Hailed as “Young Musician of the Year” in 2012 by Andante Magazine’s “Donizetti Classical Music Awards” and the first prize winner of many international harp competitions, Merve Kocabeyler, is one of the young and promising harpists of Turkey whose performances in the prestigious La Scala Opera Theatre have earned her love of the audience and high appraisal of critics.
Born November 4th, 1990, in Istanbul, Merve began studying harp at the age of 11 with Yonca Ozkan Bilenoglu and completed her pre-college studies with her at the State Conservatory of Istanbul University. In 2009, she was admitted into the class of Prof. Helga Storck at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg in Austria and completed her bachelor’s degree studies there with Prof. Stephen Fitzpatrick.
During her studies in Europe she won awards in several international competitions, including the first prize in the “Citta di Cagliari International Harp Competition” in Italy in 2012, the first prize in the “Petar Konjovic International Harp Competition” in Serbia in 2011, the first prize in the “International Harp Competition of Szeged” in Hungary in 2010, the third prize in the “Franz Josef Reinl International Harp Competition” in Vienna in 2010, and the second prize in the “International Young Virtuosos Competition” in Sofia in 2009.
Having studied baroque repertoire with lute player Hans Brüderl in Salzburg, Merve has participated in masterclasses with distinguished harpists such as Isabelle Moretti, Marisa Robles, Elisabeth Fontan-Binoche, Elinor Bennett, Fabrice Pierre, Benoit Wery, Marie-Pierre Langlamet, and Rita Costanzi at several international music academies with scholarships.
After her solo debut at the age of 17, playing Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with the Symphony Orchestra of Istanbul University, she has performed as a soloist with the orchestras such as Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Bursa State Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
She has given concerts all over the Europe, as well as in Asia, North and Latin America. In 2011, Merve was chosen to perform in the “Focus on Youth” concerts at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver. In 2012, she gave a recital as a “young star” at the Belgrade International Harp Festival.
She was the principal harpist of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific of Canada, Santa Catarina Music Festival Orchestra of Brazil and has regularly been invited to play with Salzburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
A scholar of Modern Education Foundation, Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Foundation and Eczacibasi Foundation, Merve Kocabeyler is currently studying with Erika Waardenburg for master’s degree at the Amsterdam Conservatory.