The 2021/2022 International Series is presented in part
with support from the Roy Minoff Family Fund.
Since his concert debut at the age of 6, Turkish-American guitarist Celil Refik Kaya has received high accolades for his myriad accomplishments at an early age. He is the youngest to win First Prize in the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and is a prizewinner of multiple international guitar competitions, including the 2012 Guitar Foundation of America. In 2017 he was awarded “Rising Young Musician of the Year” by the Donizetti Classical Music Awards in Istanbul.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Celil began his interest in classical guitar at the age of 6 with his father, Dr. Mehmet Refik Kaya. He earned his Bachelor Degree of Music from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with the Highest Honor Degree in Istanbul, and pursued his graduate studies in New York City at Mannes School of Music. Celil gave his debut performance for Cleveland Classical Guitar Society in 2017, when his playing was described as “elegant” and “masterful” by Daniel Hathaway of ClevelandClassical.com.
His playing, which was concentrated yet seemingly effortless, created waves of melody and harmony that seemed to hypnotically wash over the packed audience[.]The Signal
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