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Cüneyd Orhon

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Cüneyd Orhon (1926-2006) was a Turkish musician in the classical tradition, playing kemençe.

Orhon was born in 1926 in Istanbul. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts, Department of Interior Design, Istanbul. He started to learn music in 1946 at the well-known Üsküdar Music Society, where he became the student of Emin Ongan, a celebrated, knowledgeable teacher and musician. The same year he started taking private kemençe (small violin or kit) lessons from Kemal Niyazi Seyhun, who had seen Vasil, the oldest known master of the kemençe, and listened to his music and carefully observed his technique and style of performance. These private lessons lasted for two years, from 1946 to 1948.

From 1948 to 1951 Orhon played for the Ensemble of Istanbul University, which was under the baton of Ercümend Berker and Nevzat Atlığ. Upon the invitation of Cevdet Kozanoğlu, who in the 1950s was the music director of Ankara Radio, Orhon moved to Ankara. From 1951 to 1985, for thirty-four years he played for Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir radios and held important positions in various adminstrative departments of Turkish radio stations, apart from being a permanent radio performer.

In 1961 Orhon was invited to Bagdad Conservatoire as a visiting musician, and gave lectures on Turkish music for one term. In 1963 he also became a member of the Ensemble of the City Conservatory conducted by Münir Nurettin Selçuk. He was among the musical authorities who founded the State Conservatory of Turkish Music in 1975, where he was giving kemençe lessons and performing adminstrative functions. He died in 2006.

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