Ud virtuoso and composer Münir Nurettin Beken began his musical life in 1975 at the age of eleven, studying at the State Conservatory of Istanbul under the famous pedagogue Mutlu Torun, author of an extensive work on the ud method. In 1998, Mr. Beken earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland. He has studied composition with Cemal Resit Rey, Yalçın Tura, and Stuart Smith and participated in composition workshops with such luminaries as George Crumb, Lukas Foss, Philip Glass, Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, and Charles Wuorinen.
As a performer on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, August Denhard has appeared with Seattle Baroque Orchestra, the Concord Ensemble, Chicago Music of the Baroque, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Camarata Pacifica Baroque, and many other ensembles specializing in early music. Mr. Denhard has given numerous solo recitals and is in demand as an accompanist of 17th century vocal music. He performs regularly in a lute song duo with tenor Eric Mentzel and with Baroque Northwest.