Gülru Ensari, Piano

I was born in Istanbul to a pianist mother and a guitarist father. I would listen from my mother’s belly as she would perform at her concerts, and later to my father when he would play for me at my bedside.

So, it is impossible to imagine my life without music, since I started the conservatory at age 6 as I also began elementary school. I would go to the conservatory twice a week for my music and piano lessons with Associate Professor Nihan Yapalı, and continue to practice at home every day after school for hours. Later on, my piano teacher moved to the US and I continued my studies with her mother Prof. Meral Yapalı while I attended the German High School in Istanbul. Professor Yapali became my closest mentor, as I would spend most of my time outside my home at hers from practicing to studying for competitions and exams. I owe my passion and success to her, and I am endlessly grateful for her time and efforts.

After winning the “Jugend Musiziert” youth competition in Germany, I realized that my love for playing piano was more than just a hobby. I had always loved performing on stage, but my competition successes gave me confidence and I believed in myself to become a professional pianist.

The masterclasses I took abroad were always so much fun as it was full of music and friendships. I met Professor Vassily Lobanov at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, and became his student for five years at the Cologne Music Hochschule. Since I had always loved getting to know new people and making music with friends, I decided to complete my Master’s degree in chamber music with one of my other inspirational teachers, Professor Anthony Spiri in Cologne.My passion for chamber music brought me together with the most amazing musicians renowned worldwide such as Gautier Capucon, Clemens Hagen, Mirijam Contzen, Ilya Gringolts, Sebastian Manz, Matvey Demin.

I have had the privilege of giving concerts in my home country of Turkey, in Europe, the US, and South America. Every venue and hall has its own unique experience. The different halls, better acoustics, complex pieces, and wonderful musicians I get to play with allows me to better enjoy my profession.

Perhaps one of the biggest joys of my life is creating music with my beloved husband and pianist, Herbert Schuch. We have so far released two albums together with music from Turkey, Russia, and Germany, and played many concerts. Doing this allows us to experience excitement and adrenaline together with great music, which has also enriched our personal relationship. But of course, we became the happiest when our lovely daughter was born in 2019. Watching her enjoy our music from the comfort of our home is a different joy of life and my job as a pianist. So this is my story so far as a pianist, woman, and now a mother.