Pianist/percussionist UTAR ARTUN (Utar Dündarartun) was born in Ankara, Turkey. In 2006, he arranged musical pieces for the theater play The 7 Women. Artun arranged many movie soundtracks and oldies for symphonic orchestra, and the Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra performed his arrangements in live concerts such as the 2008-2011 New Year Concert and the International Bursa Music Festival in 2009. Artun performed in the 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, 6th International Mersin Music Festival and 25th International Ankara Music Festival. In 2008, Artun graduated from the Percussion Department of Hacettepe Conservatory with 2nd Rank Degree of School Placement Award.
He went on to study at Berklee College of Music on a scholarship, graduating summa cum laude in 2.5 years, and receiving the Honorable Mention from the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, the Barnes&Noble award and the Brian Oliver Memorial award. He was among the finalists of ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composers Competition (2010) and Young Jazz Composers Competition (2011). In January 2010 and 2012, one of his compositions was selected for the Jazz Revelation Records album. He is currently a JRR artist of Berklee College of Music, appearing on the Birds of a Feather, Octave, and Ripple Effect albums. In October 2011, he performed with Kevin Eubanks in the studio recording session of WGBH Studios in Boston, MA. He has performed in workshops, performances and clinics with Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Jason Lindner, Kenwood Dennard and David Fiuczynski. He is in involved with the Rhythm of the Universe Project as arranger, performer and orchestrator, as well as the Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee.
Artun has done numerous studio recordings, festival concerts and performances in Boston, MA and also New York, NY such as Undead Jazz Festival, and has been featured in numerous interviews, and national and international television. Most recently, Artun has toured as performer and clinician in Switzerland (HKB-Bern), France (Paris, Sunset and Nancy, Music Academy International), Austria (Innsbruck- Treibhaus), Germany (Berlin-Aufsturz), the Netherlands (Amsterdam- Panama) and Italy (Gezmataz Jazz Festival, Genova). He had a debut performance with Quintet 57 at Istanbul Jazz Festival. He won the 18th HALICI MIDI Composition Contest and 2nd place in the Berklee Film Scoring Contest 7.
He released his band neotolia‘s EP album Rose Lace in 2014, which won a Bronze Medal from Global Music Awards 2014 with this album. Furthermore, he won the Beneficent Society Scholarship Award and got finals of TRT Children Choir Composition Contest 2015. Artun won the 18th HALICI MIDI Composition Contest and 2nd place in the Berklee Film Scoring Contest 7 in 2011. In February 2013, He won runner-up award of the TRT 2013 Children Choir Contest. In 2013, Artun won the Highest Award of SCAMV 1st National Symphonic Composition Contest. He is one the highly awarded scholar of Foundation of Modern Education (CEV) and Ankara Jazz Foundation (ACD).
Artun is a M.M. graduate of New England Conservatory. Also, He is a teaching assistant at New England Conservatory and Berklee City Music. He has also composed and arranged over 50 pieces for symphony orchestra, as well as more than 100 pieces for brass bands and big bands. Featured on various studio albums as a piano player, arranger, and drummer. His compositions and arrangements are performed in USA, Switzerland, Turkey, Holland and Russia. Artun is working as an arranger for Ankara Kent Bigband.