Önder Baloglu

a versatile violinist seeking the essences of music

Önder is an artist on the rise of the musical world. His inquisitive mind, zeal and drive have pushed him to excellence in a variety of musical fields. He is a soloist, a chamber musician, a concertmaster and combines all these while leading ensembles and orchestras he assembles. He develops musical concepts, designs programmes, organises festivals and jam sessions. He has made it his ambition to perform everywhere possible. All of this he does for the sake of music.

Les essences goes Open Air

Performing the music possibly on its original context, Les essences presents an open air program with Mozart’s Cassations and Divertimenti. These youth works by Mozart will be performed under Önder Baloglu’s direction for a special audience: Les essences cooperates with the University of Duisburg-Essen and performs this colorful program on a central open air forum of the Essen Campus.

23.6.2023, 18:00, University Duisburg- Essen, Campus Essen, Rondell Gelbe Cafete


Les essences in Tel Aviv!

Another exciting tour is coming up in April: with the core quartet of Les essences and a long time friend, Israeli harpist Lior Ouziel, Önder plays a debut concert at the „Focus on Harp“ series. An own arrangement of Mendelssohn‘s double concerto and „Conte Fantastique“ by André Caplet are on the program. This tour is generously supported by the Office of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for Economy, Science, Education, Youth and Culture in Israel


Les essences‘ Easter tour

Önder, who always emphasizes the importance of religious music for general understanding of music, tours with his Les essences and a very special program, Haydn’s masterpiece, The Seven Last Words, in an own arrangement for strings, through the easter weeks. First performance takes place at the 44. Duisburger Akzente, as a part of the exhibition „Museum of the Moon“ on March 29th. On Good Friday, April 7th at the Lighthouse Essen, Les essences performs the masterwork as a part of a Good Friday‘s service just like Haydn‘s intentions. The last concert of this tour is also the last part of a trilogy which Önder has been designing at the St. Barbara church in Moers in the last years: „Of Coming and Going“. In this trilogy, H.I.F.Biber‘s exceptional Rosary Sonatas are being combined by different masterworks, according to the subjects of the Rosary Sonatas.


Önder jumps in for the „Baroque-Guru“

For two subscription concerts in the baroque series of the Folkwang Kammerorchester based in Essen, Önder will take over the role of the musical director. Normally led by Gottfried von der Goltz of the renowned Freiburger Barockorchester, Önder will direct a colorful program with some Concerti Grossi by Haendel and Muffat as well as some trumpet concertos with the legendary Matthias Höfs. By the way, many students from Önder‘s class have been members of this special chamber orchestra.


Önder tours with Mendelssohn‘s double concerto and a lullaby program

Long time after their last meeting, the so-called Duo BalKan of Önder Baloglu and Cagdas Özkan is performing again. After some intense days of rehearsals and recording sessions of a lullaby program which Önder designed for the exhibition „Rounded by sleep“ at the Museum Arter in Istanbul by the curator Eda Berkman, the first concert will take place at the Sevgi Gönül Auditorium of the Museum on January 21st. On January 23rd Duo BalKan will meet Semplice Quartet at the Süreyya Opera Hause in Istanbul to perform Mendelssohn‘s double concerto and on January 26th the Duo will be accompanied by the Bursa Regional State Symphony Orchestra.


Les essences’ mini series honoring the Rosamunde-Quartet-Munich

On the search of the true chamber music and its essences Önder planned two concerts with the support of the Ministry for Culture and Sciences of North Rhine-Westphalia and Sparkasse Essen, honoring his mentor Andreas Reiner and his world famous string quartet, the Rosamunde-Quartet. In this series, the core quartet of Les essences performs the string quintet by Schubert together with the cellist Anja Lechner of the Rosamundes and Andreas Reiner works with Les essences as a mentor on an arrangement of Schubert’s „The Death and the Maiden“ and C-minor Ouverture D8.


Önder finalizes his workshop concert series

Always seeking the essences of music, Önder designed a mini series following the invitation of Geigenbau Bartsch for their new workshop. Performing a selection of his Unvoiced Diaries project and Bach’s ingenious Sei Solo the concerts became a discussion platform between Önder and his audience. The subjects were creation, perfection, imperfection, musical speech, historical and modern performance practice, pandemic, silence, isolation, social media and its impact on humanity.


