DSC_4369Praised by the Washington Post as a “major talent of international caliber”, for Şirin Pancaroğlu, discovering a variety of musical identities for the harp is a central endeavor. Trained as a classical musician, the leading harpist of Turkey is equally active in the realm of Turkish traditional music, improvisation, electronic music, tango and semi-staged performances as she is in mainstream harp repertoire to which she contributes with new works commissioned for her. Regular collaborations with performers and composers of diverse backgrounds have led Pancaroğlu to cross boundaries between musical styles often resulting in music that has been perceived as opening the path to new genres.
Recognized for her thorough interpretative skills and multifaceted personality, Şirin Pancaroğlu has been touring with four large collaborative projects since 2011, namely Elişi (Handcraft), Çengnağme (The Song of the Çeng), Cafe Tango and her sufi music band Şimdi Ensemble. Ever since her return to Istanbul in 2000, she has been in search of her roots, connecting them with sophisticated taste to her worldly ideas, a glimpse of which she promises to share in her concerts. Her work on unearthing the historical Turco-Ottoman harp called the “çeng”, as well her dedication to traditional and contemporary Turkish music have earned Şirin a unique place in the history of performers in Turkey. In 2013 she has started to collaborate with singer and composer of Turkish music, Bora Uymaz, with whom she has founded Şimdi Ensemble. Together they have released three albums, “Çengnağme”, “Cafe Tango” and “Eternal Love”. Pancaroğlu has been motivated to compose under the guidance of Uymaz, leading to a third prize in the 2014 Altın Elma Turkish Music Composition Contest.
Born in 1968 in Ankara, Şirin completed the European part of her education at the Geneva Conservatory and subsequently received a Master’s degree from Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music in USA. She released her first recording A String of Longing in 1988 followed by Under the Shooting Star, Barokarp, Old World – New World, Harmonies of Istanbul, Handcraft, Resonating Universes, Çengnağme, Cafe Tango and Eternal Love. She has has performed at international festivals and concert series in UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweeden, Germany, Serbia, Kosovo, Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Azerbeijan. In 2015 she was invited by Indiana University First Lady, Laurie Burns McRobbie for a residency at her alma mater, Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music where she participated at the Lotus Festival, taught lectures, gave a career talk and performed a solo recital, her first return to Bloomington in more than 20 years.