Brief biography of Aka

I am indebted to Neyzen Kudsi Erguner for many of the following details about our mutual friend, Aka.

Born in Istanbul in 1934 (one year after me), Aka joined the Eyüp Musikisi Cemiyeti (Eyüp Music Society) ensemble at the age of 19 or 20 and took ney lessons for three years from the director, Gavsi Baykara. Aka later joined another music society at the home of Radife Erten. After his compulsory military service, he continued his musical education with the Progressive Turkish Music Society (İleri Türk Musiki Cemiyeti) under the direction of Laika Karabey at that time. He took further music lessons from Emin Ongan of the Üsküdar Music Society, with whom he worked really  hard, it is said.

In 1960, Kutbay won a position in open competition as Radio Artist (Radyo Sanatçιsι) with Radio Istanbul, a major patron of Turkish art music. At the death of Neyzen Ulvi Erguner in 1973, he became Serneyzen (principal ney player) for the annual Mevlana Festival in Konya. He joined the faculty of the newly-formed Türk Musikisi Devlet Konservatuvarι (Turkish Music National Conservatory at Istanbul Technical University) in 1974(?). Like many other Turkish artists, he also earned a living playing in gazino-s (nightclubs) and making recordings, in addition to his radio and conservatory jobs. He continued in all these positions until his untimely demise in 1979.

Friends describe him as bohemian, zestful, humorous (see photo at top of this page), as one who enjoyed food and rakι and life. That sounds exactly like the Aka I knew.

Home | Discography

last revised 21 September 2008