R. Hakan Talu

Refik Hakan TaluMusician, researcher, author, Refik Hakan Talu was born in 1960 in Istanbul. He graduated from the Department of Turkish Music at the Istanbul Technical University, State Music Conservatory in 1984 with honors and later he also earned his Masters Degree, again with honors, in 1985. His graduation thesis topics were 19th century Ottoman music and tanbur method.

Strong believer in being specialized in music, he focused his studies and started to make his researches on Classical, Mystical (Sufi) Turkish and Mevlevi music since his school years.

Besides his conservatory education, he learned Mevlevi tradition and music from prominent names of the times like Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi’s 21st generation grandson; Celaleddin Celebi, last sheikh of Bahariye Mevlevi Lodge; Selman Tüzün Dede, last head of whirling dervishes of Yenikapi Mevlevi Lodge; Ahmet Bican, and Neyzenbasi; Dogan Ergin.

Mr. Talu has performed in many cultural and arts centers, renowned universities, and major cities in the United States and throughout the world. In the course of his twenty year career, as a musician, consultant and Music Director, he has performed in more than 200 Turkish Sufi and classical music concerts and Sema ceremonies, as well as recording sessions. The group he has formed with his friends in 1994 took the name Istanbul Music and Sema Group in 1999.

A renowned tanbur player, Mr. Talu has a deep knowledge not only of musical performance but also musicology. He has also written and collaborated widely, conducts workshops and gives lectures.

Talu’s first book, Ask ile (With Love), was published in 2002 by Pan Publishing. It is a reference book, with 2 companion CDs, covering all forms of Turkish liturgical music, both in Turkish and English.

His new book, "Mevlevi Günlügü (Mevlevi Diary)," covering many different subjects about Mevlana traditions and information about the Mevlevi lodges in Istanbul will be published in 2004. The book will also include 3 CDs presenting examples of Mevlevi music.

Mr. Talu has taught tanbur as a faculty member 11 years from 1985 to1996 at the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory, Turkish Music Department. He is currently an artist for T.R.T (Turkish State Radio and Television) as a specialist in tanbur since 1985. He is also a member of DemBuDem Ensemble