Arel, Bülent, Turkish–born American composer; b. Constantinople, April 23, 1918; d. Stony Brook, N.Y., Nov. 24, 1990. He studied composition with Akses, piano with Ferhunde Erkin, conducting with Ernst Praetorius, and 20th–century music with Edward Zuck–mayer at the Ankara State Cons. (1940–47); then took courses in sound engineering in Paris (1951). He taught in Ankara at the State Cons, and at the Teachers Coll. (1947–59); was also a sound engineer and director of Western music programming at the Ankara Radio (1951–59). In 1959 he went to the U.S. on a Rockefeller research grant and worked at the Columbia–Princeton Electronic Music Center until 1963; was also an instructor in electronic music at Yale Univ. (1961–62). After again working at the Ankara Radio (1963–65), he returned to teach at Yale Univ. (1965–70) and Columbia Univ. (1970–71). He was prof. of music and director of the electronic music studio at the State Univ. of N.Y. at Stony Brook from 1971 to 1989. In 1973 he became a naturalized American citizen. In his early works, Arel explored Turkish folk songs; he then wrote pieces alternatively in a neo–Classical and impressionistic manner while experimenting with serial techniques, eventually turning to electronic composition.
Piano Concerto (1946); Suite intime for Orch. (1949); Masques for Winds and Strings (1949); 2 syms. (1951, 1952); 6 Bagatelles for Strings (1958); Short Piece for Orch. (1967); electronic pieces: Short Study (1960); Fragment (1960); Electronic Music No. 1 (1960); Stereo Electronic Music I (1960) and II (1970); Impressions of Wall Street (1961); Music for a Sacred Service (1961); Capriccio for T.V. (1969); dance scores: Mimiana I (1968), II (1969), and III (1973).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire