Performing Arts Faculty

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Part Time Faculty (2007)

B.M. Berklee College of Music
M.M. New England Conservatory
D.M.A. New England Conservatory

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol studied western classical piano with his mother Fethiye Sanlikol and started giving piano recitals as early as age five. Until the year 1992, he constantly performed classical and contemporary music. Later on he studied with the internationally acclaimed Turkish composer/Jazz pianist Aydin Esen and won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. In 1997, he found the electric jazz band AudioFact with Onur Türkmen and toured Mexico, Argentina, the USA and Europe. In that same year he received Berklee College of Music's Clare Fischer Award and completed his degree in Jazz Composition and Film Scoring.

In the year 2000 he graduated from New England Conservatory with a Master's Degree in Jazz Composition. In the year 2002 Sanlikol was commissioned to write a piece for PALS children's chorus accompanied by Turkish instruments, a chamber orchestra and soloists. The piece, entitled An Ancient Turkish Legend: Ergenekon, was a big success. Boston Globe's Richard Dyer wrote: "The music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlikol is a citizen of the world", "…and he (Sanlikol) is another who could play decisive role in music's future in the world."

In the year 2004 Sanlikol completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition at the New England Conservatory and helped find the organization Dünya based in Boston, Massachusetts. Sanlikol is the president of Dünya, a musicians' collective which explores a cosmopolitan view of the world through the lens of a wide range of Turkish traditions, alone and in conversation with the musics of the formerly Ottoman peoples—Greeks, Jews, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds, mystics—as well as with western and other world traditions. Since its founding Sanlikol has produced, performed and delivered talks at over one hundred Dünya events. This organization has also released 9 CDs, a concert DVD as well as an hour long documentary film featuring Mehmet Ali Sanlikol both as a director/performer and a composer. 

In today's world where we are constantly reminded of the differences between traditions, cultures, religions and ethnicities, Mehmet Sanlikol chooses to direct and research projects in which music connects disparate ethnic and religious groups through devotion, longing, celebration and joy.

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol has composed for, performed and toured with international stars and ensembles such as Tiger Okoshi, Bob Brookmeyer, Esperanza Spalding, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Okay Temiz, Erkan Ogur, Yansimalar, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Brenna MacCrimmon and The Boston Camerata at numerous prestigious International Music Festivals and venues such as the Blue Note Jazz club in New York. He has also composed, arranged, produced and performed for Turkish pop stars such as Fahir Atakoglu, Burcu Günes, Ümit Sayin, Edip Akbayram and Nil Karaibrahimgil.

Dr. Sanlikol taught at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. He is currently a faculty member at College of the Holy Cross and Emerson College, and a research fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Sanlikol actively delivers papers and talks at academic conferences such as International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music, Society for Ethnomusicology and Sohbet-i Osmaniye series at Harvard University. Dr. Sanlikol's book, entitled The Musician Mehters, about the organization and the music of the Ottoman Janissary Bands has been published during 2011 in English by The ISIS press and in Turkish by Yapi Kredi Yayinlari.


Office: Tufte 5th Fl.

Phone: 8780


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