UC Berkeley Department of Music Graduate Student Selim Göncü’s has been announced Composer-in-Residence at Ensemble Échappé from 2018-2020. The announcement was made in November at Ensemble Échappé where his piece Widerklang made its US premiere.
Born in Istanbul (Turkey), Göncü began his musical career studying piano as a child. After a year of study with Zoltán Jeney in Liszt Academy of Music, he became Reinhard Febel’s student in the University Mozarteum of Salzburg where he also served as assistant to the department for composition. Currently studying for his Ph.D. in composition, Göncü has worked closely with Music faculty members Franck Bedrossian, Ken Ueno, and Austrian composer Clemens Gadenstätter of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
“The support from faculty, combined with the excellent education we have at UC Berkeley results in many composition students getting prizes, performances and residencies,” said Göncü “ None of this would be possible without this wonderful atmosphere the UC Berkeley Music Department created.”
Based in New York City and founded by Nina C. Young and Jocelin Pan, Ensemble Échappé’s stated mission is to create and perform new music undefined by genre or style. Featuring 17 core performing members and directed by Jeffrey Milarsky, Ensemble Échappé’ embraces the frontiers of new music. While Göncü’s projects include works for guitar, keyboard/synthesizer, and a variety of other instruments, perhaps the most exciting opportunity of his residence with the Ensemble Échappé is the chance to form collaborative relationships with the ensemble members over his two year residency.
“No art form should be isolated from other forms, neither should be any composer,” explained Göncü. “This residency doesn’t only mean that I will talk to performers, write for them and they will perform some works of mine. EÉ is an ensemble extremely open to suggestions, concepts and new ideas that are relevant to my music.”
Göncü is also working on a new ensemble piece with keyboard/synthesizer for the UC Berkeley Department of Music’s ECO Ensemble to be directed by David Milnes. He was quick to note the department’s New Music Program an essential tenet of his development as a composer. “We are so lucky to have ECO, our incredible ensemble in residence, that allows us to work with (the same musicians) throughout our doctoral studies,” noted Göncü.