ilayda denizPianist and composer İlayda Deniz Oğuz was born 2000 in Ankara and established her composition abilities at a relatively young age. She has been the youngest finalist ever in the history of F. Nejat Eczacıbaşı Composition Competition, held biennially in İzmir, with her orchestral lied “Anlatamıyorum” for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, after a poem by Orhan Veli Kanık, composed 2014. She has had a chance to have lessons with prominent composers such as Mark Andre, Ulrich Kreppein, Emre Sihan Kaleli, Mahir Cetiz, Mehmet Can Özer, Onur Türkmen, Tolga Yayalar and Ülkemin Akbaş. Her music has been performed in new music events such as Bilkent University New Music Days, Bilgi University New Music Festival and “Sesin Yolculuğu – Young Composers Festival”. “Anlatamıyorum” was performed 2016 by İzmir State Symphony Orchestra and her “Piano Trio” by acclaimed musicians Ellen Jewett, Elizabeth Simkin and Xak Bjerken in “The Composers Cauldron” of the 8th International Cappadocia Music Festival, August 2018, and her most recent piece “Yūgen” for solo viola by the accomplished violist Otoha Tabata, at Royal College of Music, London, November 2018.

İlayda, who frequently performs her own pieces, is a versatile musician as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral pianist and accompanist. She made her concerto debut with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra with Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto, performing her own original cadenza, 2014. She played with Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Ankara, and collaborated with prominent Turkish conductors Orhun Orhon, Dağhan Doğu and Serdar Yalçın. Apart from the most prestigious venues in Turkey, she performed in London Austrian Cultural Forum and the Royal College of Music Keyboard Festival “Clara’s Circle” in London.

İlayda has completed her education at Bilkent University High School of Music and Performing Arts in 2018, having studied piano with Zerin Rasul; music theory, harmony and composition with Yiğit Aydın and Orhun Orhon; and conducting with Işın Metin. She is currently in her first year of undergraduate studies at the Royal College of Music London, where she is a “Kenneth and Violet Scott Scholar”, studying piano with Gordon Fergus-Thompson.



Yūgen (幽玄), is an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics, is said to mean “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering”. The piece was dedicated to my dear friend and exceptional violist Otoha Tabata. The underlying reason I picked the concept “Yūgen” as the title of the piece and an idea for the composition process was my desire to celebrate Otoha’s background and culture.

The trembling, whimpering sound world of the piece occasionally illustrates a howling, whispering, mysterious “sound of the leaves”, which corresponds to the meaning of the word “Otoha”, and a hysterical, dramatic, gruesome expression of the “sad beauty of human suffering”.

click for score of Yūgen“ for solo viola