Önder’s debut at Herrenchiemsee Festspiele

Önder performs under the direction of Baroque Guru Reinhard Goebel

For years Önder has been regularly performing at the Herrenchiemsee Festspiele near Munich, as a member of the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra. On July 19, 2022, Önder makes his debut as a soloist, together with the renowned violinist and an old friend Rebekka Hartmann with Bach’s double concerto under the direction of Reinhard Goebel. Following this concert, Önder will act as the concertmaster of the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra in two more concerts with conductors Salvator Mas Conde and Kent Nagano.


Les essences' debut at Konzerthaus Dortmund!

Önder leads a peace concert for Ukraine

Together with the Mozart Society Dortmund and two of their excellent scholarship holders, the Russian cellist Anastasia Kobekina and the Ukrainian trombonist Polina Tarasenko, LES ESSENCES will perform under Önder's direction a concert for peace on June 3, 2022 in Konzerthaus Dortmund, one of the most exquisite halls in Germany. The proceeds from this benefit concert go to the aid organization CARE and to the clinic for child and adolescent medicine in Dortmund, which helps sick children and their families who have fled the Ukraine.

3.6.2022, 20:00, Konzerthaus Dortmund


Önder and his Les essences in NRW!

Battle of the Turks or how coffee came to Europe

After its successful concert in CRR Istanbul, Les essences is now presenting this colorful program in North Rhine-Westphalia. The first concert takes place on May 28th in Katakomben-Theater Essen, one of the most important world music stages of NRW. This is no coincidence, as the program shows the first examples of world music ideas of the baroque and classic eras. The second concert will take place on May 29th in Rheinberg at City Hall and for the 3rd concert at the Orchesterzentrum NRW in Dortmund, the students of Orchesterzentrum will be joining Les essences and work intensely in a workshop atmosphere while learning by doing together with Les essences musicians. More details can be found on the Agenda page.


Another Play & Lead project

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Mozart's 40th

After its cancellations and potsponings due to pandemic several times Önder will finally be performing with Yasar Symphony Orchestra in Izmir.

The program is modified and Önder will be conducting the orchestra while playing the solo part of Mendelssohn's great Violin Concerto. The other half of this concert, Önder will be conducting the orchestra from the concertmaster chair with Mozart's ingenious 40th Symphony.

06.04.2022, 20:00, AASSM Izmir


Önder & Les essences on tour!

Les essences' first international tour leads to Istanbul

When on September 12, 1683 the Ottoman army of Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha was de- feated by an international troop led by the Polish King John III. Sobieski was forced to retreat, the second siege of Vienna by the Turks was successfully repelled. While the Turks had posed a threat to the Austrian metropolis for several centuries, the culture of the Ottoman Empire was fascinating. With a gradual change in the image of the Orient, a reconciliation of the Occident and the Orient was eventually even strived for, because at the latest since the Enlightenment, topics such as tolerance, magnanimity and international understanding have been dealt with. Not only did the “Turkish drink” reach Europe, but the Janissary music as military music of the Ottomans with the generous use of percussion instruments and often also the use of high wind instruments was often imitated.

Les essences will be performing its programme "Battle of the Turks or how Coffee came to Europe" at the renowned CRR Concert Hall on April 15th.


Another Play & Lead project

Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the renowned Chorwerk Ruhr

Önder will be leading Johann Sebastian Bach's ingenious Christmas Oratorio through the Christmas and New Year's celebrations of 2021/2022 during the services in different churches of Essen City. Chorwerk Ruhr and its soloists will be joining Önder and his Les essences for this project. Every Cantata will be performed on the day for which Bach had composed these masterworks. The project "With Christmas Oratorio through Essen" is made possible through the ensemble funding of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

25.12.2021 11:00 Bergmannsdom Katernberg
26.12.2021 11:00 Thomaskirche Stoppenberg
27.12.2021 18:30 Alt-Katholische Friedenskirche
01.01.2022 11:00 Bergmannsdom Katernberg
02.01.2022 11:00 Thomaskirche Stoppenberg
06.01.2022 18:30 Evangelische Kirche Essen-Werden


Les essences receives funding

Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia supports the ensemble

Les essences, the international Chamber Orchestra founded by Önder and based in Essen, is selected for 3-year ensemble funding by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. With this financial support Les essences will build up a colourful concert series in Essen, performing all around the city, collaborating with important musicians and institutions.

Besides the Ministery of Culture and Science, Sparkasse Essen is a generous supporter of Les essences as well.


