About us

The Olivinn Ensemble creates a unique combination of sounds – with elements from traditional Turkish and Anatolian folk songs, as well as from classical European and more contemporary works. The quartet adopts an approach which allows new art forms to develop by removing the categorisation into specific genres, whilst not allowing their roots to fade or be abandoned. The composer and pianist, Sinem Altan, who was educated in Berlin and has won a number of prizes for her work, is responsible for the musical arrangement, while the vocalist, Begüm Tüzemen, who comes from Istanbul, lends her interpretation with her vocals that are marked by a wide stylistic range; the multi-instrumentalist Özgür Ersoy, who comes from East Anatolia, and Berlinbased percussionist Axel Meier, with his colourful rhythms, complete the ensemble’s line up. In 2011, the Olivinn Ensemble won the Young Ears Special Prize for Outstanding Arrangement of Innovative Concepts in an Intercultural Context with the fairy tale concert “Keloglan and the Band of Thieves”. Their first concerts included those for the Radialsystem V in Berlin, the Nikolaisaal Potsdam, and Leipzig Trade Fair and on the occasion of the Kiel Week celebrations.

SinemSinem Altan

Sinem Altan, born in 1985 in Ankara, was having composition lessons with the Azerbaijani composer, Arif Melikov, at the age of seven and, as a highly gifted musician, passed the entrance exam for the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin in the depanment Composition/Piano at the age of eleven. In 2002 she continued her composition studies with Friedrich Goldmann at Berlin University of the Arts, and at the same time studied music theoty and piano at the Hanns Eisler School of Music. She rompiered her studies taking composition at the University for Music in Freiburg. Sinem Altan has won several1st prizes at “Youth makes Music” and the “National Competitions for Young Composers” in Turkey and in Germany. Her greatest works include the Concert for Baglama (Turkish longnecked lute) and Orchestra, commissioned by the Berlin Landesmusikrat (Regional Music Council} in 2013, whicb was presented for the first time to great acclaim in the concert hall in autumn 2013 and the music theatte pieces “Tango Turk” and “City ofDogs” (Icarus Prize 20 10) at Neukölln Opera House, where she was Composer in Residence from 2008 to 2010. The dialogue between European and oriental culture is at the heart of her creative work. Through her collaboration with the singer, Begüm Tüzemen, and the Baglama/Mey player, Özgür Ersoy, the concert series “Yenilige Dogru – On a Fresh Path” arose, and the permanent ensemble and project team “OLIVINN ” developed from this. Her current works include her successful setring to music of the faity tales of the T urkish Till Eulenspiegel, “Keloglan”, whicb came about in collaboration with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and whicb was awarded the “Young Ears Special Prize” in 2011. Following her successful adaptation of Verdi’s opera Aida at the Amsterdam Music Theatre and her own version of Puccini’s La Boheme for theatre at Vienna Opera House which followed, she composed the children’s opera “Lotus-Island” as part of the project “The Flying Carpet Odyssey”, sponsored by Ernst von Siemens, whicb was perfurmed fur the first time in Municb in 2013. She is currently Musical Director for various productions at Maxim Gorlei Theatre, Ballhaus Naunynstraße and Atze Music Theatre in Berlin. Recently she received a commission for a full-length opera from Freiburg Theatre.

BegümBegüm Tüzemen

Born in 1983 in Istanbul, the artist Begüm Tüzemen began her music and singing studies at the National Conservatory of Istanbul University. She took part in wellknown music and concert projects in Turkey, including in Aspendos outside Antalya. In 2007 she moved to Berlin, where she continued her studies in classical singing and acting. She already made an impression as early as 2008-2010, when she took part in the successful production of “Turkish for Lovers” and “Tango Turk” at Neukölln Opera House. She founded the Olivinn Ensemble in collaboration with Sinem Altan and Özgür Ersoy. Her wide repertoire of various styles – from pop to classical arias, from musical highlights and jazz standards, right through to adaptations of international folk songs and interpretations of contemporary composers – give her access to fascinating interdisciplinary and multimedia performance projects, which exert formative influence on her musical and operatic appreciation. Her incredible presence on stage and bubbling energy make her an outstanding performer. Recently she has been charming audiences in Potsdam Nikolaisaal, in the Radialsystem V in Berlin, Ballhaus Naunynstraße, and at Atze Music Theatre. Alongside her talents as a singer, which are developing in a wide variety of areas, she is also a gifted actress, and has taken parts in a range of music theatre projects on the stage in Berlin. She is currently involved in projects with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn and at Freiburg Theatre.

SinemÖzgür Ersoy

Born in Erzincan ITu rkey in 1977, Ersoy studied from 1993- 1998 at the National Conservatoire of Turkish Music in lzmir in the Baglarna class taught by Dr. Ilhan Ersoy. As his second instrument he studied Mey and Duduk (wind instruments) with Kemal Kirmizi. At the same time he studied education in the Literature Faculty, also at Ege University. In 1999 he arrived in Berlin. Numerous performances with Ensemble Olivinn, Anatolian Jazz Orchestra and the band The Taal Tantra Experience include his many international concert appearances. Among his current projects is the Concerto for Baglaroa and Symphony Orchestra by Sinem Altan, in which he appears as soloist with the Landesjugendorchester Berlin, “Kirschgarten” at Maxim Gorki Theatre, and “Saison der Krabben” at Ballhaus Naunynstraße.

SinemAxel Meier

Axel Meier, drummer and percussionist, was born 1990 in Berlin. His musical career began with playing the piano at the age of 6. His first interest in playing the drums was aroused at the age of 12. He started to explore various different percussion instruments, music styles and rhythms at a very early stage in his life.Regardless of whether he plays the kettledrum or the darbuka, Salsa or traditional Turkish folklore music, drumset or vibraphone he feels secure to play all kinds of music styles. Nevertheless he is constantly engaged in searching new ways of improving himself and to combine his wide interest in various music styles and instruments.He worked ,among others, with Robyn Schulkowsky, Steve Hackett (Genesis), Ramesh Shotham, Jacob TV, Laura Patchen and performed with a variety of ensembles and orchestras in Germany, Belgium, France, Austria and Switzerland.He is currently studying drums and classical percussion at the Academy of Music and Theatre (HMT), Rostock.