Name and Surname of the Academic:

Cihan Yurtçu

Title, Department:

Assoc. Prof. / Instrumental Performance

Areas of Study:

Kaval, Turkish Folk Music, Wind Instruments and Instrumentation

Bachelor’s degree/Masters/ Doctorate:

Graduate Program in Arts: Music-Turkish Folk Music, İTÜ SBE, 2006;
Master of Arts: Masters in Music, İTÜ SBE, 1996;
Bachelor of Arts: TMDK Instrumental Perfrormance, İTÜ, 1991

İTÜ E-mail:

Web address (Personal or academic):


Was born in Ankara in 1970. Having finished the primary school in 1980, started his music education at the Department of Instrument Education of Turkish Music State Conservatory in Istanbul. He studied the kaval and Turkish Music with the important Turkish Music researchers and academicians, like Nida Tüfekçi, Yücel Paşmakçı, Ali Yılmaz, Necdet Varol, Demirhan Altuğ, Nami Şenel, and Yalçın Tura. Having completed his education, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Conservatory, in 1991 and was appointed as the kaval instructor at the same school.

From 1988 to 1992 he played the kaval at Istanbul University Folk Music Ensemble and Choir. He also worked at TRT Istanbul Radio (Turkish Radio Television Co.) as a professional performer between 1989 and 1995.

With the "Special Award" of the Solo Instrument Performance Category of "the Contest of Turkish Folk Music" organized by the Ministry of National Education, Yurtcu was awarded first prizewinner two times in 1991 and 1993. 

After his master's degree in 1996, Yurtcu got the degree of “Proficiency in Arts” with his thesis titled "THE KAVAL AND ITS TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT AS A PERFORMANCE INSTRUMENT" at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in 2006. He worked as Head of The Wind Instruments Main Art Division between 2001 and 2008. In addition, he composed many instrumental pieces and wrote about 100 etudes for the kaval during his academic career.

In Turkey and many countries of Europe, he played the kaval with international groups, such as “Anadolu Feneri”, “Bosphorus” and “Mode Plagal”, formed by Turkish and Greek musicians from 1990s to the late of 2000s. Upon the invitation of the Prince of Japan, for the “2003 Turkish Year in Japan,” he also went to Japan with Folk Music Ensemble of ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory. He also played the kaval as a soloist in many projects and made many workshops in Qatar, Russia Federation, China, and Khazakstan. With Khazakstan’s world-famous orchestras Kurmangazy State Orchestra and Folklore and Ethnographic Ensemble “Sazgen Sazy”, he produced joint projects in Almaty and Istanbul. Thus he contributed to be introduced the kaval instrument and Turkish music on the global scene. 

Aside from he is a solo kaval performer, as a music director and arranger, he contributed to many CD and live music projects. He also performed various international albums like “Beyond the Bosphorus”, recorded in Athens with the Bosphorus and Mode Plagal Groups and “Anadolu Feneri”. As performed in these albums, he played the kaval, not only within Turkish Folk Music but also played within different genres such as jazz, classical and chamber music CDs and concerts projects. In some of these projects, he worked with a lot of renowned artists like Melih Kibar, Nükhet Duru and Sertap Erener.

Yurtcu, as a member of the organization committee of the 1st International Kaval Conference, in 2014, performed the premiere of the "1V4K", composed by Sadık Uğraş Durmuş which is the first modern music composition for the Kaval in Turkey. And he dedicated this composition to the conference.

He also did member of the jury in important international traditional music and folk dance festivals held in Turkey, Germany, and the Russian Federation.

In 2013, he performed his own project named “Bir Nefes Anadolu” (One Breath Anatolia) in Istanbul and Trabzon two times. Also, he participated on many TV and radio programs both on Turkish and foreign channels as guest musician and speaker. 

Upon his artistic and academic studies, Yurtcu who became "Assistant Professor" in 2009, and “Associate Professor” in 2012, currently, has been teaching the kaval at ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory.