Various musicians and performers gather to remember composer, producer and author Ilhan Mimaroglu (1926-2012) on his birthday…
Ilhan Mimaroğlu worked as a jazz producer for Atlantic Records for 26 years, during which he produced noticeable albums for Charles Mingus, Modern Jazz Quartet, John Coltrane and Freddie Hubbard. Ilhan Mimaroğlu was the founder and director of Finnader Records, a label distributed by Atlantic Records and known for its classical and modern music releases. A total of 35 albums were released through Finnader Records starting in the early 1970s, including titles by Milton Babbitt, Herbie Mann, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. The first modern direct-disk recording was also released on Finnader in 1977, "The Second and Seventh Piano Sonatas of Prokofiev" by Turkish pianist Idil Biret.
Ilhan Mimaroğlu studied at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Center under Vladimir Ussachevsky and was the private student of Edgard Varèse and Stefan Wolpe. It was here that he composed most of his compositions. Ilhan Mimaroğlu also studied musicology at Columbia University under Paul Henry Lang and composition under Douglas Moore. He collaborated with Jean Dubuffet on his "Coucou Bazar" piece and Federico Fellini used Mimaroğlu's music on "Satyricon." Additionally, he produced radio shows on WBAI for seven years and was an art critic on Voice of America.
In addition to his electronic and instrumental/vocal compositions, Ilhan Mimaroğlu wrote a number of books on the history of music, jazz, electronic music; plus a set of diaries, all published in Turkey. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition in 1971, received the Rockefeller Scholarship in 1955 and, most recently, was the recipient of the International Istanbul Jazz Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. The son of the famous architect Mimar Kemaleddin Bey, Ilhan Mimaroğlu graduated from the prestigious Galatasaray High School in Istanbul in 1945 and the Ankara Law School in 1949. He had been living in New York since 1958.