Professor Muammer Sun, a doyen composer and educator who made several contributions to the development of Contemporary Polyphonic Turkish Music, passed away on Jan. 16 at Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Hospital due to multiple organ failure. He was 89.
He was taken to the hospital on the night of Jan. 15 for his treatment.
Apart from being the founder and director of the Sun Publishing House, he was also the founder and honorary president of the Composers, Conductors and Musicologists Union Association (BESOIN). During his career, he composed noteworthy soundtracks for the films “Cumhuriyet” and “Kurtuluş,” featuring the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
Born in Ankara in 1932, Sun entered the Military Band School in 1946 and the Ankara State Conservatory Department of Composition in 1953. He was a student of composer Ahmet Adnan Saygun. In the conservatory, he learned piano from Mithat Fenmen, Turkish folk music from Muzaffer Sarısözen, conducting of choir and orchestra from Hasan Ferit Alnar, classical Turkish music from Ruşen Ferit Kam and Turkish music maqams and harmony from Kemal İlerici.
Sun graduated from the Ankara State Conservatory in 1960 and later taught at the Ankara, İzmir and Istanbul State Conservatories as well as in the Gazi University’s Music Department. Sun had also served as an executive border member of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).
He retired from the Hacettepe University State Conservatory Department of Composition in 1999. Sun was awarded the title of “State Artist” by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry in 1998.
Paying his condolences on the passing away of Sun, pianist and composer Fazıl Say expressed his sorrow on his social media account. “One of Turkey’s most valuable names in music history, Muammer Sun, died this morning. My sadness is really great. This loss is huge for us.”
Say also shared the original manuscript notes of the work “Sadness,” which was dedicated to him by Sun on April 28, 1988. He stated that he would be recording Sun’s works next month.
Tenor Murat Karahan, the general director of the State Opera and Ballet, also expressed his sorrow on the death of Sun, who made great national and worldwide contributions to the development and spread of Turkish music culture.
“He is one of the most important music people in the Turkish Republic. I am very sorry for losing our precious teacher Sun, with whom I had the honor of meeting and working,” Karahan said.
Hurriyet Daily News