Emre Sihan Kaleli (born in Ankara, 1987) is a Turkish composer currently living in Vienna. He has a diverse educational background and professional experience acquired in four countries: Turkey, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, and Austria.

In 2010 he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in composition from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan with Honors.  In 2012 he completed his Master’s degree at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he studied under Richard Ayres, Willem Jeths, and Wim Henderickx. Extracurricular mentorship from Joël Bons and Peter Adriaansz was also a great influence on him. From 2012 to 2014, he worked as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam). In autumn of 2014, he moved to Vienna. From 2015 to 2016, he took a post-graduate course in composition at the Fine Arts University of Graz under Beat Furrer. During and after his studies, Emre developed close artistic connections with certain soloists and collectives: Matthias Arter (oboe, Switzerland), the Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan), the Convergence Ensemble (Georgia), New Ensemble (the Netherlands), and the Ensemble Modelo62 (the Netherlands). These collaborations played a significant role in his artistic development.

Since his first commission received at the age of eighteen, Emre has mainly composed on commission, which is why the majority of his works are written for a specific project and/or ensemble. Though most of his compositions are written for larger chamber groups, in recent years he has also written music for orchestras and worked in the field of music theatre. Perhaps a natural consequence of having lived in countries that are culturally significantly diverse, Emre’s work does not focus on one singular aesthetic direction or style. On the contrary: most of his compositions strongly differ from one another, displaying a plurality of aesthetic directions and accompanying technical tools. It can however be observed that his music strongly tends to be expressive – it is impulsive with frequent and abrupt changes, and rich in the emotions and emotional states it reflects.

His works have been awarded with a number of prizes and honors:

  • 2019 – impuls Composition Competition, Austria, Selected Composer
  • 2018 – Selected composer for the ‘Satellite 2018–19’ project of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel, Switzerland
  • 2018 – ‘Startstipendium’ for Music and Performing Arts of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, Austria
  • 2017 – Selected composer at the Call for Scores of the Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Austria
  • 2016 – Honorable Mention at the 3rd International Mauricio Kagel Competition, Austria
  • 2015 – Gargonza Arts Award, a three months artist residency award in Italy, curated by Heinz Holliger, Germany
  • 2015 – MIAM Composition Award, Turkey
  • 2015 – Funding for a two-years artistic project with the Ensemble Modelo62 from the Dutch Performing Arts Funds, the Netherlands
  • 2013 – Honorable Mention at the competition Gaudeamus Award, the Netherlands
  • 2009 – 1stPrize at the 5thPre-Art Competition for Young Composers, Switzerland

Emre’s works are published by the Donemus (NL).


  • Next project (late 2019): New work for the airborne extended (AT)
  • Next project (early 2019): New work for one of the greatest double bass players of contemporary music – Aleksander Gabrys – and the Ensemble Phoenix Basel. The piece will be result of the workshops series organised by the Ensemble Phoenix, in the framework of their programme ‘Satellite 2018–19’
  • In progress: New work for the Pre-Art Soloists (CH)


  • 26.03.2019 | New work for the Ensemble Pre-Art Soloists | Pre-Arts Soloists | Gare du Nord, Basel
  • 14.03.2019 | for two trios, live electronics, and light |  ensemble xx. jahrhundert | The Off Theatre, Vienna
  • 12.12.2018 | Adjacent rooms, for Borges | ensemble xx. jahrhundert | The Off Theatre, Vienna | Conductor: Peter Burwik
  • 08.12.2018 | Das Luftschloss (collaboration work with Aleksandra Bajde) | Ensemble Platypus | Crossroads Festival, Salzburg
  • 10.10.2018 | Adjacent rooms, for Borges | Ensemble Reconsil | Reaktor, Vienna | Conductor: Antanina Kalechyts



duo clearobscure


duo clearobscure (Aleksandra Bajde & Emre Sihan Kaleli) is a contemporary music duo currently based in Vienna.
Their work combines contemporary playing/singing techniques with theatrical elements and improvisation.