Two Pioneering Turkish Women Show the World that Creativity has No Boundaries
Media composer Esin Aydingoz was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She is a Berklee College of Music graduate with a degree in contemporary writing, production and film scoring.
Aydingoz has worked on a vast variety of projects including animation, TV series, movies, video games, albums, concerts and musicals, and recently, on Tim Burton’s hit Netflix series, Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega. She was part of the music team and arranged some of the hit cover songs in the series such as the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Charts and has been streamed on Spotify nearly 14 million times.
She was recently nominated for the prestigious David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent for the 4th Annual Society of Composers and Lyricists Awards. Even though she is only 29 years old, she has already made her first feature film, Simchas and Sorrows. Her second feature, Black Barbie, will have its world premiere at South by Southwest in just a few weeks.
Aydingoz arranged, produced and recorded various album and concert projects for the Disney Music Group, and starred with Olivia Rodrigo in multiple music videos for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She wrote music for Apple TV’s SEE as well as Netflix’s Princess Power and The Witcher: Blood Origin, starring Michelle Yeoh.
She was recently a fellow at the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive where she recorded and conducted her music at Warner Brothers. Her orchestral and choral piece, “A Shattered Fantasy,” had its world premiere in October 2022 at Auditorium Stravinski in Montreux and was televised twice on La Télé on New Year’s Eve.
Aydingoz is currently the Assistant Chair of Berklee College of Music’s Screen Scoring Department, one of the youngest professors in the prestigious school’s history, and is the secretary for the Alliance for Women Film Composers.
Aysedeniz Gokcin – Classical Crossover Pianist
Classical crossover pianist, neo-romantic composer and producer Aysedeniz Gokcin started playing piano at the age of 5. She has performed in over 25 countries as a soloist in rock festivals and concert halls.
Gokcin was considered a child prodigy in her native Turkey and made her concert debut when she was 9 years old with the Gordion Chamber Orchestra playing J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 5. At the age of 13, she had already performed as a soloist.
She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Douglas Humpherys, making the Dean’s List every semester. She received the Howard Hanson and Clements Scholarships as well as the John Celentano Excellence in Chamber Music Award. In 2011, she completed her master’s in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London under the tutelage of Christopher Elton, and received the Maud Hornsby Award, graduated with merit, and completed the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music Teaching Certificate.
Upon hearing Gokcin’s interpretation of Chopin’s Sonata No. 3, pianist Nikolai Petrov personally invited her to perform at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
In 2011, Gokcin composed piano arrangements of Pink Floyd songs in the style of Franz Liszt to celebrate his 200th anniversary. The songs went viral and were shared on Classic FM, BBC News as well as the official Pink Floyd Facebook Page which posted:
“Over the years, there have been (at the very least) thousands of cover versions of Pink Floyd songs. However, recently, a new approach to three of the band’s tracks has captured the imagination of the classical world. A young Turkish pianist and graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, AyseDeniz Gokcin has interpreted Floyd’s music in a ‘Lisztian’ way.”
Gokcin released the album “Nirvana Project” in 2015 which she dedicated to Kurt Cobain. It reached the UK Top 10 Classical Charts on iTunes. In 2018, she was named one of the three rising stars on BBC Music Magazine’s “Ones to Watch Out For.” She has also appeared on BBC Radio 3 “This Classical Life” with Jess Gillam.
Her original album, “Earth Prelude” (2019), entered the Top 10 iTunes classical charts in the UK, USA, Turkey, and Italy.
During the pandemic, she created and launched an online piano academy called Borderless Piano where she teaches beginners to learn how to play the piano.
Last year (2022), Gokcin was listed as one of the 20 under 40 Young Shapers of the Future of Music by Encyclopedia Britannica alongside Adele, Lil Nas and Lorde.