Since his concert debut at the age of 6, Celil Refik Kaya has received high promised repetitions and accolades for his myriad accomplishments at an early age, winning First Prize in the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition with the Buffalo Philharmonic; Top prizewinner of international guitar competitions including Sofia Bulgaria, Naxos Greece, Vienna, Istanbul, and throughout the United States, highlighted awards winner at top competitions such as 2012 Guitar Foundation of America(GFA), Indiana International Guitar Competition, Schadt String Competition, Philadelphia Guitar Competition, Texas International Guitar Competition, Indiana International Guitar Competition, Pearl and Julius Rising Young Stars, Columbus State and Louisville Guitar Competitions.
Mr. Kaya appears as a soloist and international artist touring around the United States and Europe. As a concert soloist, he has collaborated with professional orchestras such as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Istanbul State Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony, Brevard Festival Orchestra, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Bilkent Symphony etc.which he has gained his great artistic recognition internationally. He conducted many masterclasses in the music festivals and the Universities throughout the United States and Europe.
Mr. Kaya had presented the premieres of concertos by Roberto Sierra (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra), Derwyn Holder (New Jersey Baroque Orchestra), Leonard Handler, and Suleyman Alnitemiz (Istanbul State Symphony). He recorded the works of Jorge Morel on his first album with NAXOS. His upcoming CD is going to be the works of Italian composer Carlo Domeniconi. As a performer Mr. Kaya works closely with our generation’s great composers including Lowell Liebermann, Jorge Morel, and Roberto Sierra, among many others.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1991, Mr. Kaya began his interest in classical guitar at the age of six with his father, Dr. Mehmet Refik Kaya. Early main instructors included generation-influenced educators such as Yusuf Doğan Büyüköğüt, Raffi Arslanyan, Soner Egesel. When he was 19, Celil earned his Bachelor Degree of Music from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with the Highest Honor Degree in Istanbul, and was granted the “Excellence” Scholarship from the Turkish Educational Foundation. During his Bachelor’s degree he studied composition with the famous Turkish composer Mehmet Nemutlu.
Mr. Kaya expended his worldwide notice throughout the time he pursued his Master Degree of music in New York City at Mannes College The New School For Music. As a full-scholarship student, he has also received the Excellence in Performance Awards by the Mannes College the New School for Music. Mr. Kaya was proudly studied in the studio of Michael Newman (the disciple of Andrés Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia and Albert Valdes Blain) as well as private studies with Grammy awards-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin. During his master’s degree he studied composition, arrangement and transcription with renowned guitarist-composer Frederic Hand. Celil is currently receiving the Harrington fellowship –at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music as a candidate of Doctoral Degree of Musical Arts program and teaching assistant, in the studio of prestigious guitarist of out time – Adam Holzman.
Mr. Kaya performed in the most prestigious concert halls and the festivals around the United States including solo recital, concerto performances and master classes on the D’Addario Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, The Frick Collection Museum in NYC Summer Artists series, New York Guitar Seminar Festival at Mannes College, Round Top Festival in Texas, Brevard Music Festival in South Carolina, Raritan River Music Festival, Nevada County Guitar Festival, also numerous Radio broadcast and concert performances throughout United States and Turkey.
Besides a concert soloist, Celil Refik Kaya is also known as an avid composer where his has more than 100 pieces including works for solo guitar, violin, piano, string trio, duets, sonatas etc. His chamber and instrumental works were performed throughout United States, Turkey, South Korea and Australia Sydney’s Opera House. He also enjoys playing chamber music, playing traditional Turkish music and training martial arts during his spare time.