Yurdal Tokcan is being regarded as one of the finest oud players in the world today. His style combines older traditions with many new stylistic innovations, which are also present in his playing of the fretless guitar. His new compositions combine traditional rich melodies with polyphonic textures performed on Turkish classical instruments.
Tokcan is a graduate of Istanbul Technical University’s Turkish State Conservatory. While completing his master’s program there, he joined the faculty as an oud instructor. Tokcan continues to teach, sharing his knowledge, experience, and technique with Turkish and foreign students.
In 1990, he joined Istanbul State Classical Turkish Music Ensemble under the artistic direction of Tanburi Necdet Yasar. He is a member of the Istanbul Fasil Ensemble and the Istanbul Tasavvuf Music Ensemble, and a founding member of the Istanbul Sazendeleri, a group dedicated to presenting Turkish instrumental works. Tokcan has participated in many recordings and has performed internationally.
As a soloist, Tokcan performed in the Netherlands with the Amsterdam Percussion Group and Chamber Orchestra in a program titled European Music Around Oud, and with the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra in Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium. Tokcan joined Burhan Ocal (percussion), Goksel Baktagir (kanun), Selim Guler (kemence), and Arif Erdebil (ney) in concert, the recording of which won the 1998 “Best Ethnic Album” in France. Tokcan has played in many of ney virtuoso Kudsi Erguner’s ensembles, both in Turkey and abroad. He performed in Israel with Group Baharat and with long time collaborator, kanun player Goksel Baktagir. Recently, Tokcan has been recording and performing with Israeli Ladino artist Hadass Pal Yarden. His work can also be heard on Bende Can, an album of his original compositions.
Tokcan represented Turkey in several international festivals and celebrations, including the 3rd International Oud and Lavta Festival in Dresden, Germany and the 2002 International Oud Meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece (along with oud players Ara Dinkjian, Simon Shaheen, Haig Yazdjian, and Omar Bashir). In 2003, he performed at the Oud Festival in Jordan, at the Arabic Music Festival at the Cairo Opera Hall, and Turkish Year in Japan. Tokcan performed in Jerusalem in a pan-Mediterranean, www.yurdaltokcan.com