Le Tourneur’.
Two of his works have again won awards at international composition competitions: ‘Nebula’ was granted the Irène Fuérison Award and ‘Varioactivité’ won 2nd prize in the Hulste contest.
At the same time, his concerts as a pianist have brought him to countless countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The festivals at which he has performed include the Festival of Wallonia, Festival of Flanders, Ars Musica, Festival Musiq3, Midis-Minimes Festival, Les Inattendues, Music Chapel Festival, Klara Festival, Lasne Music Festival, Beethovenfest, Istanbul Festival, Lichfield, Festival in the Olt Valley, Lille Piano Festival ...
His repertoire extends from Bach to contemporary composers. In the autumn of 2019/2020, we will find him notably in Beethoven’s 5th concerto (‘The Emperor’) as well as in the double concertos of Arnold and Shostakovich alongside Frank Braley, Romain Leleu and the Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia.
Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu is also a highly prized chamber musician and among his many partners are clarinettist Ronald Van Spaendonck and cellist Marie Hallynck, with whom he founded the Kheops Ensemble in 2006. This ensemble varies in size and brings together musicians such as Ning Kam, Tatiana Samouil, Sophie Hallynck, Hervé Joulain, Lise Berthaud ...
Together they explore the incredible wealth of chamber music and deftly develop original shows showcasing classical works as well as ‘cross-over’ programmes. They are also responsible for the artistic direction of Les Saisons Musicales de Seneffe, the musical happening held every four years on the beautiful grounds of the Castle of Seneffe.
Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu is a Professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels, where he shares his passion for chamber music with the musicians of tomorrow. He is also regularly invited to give piano lessons and masterclasses in the United States (Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music), Belgium and Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara ...).
Though he has recorded the likes of Beethoven, Dohnanyi, Penderecki, Schnittke, Bernstein, Gershwin ... so many more composers for the Fuga Libera, Pavane, Cyprès, Kalidisc, Talent, Megadisc and René Gailly labels, Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu has always set aside a special place for the Belgian repertoire as illustrated by his recordings of works by Francis de Bourguignon, Arthur de Greef, Jacques Leduc, David Achenberg, Michel Hao-Fu Zhang, Michel Lysight ...
His last recording, the ‘Fugitives’ album released by Cyprès in the fall of 2019, is dedicated to his own compositions performed by the Kheops Ensemble. He stars on the disc as composer and pianist. While his music sometimes refers to the Orient (‘Scenes of Anatolia’, ‘Footnotes’ ...), it also invites the listener to far more distant lands, such as in ‘Contact’ or ‘In memoriam’.