Award-winning pianist Evren Ozel. Photo: Geneva Lewis

Award-winning pianist Evren Ozel. Photo: Geneva Lewis

Asheville Symphony Presents Pianist Evren Ozel

Piano Recital Series showcases outstanding young talent.

Award-winning pianist Evren Ozel. Photo: Geneva Lewis
Award-winning pianist Evren Ozel. Photo: Geneva Lewis

On Tuesday, January 31, 2023, the Asheville Symphony presents award-winning pianist Evren Ozel in recital with an exquisite program featuring Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Bartok, Bach, Ligeti and Beethoven.

The recital takes place at 7 p.m. at downtown Asheville’s Central United Methodist Church.

The program explores polyphony, the musical concept of multiple independent melodic lines occurring at the same time. It includes Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme by Corelli, Chopin’s E Major Scherzo, Bartok’s Out of Doors, etudes by Ligeti, selections from Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Klavier (The Well-Tempered Clavichord), and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32.

“Evren is a rising star on the national scene, having played with outstanding orchestras and chamber music ensembles across the country,” said Asheville Symphony Executive Director Daniel Crupi. “He has won a huge number of prestigious international awards at a very young age… One of the primary aims of our Piano Recital Series is to present outstanding young talent on the rise, and that is exactly what we are doing by featuring Evren this January.”

Ozel has won numerous honors and awards including scholarships from the US Chopin Foundation and Young Arts Foundation, first prize at the 2016 Boston Symphony Concerto Competition, second prize at the 2016 Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition, and second prize as well as Mozart and Chopin special prizes at the 2018 Dublin International Piano Competition. Most recently, he received second prize and special prizes for Best Mazurka and Best Polonaise at the 2020 US National Chopin Competition and secured the honor of representing the US in the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland in October 2021, where he was a quarter-finalist.

He has performed with orchestras around the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, RTE National Symphony, and Boston Pops. In 2018, as a freshman at New England Conservatory, Evren won both the Honors Piano Competition and the NEC Chamber Concerto Competition, which garnered him an opportunity to play on the Jordan Hall stage with the school’s conductorless orchestra.

An avid chamber musician, Ozel was selected by Mitsuko Uchida to participate in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival. There he performed with Jonathan Biss, Alice Neary, Marcy Rosen, and Joseph Lin, among others. Three of his performances at the festival have been featured in the archived Historic Recordings from Marlboro.

In 2019, he participated in ChamberFest Cleveland, featured in their Rising Star program, performing alongside artists such as Franklin Cohen, Peter Wiley, and Hsin-Yun Huang. Of his performance of Franck Sonata with Nathan Meltzer, Cleveland Classical wrote “Meltzer and Ozel attended to every contour of the music with care, crafting a longform melodic idea that flowed effortlessly from phrase to phrase and movement to movement. It was a privilege to witness.”

Ozel is currently in the Master of Music program at New England Conservatory in Boston, where he has been studying with Wha Kyung Byun since 2014. He is represented by Concert Artists Guild, as one of the Ambassador Prize winners of their 2021 Victor Elmaleh Virtual Competition.

Tickets are general admission: $45 for adults, and $15 for youth (under 25). They can be purchased online at, by phone at (828) 254-7046, or in person at the Asheville Symphony office at 27 College Pl., Suite 100.

The recital is made possible by sponsors David & Pamela Lane.


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