Biography of Tuluyhan Uğurlu
He was born on November 15, 1965, in Istanbul. His talent
was discovered at the age of 4 and he was accepted to the Istanbul Municipal
Conservatory piano department in the same year. At the age of 7, he won the
Wonderful Children Exam opened by the state and earned the right to study music
abroad. After high school and conservatory, he completed his education at the
Vienna Music Academy. While he was doing his master's degree in the academy, he
made the most serious decision of his art life and said goodbye to the classics
and started to sing only his own works. In his first two albums, “Go with God”
and “Verses from the Holy Books”, which consist of live concert recordings, he
focused on faith issues inspired by Bach, whom he admired.
He became famous in Turkey in 1996 with the soundtrack of
“Istanbul Under my Wings”. For the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the
Republic, he composed “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Soldiers of the Sun” and after
the great earthquake he composed "Tears of the City" and turned these
works into albums. The artist, who also wrote various documentary music,
collected his latest piano works in an album called “Zaman in Beyazıt”. In the
same period, he completed his first symphony, “Symphony Türk”. In this work, he
broke new ground in Turkish Classical Music by using the symphony orchestra,
janissary band, Turkish Music instruments and piano together. Tuluyhan Uğurlu
started to perform in historical venues by moving his concerts out of concert
halls, breaking a new ground in the world of Classical Music since 2003.
Uğurlu made an album called “World Capital Istanbul” in
2006. He took the stage at over 250 different venues for the album's
promotional concerts. In 2009, at the request of ASCAME, the Union of
Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry, he made an album called
“Akdeniz” to support Mediterranean culture. After “Forever Istanbul”, which was
released in July 2010 and tells about Istanbul's present and future rather than
its past, “Best Of Tuluyhan 1”, consisting of his popular works, went on sale
in 2017, and “Best Of Tuluyhan 2” in 2018.
-Can we say that you had a lucky childhood?
I was very lucky. I have come to these days because I have
an artistic mother and father. My mother also played the piano. For example, my
brother writes great poems. He is also a very good philosopher. So am I.
-How did you start
My mother discovered that I have a musical talent. I used to
play the piano when I was 4 years old. More precisely, I would try to play the
piano and try to make melodious sounds. My ear for music is very good. My
mother noticed that when I was listening to music, I swayed to the right
rhythm. Then I took private music lessons. My mother has a great effort and dedication
on me in this regard.
- Do you have a connection with Konya now?
My uncle and aunt are in Konya. Apart from that, Kayhans
live there. They are my relatives. I was born in Istanbul. We went to Konya
from time to time, but I cannot say that we stayed too long. Then in 1983 I
went to Vienna for training. Almost all of my youth was spent in Vienna. I
don't know the Konya dialect. But when I meet someone from Konya, we have a lot
to talk about. It is very common not to understand and not to turn to Anatolia,
to say 'What will Anatolia understand'. Actually, they are wrong. When I go to
Erzurum, thousands of people come to my concerts. When I go to Diyarbakir, I
play for thousands of people. You do something wholeheartedly, as long as you
don't act, be what you are on stage at home. See how Anatolia understands you.
-What does Konya mean for you?
I try to be in this culture, to read and learn as much as I
can. I come to Konya from time to time, sit in the restaurant right next to
Mevlana, right on the set, and be alone with myself with a cup of tea in front
of me. Whenever I go to a concert in that area, I definitely stop by Konya and
breathe that deep air. No one knows about my arrival in Konya. Because there is
no reason for me to come to my father's hometown, I come quietly and return. Of
course, while I am there, I don't go back without tasting the dishes of our
local cuisine. Bıçakarası is my favourite. There are places that cook Konya’s
traditional food in Istanbul, but every taste is good in its own place. I have
always taken Konya as the crown jewel. I see Konya as a summary of Turkey. A
place where many cultures blend. It is a city where the real Anatolian culture
- What kind of family do you have in faith?
Both my mother and father were very religious people. Both
had faith and love for humanity in their hearts.
- What does composing and playing the piano add to you?
The whole purpose is to walk on the path of becoming a perfect human being. I only play my own works and share everything I believe with large audiences through my works. Moreover, I make music without lyrics and I can communicate with my audience without lyrics. Because I make music wholeheartedly.
- How do you perceive music?
Music is a philosophy of life. It's a lifestyle. Therefore,
young people who want to write their own works will always put zero in their
pocket. A man who cannot live without money cannot be an artist. So, the man
who can't afford to be broke should go and sell lemons. Don't bother with art.
The man who can afford to live with zero becomes an artist.
- Have you ever had financial difficulties?
Of course, I had financial difficulties. Because you write
your own works, you give your concerts. You can make a living when these
concerts happen, you live with zero when they are not. Moreover, your job is
not a popular job.
- What would you recommend to those who want to deal with
I always tell young pianists to have a unique tone and
touch. Let the listener know that you are playing the piano before they even
see you. You turned on the radio, someone is playing the piano! Who is playing?
Ali, Veli, a man or a woman? If you want to leave your mark on music and
interpretation, HAVE A TONE OF YOUR OWN.
My second suggestion is only for those who can (Absolute
I know it is a difficult thing, if you want to sign on
music, the second tip you should do is;
Let's say your academy, conservatory teacher gave you a new
piece for you to perform and study. If you can, don't study the music for a
while, listen to very good commentators and try to play it by ear. This will
both improve your hearing, increase your musical intelligence and give you the
habit of playing with someone. Because instrumentals are lonely people. They
always face life as ONE. Since you will not be able to perform the written work
better than the composer, please pay attention to these first 2 suggestions and
create a unique tone, if necessary, work for it 24 hours a day. If you spend
hours at your instrument playing Better Beethoven and Mozart works, you're
wasting time, it's a waste of time.
There was a saying my late mother always said: Why should I
hide what Allah knows from the people?
Here the secret comes: WORK STARTING AT THE SAME TIME EVERY
DAY WILL BRING YOU THE SUCCESS. Remember, every day at the same time. If you
wish, at 03:00 at night or at 10:00 in the morning. If you wish, it can take 10
hours for you to work, or 1 hour if you want. But every day at the same time.