Mahir Cetiz was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1977. He received his early musical training on the piano with his father Tulga Cetiz and then entered the Hacettepe University State Conservatory in 1988. While studying the cello, piano and orchestral conducting, he took regular composition lessons with Istemihan Taviloğlu and Turgay Erdener. Following his graduation from Hacettepe University, he continued his postgraduate studies with Kamran Ince and Chen Yi at the University of Memphis, and received his M Mus in 2001. As the winner of the first prize in the “Young Musician of the Year” competition, held by the British Council, he received a scholarship which enabled him to study with Dr. Anthony Gilbert at the Royal Northern College of Music for two years and earned the PGDip, and PPRNCM diplomas in the next two years.
Other awards received by Mr. Cetiz include “The Composer of the Year” award by Memphis Music Teachers’ Association, the “Smit Composition Award” by the University of Memphis, and “The William Humphreys Dayas Prize of Composition” by Royal Northern College of Music”. His compositions have already been performed by some of the leading ensembles and orchestras; the BBC Philharmonic and the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra amongst others. His works have been premiered at such important contemporary festivals as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the Berlin – Young Euro Classics.
In 2003, Mr. Cetiz joined the faculty of Bilkent University as a tutor of composition and music theory and is currently a Core Lecturer in Music Humanities at Columbia University in New York.