Violist Esra PEHLIVANLI has been awarded several music prizes such as the 5th Krzysztof Penderecki International Contemporary Music Competition (Poland), Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Italy), Jur Naessens Music Award (The Netherlands), first prize at the Premio Valentino Bucchi International Viola Competition (Italy), where she also received the Medaglia del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana and "The Best String Player of the Year" award in Donizetti Classical Music Awards 2013. She studied with the eminent violist Michael Kugel in Belgium and The Netherlands.
Esra has given a great variety of concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Turkey, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland, China and Venezuela. She has appeared as soloist with the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, Bursa State Symphony Orchestra and worked with conductors Emil Tabakov, Marek Pijarowski, Raoul Gruneis, Heiko Mathias Förster, Patrick Souillot, Ibrahim Yazici a.o.
Esra has taken part in festivals such as Robeco Zomerconcerten, Grachtenfestival, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Festival Classique Den Haag, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Mommenta Festival, Ljubljana Festival, November Music, Galway International Concert Season, Festival Latinoamericano de Música, Ensemblia Festival, Vendsyssel Festival, International Ankara Music Festival, International Mersin Music Festival, European Capital of Culture 2010 Istanbul a.o. She has performed in prestigious venues from Concertgebouw Amsterdam to the intimate recital venues.
The content of Pehlivanli’s repertory spans from Baroque until the music of present time. Besides performing all the major works of the viola literature, she’s a great devotee of contemporary music and collaborates with composers for the creation and promotion of new viola repertory. Over 90 compositions have been written for her by composers such as Ivo Petric, Roderik De Man, Klaas De Vries, Guus Janssen, Martijn Padding, Klas Torstensson, Wom Hendrickx, Florian Magnus Maier, Arnoud Noordegraaf, Chiel Meijering, Bruno Strobl, Nico Huijbregts, Anne La Berge, Gerhard Stäbler, Louis Aguirre a.o. including two concertos for viola, accordion and symphony orchestra by Selim Dogru and Frank Zabel.
PEHLIVANLI has participated in several CD recording productions made in Germany, The Netherlands and Turkey; “Volume Nuevo”, “Richness of the Tones”, “Power of Women”, "Buffoni", "Kaiseki", "La Volta", “Falsche Tango”, “ Past & Present Tracks” as well as radio & TV recordings for RTL, Deutschland Rundfunk (Germany), TRT, NTV, ATV (Turkey), Concertzender, Nederland 1, Radio 4, AVRO, NTR (The Netherlands).