Ulrich Mertin, viola
Ulrich Mertin, born in Hoyerswerda/Sachsen in Germany, studied viola and violin with Prof. Max Speermann at the Hermann Zilcher Conservatory Würzburg and with Prof. Stefan Fehlandt at the University of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin. As viola soloist Ulrich was a member of the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the Ensemble Resonanz, Hamburg. He performed and premiered works specially dedicated to him in London, Istanbul, Oxford, Florenz, at the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin, at the Academy of the Arts Berlin, the Cité International des Artes, Paris, at the Festival musica insieme in Panicale/Italy and at the Brandenburgische Sommerkonzerte amongst others. As a soloist as well as chamber musician he worked with renowned composers such as György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Klaus Huber, George Benjamin, Georg Katzer, Helmut Oehring, Brett Dean and Younghi Pagh-Paan. He works regularly with the Ensemble Modern, musikFabrik Köln and the Klangforum Wien and holds workshops for interpreters and composers on contemporary chamber music, specific techniques and interpretation.
Since 2008 Ulrich lives and works in between “Orient and Occident”. In Istanbul, the city of 1001 faces, he found the perfect platform for his heartfelt wish: intercultural dialogue and exchange projects. Ulrich is artistic director of the Hezarfen Ensemble which he founded together with the American composer Michael Ellison in 2009. The ensemble is dedicated to the support of the Turkish contemporary music scene and its lasting integration into the international music business with growing success. Besides educational, film music, music theatre and other interdisciplinary projects this involves also workshops at Turkish universities and exchange projects with international ensembles. The award-winning ensemble is invited regularly to international festivals such as MaerzMusik Festival, Klangzeit Festival, Rotterdamer Operagdagen, IKSV Music Festival Istanbul, a.o. 2014 the Hezafen Ensemble releases two CDs, Michael Ellison´s opera “Say I´m You” (in collaboration with VocaalLAB and Lucas Vis) at Metier Label (UK) as well as a portrait CD of Turkish contemporary composers at CAGSAV (TR).
With the Turkish electronic artist Erdem Helvacioglu Ulrich published the album Planet X at Innova Records, USA in 2012. The premiere of this album in Germany took place at the MaerzMusik Festival 2013 in Berghain/Berlin. The next album of Erdem Helvacioglu and Ulrich Mertin, an electronica CD, will follow in summer 2014.