Gürer Aykal, conductor

Virtuoso conductor Gürer Aykal, General Music Director and Principal Conductor of Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra presents concerts regularly at both the Europian and Anatolian sides of Istanbul.


Maestro Aykal, the General Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, received his musical education at the Ankara State Conservatory. He studied violin under Necdet Remzi Atak, graduated in 1963; and composition with Adnan Saygun, graduated in 1969.

The same year Aykal went to London and studied at Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. During his two years in London he studied under a number of prominant conductors as George Hurst and Andre Previn. Subsequently, he studied two years in Italy where he served as assistant to Franco Ferrara in the Academia of Santa Cecilia in Rome. He received the “Diploma di Merito” for conducting from the Chigiana Musica Accedemia. Meanwhile, he studied Gregorian music and Renaissance polyphony with Prof. Bertolucci in Musica di Sacra in Vatican.

In 1975, Gürer Aykal was appointed as the Principal Conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. He also served as General Director of the State Opera and Ballet. Meanwhile, together with Suna Kan, he established the Ankara Chamber Orchestra, which he conducted both in Turkey and in more than one hundred concerts abroad. Gürer Aykal has also frequently performed with the leading symphonic orchestras of Europe. He also conducted the English Chamber Orchestra and he served also as permenant conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra.

Between 1991 and 2003 Mr. Aykal has been the General Music Director and Principal Conductor of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra of Texas. With this orchestra he has toured Germany and performed thirteen successful concerts.

Gürer Aykal has taught conducting at Indiana University and Texas Tech Universities and U.T.E.P. in United States. He is also professor of conducting at Bilkent University in Turkey.

He has recorded the works of a wide range of composers – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Smetana, Ravel, Erkin and Saygun – with a number of prominent orchestras, such as the London Philharmonic, Norddeutscher Rundfunk Radiophilharmonie NDR, the Ankara Chamber Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra.

In 1981, he was awarded the title “State Artist” for his services and contributions to music.

Gürer Aykal has undertaken to establish and to develope Antalya State Symphony Orchestra which is the younguest State Symphony Orchestra. He performed with this orchestra at Aspendos Antique Theatre opening and final concerts to thousands of Turkish and foreign music lovers.