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New notes for Emine Bostancı

Are you a composer between 10 and 35 years old? Do you live or study in the Netherlands? Would you like your music to be performed at Grachtenfestival, Gaudeamus and November Music? Send us your sketch for a new piece for kemenche and lyra player Emine Bostancı!

Photo: Lucas Kemper

Emine Bostancı has a passion for string instruments and vocal performance. Growing up in Istanbul, she began her musical journey with the kemenche of Istanbul—a type of traditional string instrument that exists in various forms across East Mediterranean countries. Later in life, she furthered her studies, exploring the Cretan lyra with sympathetic strings under the guidance of Ross Daly. Today, she maintains an academic career, conducting research at the University of Amsterdam.

Emine’s artistic vision revolves around fostering a dialogue between diverse modal and tonal languages, as well as rhythmic dialects. She seeks to intertwine Ottoman-Turkish makam and taksim with the age-old melodic responses from the Silk Road, engaging in a profound conversation with contemporary classical music. Emine aims to collaborate with composers who possess the ability to stretch the boundaries of these instruments while still preserving their lyrical texture and ancient heritage.

You can choose to write for either the kemenche of Istanbul or the Cretan Lyra. Additionally, you could use electronics. Ultimately, three pieces will be performed in a concert at Grachtenfestival, Gaudeamus and November Music, also featuring cellist and singer Maya Fridman.

For a good overview and impression on the instruments please check out the demonstration videos below.

Kemenche of Istanbul:

Cretan lyra with sympathetic strings:

For a detailed demonstration of instruments, characteristics and specifications, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via eminebostanci [at] live [dot] com.

Submit a composition sketch with a maximum length of one minute. We’d like to receive a score/pdf and a midi-file (MP3). On the basis of the sketch 6 composers will be invited for a Reading Session with Emine  Bostancı to further explore ideas and possibilities. After the Reading Session for composers will be selected that can work out their sketch to a piece of 5-7 minutes. The piece will be performed at least three times and will be premiered during Grachtenfestival. Furthermore it will sound at Gaudeamus and November Music. For the selected composers there’s a fee available of €750.


  • 22 February Deadline first sketch
  • 1 March selection 6 composers
  • 8 March Reading Session in Muziekhuis Utrecht
  • 22 March final selection
  • 8 May deadline for final score
  • 26 August concert Grachtenfestival
  • 8 September concert Gaudeamus
  • 10 November concert November Music