2024 Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to Utku Asuroglu, University of Missouri School of Music Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Composition

University of Missouri School of Music Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Composition Utku Asuroglu has been appointed as a 2024 Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition.

The appointments were announced on April 11 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 

Asuroglu is among 188 new Guggenheim Fellows whose work encompasses 52 disciplines and artistic fields. They range in age from 28 to 89 and represent 84 academic institutions, 38 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces. The fellows were selected via a rigorous peer review process from nearly 3000 applicants.

Utku Asuroglu

According to a press release, each fellow receives a monetary stipend “to pursue independent work at the highest level under the freest possible conditions.”

Distinguished poet and President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Edward Hirsch calls the Fellowships “a celebrated investment into the lives and careers of distinguished artists, scholars, scientists, writers, and other cultural visionaries who are meeting these challenges head-on and generating new possibilities and pathways across the broader culture as they do so.”

Asuroglu teaches classes in electronic music and composition. He joined the University of Missouri School of Music faculty in 2023 and was just named the newest MizzouForward hire, becoming the 21st MizzouForward faculty in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Beginning Fall 2024, he will be an Assistant Professor of Composition.

“I’m very happy and appreciative of the support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation,” Asuroglu said. “This is an incredible opportunity to work on my proposed project.” 

The project he submitted is about Turkish singer Zeki Müren, “perhaps the biggest Turkish singer in history,” he said. “In a day and age that seems to become less and less openminded, and internationally, we seem to be taking a step back when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, we want to tell his story. Müren lived from 1931 to 1996 and was perhaps the biggest Turkish singer in history. He was immensely popular for his classically trained voice, his Turkish folk music, his live performances, his poetry, and his leading roles in multiple movies.”

“We are thrilled to hear that Dr. Utku Asuroglu has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship,” said Mizzou New Music Initiative Artistic Director Stefan Freund. “I’m certain that he will use the opportunity to create another ambitious work of groundbreaking new music.”

Asuroglu’s previous honors include being awarded the “Outstanding Artist Award for Music” of the Austrian Ministry of Culture, the 40th International Irino Prize, the 24th Salvatore Martirano Composition Award, the Composition Prize City of Graz 2014, laureate of the Gaudeamus Prize 2015 and the Goethe Award 2016 (South Korea).

His works have been featured at festivals such as Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Donaueschinger Musiktage Next Generation, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Schleswig Holstein, Manifeste, MATA Festival, Royaumont, ISCM World Music Days, International Tongyeong Music Festival, and Essen Europen Capital Culture. They have been performed by leading orchestras and ensembles worldwide, including Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Asko|Schönberg, Dal Niente, JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Talea, LINEA, IEMA, Slagwerk Den Haag, Riot, Divertimento, Proton Bern and Signum Quartett.

Asuroglu received his musical studies from the Rotterdam Conservatory, Kunstuniversitat Graz, Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, IRCAM, and his doctorate from Stanford University in 2023. He has studied under Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Berger, Clemens Gadenstätter, and Gérard Pesson.