Utar Artun was born in Ankara, Turkey. In 2006, he arranged musical pieces for the theater play “The 7 Women”. Artun arranged numerous movie soundtracks and oldies/jazz music for symphonic orchestras, and the Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony, Cukurova State Symphony, Presidential Symphony Orchestra and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra performed his arrangements and compositions in live concerts. In Turkey, Artun performed at the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival, 12th Side Culture Art Festival, the 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, 6th International Mersin Music Festival, and 25th International Ankara Music Festival. In 2008, Artun graduated from Percussion Department of Hacettepe Conservatory with 2nd Rank (runner-up) Degree of School Placement Award (Turkey).
After his graduation, he participated to European Scholarship Tours of Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2.5 years with summa cum laude degree. He was awarded for highly “Honorable Mention” from Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, Barnes&Noble award, 5 Dean’s List awards, Outstanding Pianist award, Arif Mardin Scholarship Award and Brian Oliver Memorial Award. He was among the finalist of ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composers Competition (2010) and Young Jazz Composers Competition (2011). In January 2010 and 2012, one of his compositions was selected to Jazz Revaluation Records CDs. He was a JRR artist of Berklee and Artun was a part of ‘Birds of Feather’, ‘Octave’ and ‘Ripple Effect’ albums. In 2011, he performed with Kevin Eubanks in the studio recording session of WGBH Studios – Boston, MA. In the US, He’s been in workshops, clinics, concert performances and album recordings with world renowned artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Dave Weckl, Jojo Mayer, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Dave Liebman, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Guiliana, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Dave Holland, Larry Finn, Eddie Gomez, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch, Kati Agocs, Hankus Netsky, Ken Schaphorst, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Erkan Ogur, Anat Cohen, Yazhi Guo, Luis Conte, Kenwood Dennard, Jason Linder, Ledisi and David Fiuczynski. He involves into the Rhythm of the Universe and Berklee Yo-Team Projects as an Arranger, Performer, Conductor and Orchestrator, and Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music.
Artun won the 18th HALICI MIDI Composition Contest and 2nd place in the Berklee Film Scoring Contest 7 in 2011. In February 2013, He won a runner-up award of the TRT 2013 Children Choir Contest. In 2013, Artun won the Highest Award of SCAMV 1st National Symphonic Composition Contest. In Turkey, he is one the highly awarded scholars of Foundation of Modern Education (CEV) and Ankara Jazz Society (ACD). In 2016, won the 3rd place award of 9th Eczacibasi National Composition Contest with his symphonic lied “Hiclik”. Artun has done numerous international studio recordings, albums, festivals, concerts and performances such as Undead Jazz Festival, Burlington Jazz Festival, Europalia Arts festival in Belgium, Musicacoustica Festival in China, Abu Dhabi Festival, Boston Jazz Fest, Barcelona Guitar Festival, Vilnius Jazz Festival in Lithuania and Detroit Jazz Festival. Artun had performances, touring and clinics in Switzerland (HKB-Bern & AMR Geneva), France (Paris, Sunset and Nancy, Music Academy International), Austria (Innsbruck – Treibhaus), Germany (Berlin-Aufsturz), Netherlands (Amsterdam- Panama), China (Beijing Central Conservatory) and Italy (Gezmataz Jazz Festival, Genova). He did a tour with Jussi Reijonen in Finland along with 8 performances and 5 workshops. Also, he had plenty of interviews, TV broadcasts and newspaper-press cuttings in USA, Europe and Turkey. With Nazan Nihal, he released their band’s “neotolia” EP album – Rose Lace in 2014 and they won a Bronze Medal from Global Music Awards 2014. In 2017, they released their 2nd album “Neotolian Song” and finished their USA CD Release tour. Recently, he won the Boston Microtonal Society Award and released his solo music video “Cajonversations”. Currently, he’s writing new ballet music for the Ankara State Opera & Ballet’s Modern Dance projects. In 2017, He composed the first Piano & Cajon Concertant in the world and he premiered it at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul with Istanbul Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015, Artun got his M.M. degree from the historic New England Conservatory with ‘Academic Honors’. He has also composed and arranged over 120 pieces for symphony orchestra, as well as more than 160 pieces for brass bands and big bands. Featured on various studio albums as a piano player, arranger, and drummer. His compositions and arrangements are performed in USA, Switzerland, Turkey, Holland, China, Canada, Taiwan and Russia. Artun is working as an Arranger for Ankara Kent Bigband and Musical Director for Classical Oasis Ensemble. Furthermore, He’s a voting member at The Recording Academy for upcoming Grammy Awards. In addition to that, Utar Artun is a member of SCI, NACUSA, Cagdas Turk Bestecileri and BMI. Currently, Artun is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music.