Aria Esmaeili Torkanbouri, BA MA

Pre-Doctoral Researcher at GOING VIRAL. Music and Emotions during Pandemics (1679-1919)

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Photo: © Ugur Karakan

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Aria Torkanbouri is a composer, music theorist, and ethnomusicologist originally from Tabriz city. Between 2007-2020, he studied composition, music theory, orchestra conducting, and piano in University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler Berlin, Uzeyir Hajibeyli Academy of Music Baku, Mimar Sinan University of Arts Istanbul, and University of Arts Tehran, all under the tutelage of esteemed professors across various institutions. Since 2018, his academic focus shifted towards delving deep into the scientific intricacies of music, particularly in dissecting the Eastern music tone system, which propelled him towards the Master of Ethnomusicology program at University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) in 2020. His master research focuses on unraveling the complex interplay of sociopolitical and music theoretical reasons behind the decline of Azerbaijan-Turkish Ashiq art activity over the past century, where he also delved into defining a new perspective on Ashiq music’s tone system as Azerbaijan-Turkish folk music under the supervision of Prof. Ulrich Morgenstern, resulting in his graduation with a ‘distinction MDW’ grade in 2023.

Beyond his academic endeavors, he has embraced various roles within the musical community, serving as a composer, conductor, performer, competition jury member, organizer, and manager. His music compositions have been performed on prestigious stages and festivals worldwide, winning international composition competitions and uniting audiences across borders through music’s universal language. Alongside his composition career, he serves as the artistic director of the Öst ensemble in Vienna. Furthermore, his writings, spanning one novel, short and long stories, feuilletons, scripts, and librettos delve into themes of creativity and cultural expression, enriching his artistic narrative.

Research Interest

  • Ethnomusicology - Historical Musicology - Music Theory
  • Music and Emotions in Crisis: War, Pandemic, and Famine
  • Music and Transitions: Revival, Hybridity, Globalization
  • Folk Music - Classical Music
  • Music Tone System: Modality – Tonality