Music has always been a part of Utar Dundarartun existence. He says," I came from Turkey, Ankara and I started my musical education with classical percussion and I have my bachelors degree from percussion, but I came to U-S to improve my film scoring and compositional skills because there is no education in Turkey for film scoring and jazz competition."
In 2009, Utar participated in the European Scholarship Tours of Berklee College of Music in Paris. Now on the Berklee campus in Boston, Massachussets Utar has a scholarship under the diploma program. The program is devoted entirely to the study of music and is often pursued by students who already have a degree from another school. Utar says the program so far is impressive. "I'm in the diploma program and not the degree [program] because I have my degree from Turkey. Actually, this program really impress me to do something for music and with my composition," he says. "I have had many great teachers at Berklee like Marc Rossi, Neil Olmstead and other composition teachers like Isaiah Jackson my conducting teacher.
There are a lot of good teachers that really have inspired me from Berklee's perception about music and I can assure you that it has even inspired me to focus even more on my own music. I got a little experience this first year, like for example, I did almost twenty compositions and I did my first film scoring experiment," he says. "I believe I would like to try and score and tailor compositional stuff for my region. My creativity and imagination has really stretched my scope about music and history. I would like to create something to give to humanity as part of a really important program for myself."
Utar is a composer, arranger, percussionist and pianist. Since being at Berklee, Utar has had the opportunity to showcase a variety of his talents. Just this year, Berklee's student-run label Jazz Revelation Records (JRR), released its seventh compilation CD, 'Birds of a Feather' featuring seven of Berklee's student artists. Not only was Utar one of the artists, but one of his compositions was selected to be on the CD. "Actually, I have all of my original compositions like for big bands and some brass sections. Also, I have my own group its called Betone. We performed in some international jazz festivals in Turkey like the International Ankara Jazz Festival, or the International Eskisehir Jazz Festival," he says.
I composed a lot of jazz stuff and some classical arrangements and composition for like symphony orchestras and at Berklee I was awarded honorable mention award for Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition for my symphony piece its called 'Scope' and the JRR CD (Jazz Revelation Records) they accepted my solution for the CD and I performed for the CD with my band and it was an unbelieveable performance for me and experience."
A few more years are needed before Utar completes his diploma program. As for his future, Utar says,"I would like to be part of history and music this is my realistic aim in the future, but I need to show my music to important producers,composers and arrangers. I need to meet with them as well as I need to discover my own music and I need to improve myself," he says.
After graduation I would like to compose, arrange, score, produce and perform as a jazz pianist all over the world and share my music and knowledge with as many people as possible."
When asked if Utar wanted to leave any last thought about Berklee in his native tongue, Utar replied, "I would like to invite everybody to Berklee to improve their music and dreams."