Cem Güven (b. 22.11.1997) is a composer from Türkiye/Istanbul who graduated from The Juilliard School in New York (bachelor’s Degree) and the Royal Academy of Music in London (master’s Degree). He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree (DMA) with a fellowship at Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in New York. Cem Güven is a composer of the Universal Edition of Wien, where his scores are being published and distributed; he is also an artist of Talent Unlimited. Cem is nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2024. He is the recipient of awards in various composition competitions and organizations worldwide, such as the Petrichor International Music Competition Grand Prize, Royal Academy of Music Composition Postgraduate Prize, Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship, Alblaze Records Award, Academia Musica Vienna (2nd Prize) Franz Schubert Conservatorium in Wien (2nd Prize) and KLK New Music competitions such as “Musica Per Archi” (2nd prize) and “Orient-Occident” (3rd Prize). Güven has worked with well-known ensembles such as Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Attacca Quartet, Riot Ensemble, University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Coma Ensemble, Opera Elect, Vice Ensemble, Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, Tbilisi State Opera Chamber Orchestra, KLK New Music Orchestra, Sydney Contemporary Orchestra and soon to work with Loadbang Ensemble. Güven also participated in music festivals such as Valencia International Performing Academy, Curtis Summerfest, and Soundscape.



Güven describes his music as “Earround Music, “ more specifically, “harmonic germinations surrounding the ears” since his ambition is to create surrounding sonorities with the contrast of high and low pitches/textures expressed with a variety of dynamics, as well as to emphasize the tension between twelve-tone and microtonal pitch collections within continuously expansive harmonic progressions, for the listeners to feel like all the partials of their ears are filled with contrasting sounds which give the feelings of “complete” sonorities. Güven works with abstract, imaginary atmospheres that give the feeling of eternity and inescapability, as the emphasized sonorities disappear and reappear with ambiguous pacing. The tension between twelve-tone and microtonal pitch collections reflects his contemporary perspective of Turkish music and its “makams”.  Güven’s music often features the contrast between intense and meditative atmospheres, and the pacing of his works aims to reach his utopia of “uninterrupted focus” while listening.