Mimaroglu, Ilhan Kemaleddin

views updated

Mimaroglu, Ilhan Kemaleddin

Mimaroglu, Ilhan Kemaleddin, Turkish composer and writer on music; b. Constantinople, March 11, 1926. He studied law at the Univ. of Ankara. In 1955 he traveled to the U.S. on a Rockefeller fellowship, and settled in N.Y., where he studied theory with Jack Beeson and Chou Wen-Chung, musicology with Lang, and electronic music with Ussachevsky at Columbia Univ. He also took lessons in modern composition with Wolpe, and received inspiring advice from Varèse. He was subsequently a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship (1971–72). He publ. several books in Turkish. In 1963 he began his association with the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, where he composed most of his electronic works, among them Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe (1964), Anacolutha (1965), Preludes for Magnetic Tape (1966–76), Wings of the Delirious Demon (1969), and music for Jean Dubuffet’s Coucou Bazar (1973). He developed compositional methods viewing electronic music in a parallel to cinema, resulting in works for tape in which recorded performance dominates individual rendition. Concurrently, he displayed a growing political awareness in his choice of texts, conveying messages of New Left persuasion in such works as Sing Me a Song of Songmy, a protest chant against the war in Vietnam (1971), Tract (1972–74), To Kill a Sunrise (1974), and String Quartet No. 4 with Voice obbligato on poems by Nâzim Hikmet (1978). Other works include Pieces sentimentales for Piano (1957); Music Plus 1 for Violin and Tape (1970); Still Life 1980 for Cello and Tape (1983); Immolation Scene for Voice and Tape (1983); Valses ignobles et sentencieuses for Piano (1984). He destroyed all of his non-performed compositions, as well as those not recorded for posterity within a year of completion. Since the late 1980s he has been working on a documentary film in which various composers respond to his question dealing with the condition of the contemporary composer in a cultural environment dominated by commercial determinants.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

About this article

Mimaroglu, Ilhan Kemaleddin

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article