Gizem Gokoglu is a film composer and singer, originally from Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. She got involved with music at an early age in Izmir, Turkey
through piano lessons.
While continuing her piano studies with Assoc. Prof. Demet Eytemiz in Izmir, she also pursued voice lessons with soprano Selmin Gunoz and soprano Aytul Buyuksarac. After
graduating from the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, Gizem attended the Istanbul State Conservatory for a year, studying opera with Prof. A. Mufit Bayrasa, as well as piano with Nazan Akin. In the same year, she passed the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music’s 8th grade exam on piano.
Gizem moved to Boston, MA to begin her education at Berklee College of Music. In 2009, she received the Quincy Jones Award. The following year, she was selected as one of four participants to attend Maria Schneider Jazz Composition Seminar Classes, and had the privilege to study with Maria Schneider.
Gizem graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in May 2011 with a B.M. Dual Degree in Jazz Composition and Performance (Voice). She studied with esteemed musicians such as Prof. David Johnson/ jazz harmony, Prof. Greg Hopkins/ jazz composition and orchestration, Prof. Dennis Leclaire/ composition and orchestration, Prof. Lisa Thorson/voice, Prof. Kathryn Wright/ voice.
Motivated by her acceptance into the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, Gizem moved to New York City. She attended the workshop (led by world-renowned composers Jim McNeely and Mike Holober) from Fall 2011 until Spring 2014. She was also selected as one of three participants of the West Point Band’s Jazz Knights Composers Forum in 2012. In 2014, Gizem graduated from NYU Steinhardt (Master of Music Theory and Composition: Scoring for Film & Multimedia), where she studied composition and orchestration with Prof. Sonny Kompanek, Prof. Justin Dello Joio and Prof. Ira Newborn.
In Spring 2015, Gizem received a place in the Society of Composers and Lyricists NY Composer Mentor Program led by film composer Chris Hajian. In the same year, her composition “Inhale” won an Honorable Mention in the Composition Contest of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra and was performed as part of the Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival 2015.
Gizem’s music has also been performed by the BCJO directed by Greg Hopkins, The BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, The West Point Band’s Jazz Knights, and Linus Wyrsch
Quartet, here in the U.S. as well as in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Turkey. Gizem is a recent recipient of the highly acclaimed ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award (2017) for her composition “Garden of Onur”. She currently participates in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop led by Andy Farber and Ted Nash. Gizem continues her calling as a composer and singer in New York City, working on local and remote projects including music for film and various ensembles.