Another Play & Lead project

Önder's comeback in CRR Istanbul

Önder will be leading a very special orchestra for a very special occasion: 60th anniversary of the Turkish Diaspora in Germany. Önder gathers his Turkish-German colleagues, Turkish musicians living or studying in Germany and Turkish musicians who used to study or work in Germany and returned back to Turkey. The program consists of the Farewell Symphony by Haydn, Arrival Symphony by Sperger and two world premieres: "Kopus" by Kemal Cem Yilmaz, a Turkish-German composer who was born in Germany and String Concertante by Cem Esen, a young Turkish composer studying in Germany.

02.11.2021, 20:00, CRR Istanbul


Project in Kosovo

Önder as a lecturer at European Summer Music Academy

The European Summer Music Academy (ESMA) in Kosovo is a longstanding initiative that brings together professional classical musicians – professors, students, budding artists – from the EU and the Western Balkans. The project is a unique opportunity for young South-East European musicians to study with world-class pedagogues, while also engaging with their Western Balkans peers and making music together.


Önder at Musiquem Lleida!

Spanish premiere of Unvoiced Diaries

Önder will be performing the 24 miniatures by 24 Turkish composers composed for Unvoiced Diaries, an isolation project which is designed actually for social media platforms, for the first time at 16th International Music Festival Musiquem Lleida! Önder is a regular guest at Musiquem Lleida! and will be also performing Johann Sebastian Bach's ingenious Sonata for Solo Violin, C Major BWV 1005 in the same concert.

02.10.2021, 19:00, Museu de Lleida


New Management

LB Artists welcomes Önder to its roster for worldwide general management

LocksBridge is an international classical artist management agency. Founded in 2019 by 3 partners, all graduates of Bosphorus University, the highest-ranked university of Turkey, LocksBridge’s mission is to establish a firm, effective and yet holistic connection between art & entertainment, especially classical music, industries of Turkey and the rest of the world with an innovative approach. The LocksBridge Team is full of people with proactivity, creativity, versatility and dynamism. As they develop their worldwide network further, they continue to believe in the power of “esprit de corps”: “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”. While being Turkey's first and leading international classical artist management company, LocksBridge also uses its creative and digital abilities to position itself, its partners and LB Artists right in the digital world.

LocksBridge is a full member of International Artist Managers' Association (IAMA).


Another Play & Lead project

Önder performs Vivaldi's ingenious Four Seasons

The Four Seasons is the best-known and most frequently performed work by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. Written in the early 1720s, the first four of the twelve concertos meet the audience for the first time in the new concert hall of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara.


Another Play & Lead project

A colourful program in Istanbul under Önder's direction

Kamran Ince, the founder of Istanbul Technical University MIAM and one of the important living composers from Turkey with his original and timeless expression in music, is building bridges of auditory concepts between the past and the present. In this program, his Intermezzo, commissioned by Gedik Sanat, will be building bridges between Andante & Allegro for violin and strings by Cemal Reşit Rey, one of the first composers of the republic and Fazıl Say's Chamber Symphony. Gedik Philharmonic Orchestra invites you to a rare experience under the leadership of Önder Baloglu.


First album out!

Unvoiced Diaries on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music

Önder's special isolation project which is designed actually for social media platforms, including 24 Miniatures for violin by 24 Turkish composers living all around the world, is now available on online streaming platforms Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. The audio and video recordings took place in July 2020 at the Arter Museum in Istanbul. The ingenious video productions by Cem Önertürk were premiered on social media platforms.

Spotify     Apple Music     Amazon Music


New appointment!

Önder joins the faculty of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague

Starting from September 1st, Önder will be teaching at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. This new appointment will be based on orchestral studies, in addition to his main subject teaching at the Folkwang University of Arts and the concertmaster position at Duisburg Philharmonic.


Unvoiced Diaries at NOW!

First live performance

Önder will be performing the 24 miniatures by 24 Turkish composers composed for Unvoiced Diaries, an isolation project which is designed actually for social media platforms, for the first time live at NOW! Festival in Essen. The festival is a collaboration between Philharmonie Essen, Folkwang University of Arts, Zollverein Foundation, North Rhine-Westphalia State Music Council and PACT Zollverein.

31.10.2020, 17:00, Neue Aula Folkwang University of Arts, Essen


Unvoiced Diaries

a COVID-19 Project.

„Unvoiced Diaries“ is an isolation inspired project created by violinist Önder Baloglu and supported by Gedik Sanat Istanbul containing a minute long miniatures for solo violin by 24 Turkish composers living all around the world, designed for the compact contents of social media platforms.

The world premiere of Unvoiced Diaries took place hourly on July 19th, from 00:00 on, at the social media pages of Gedik Sanat (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube).

Coming up

An overview of Önder's next performances


Duisburg (D)

    Les essences performs some of the rarities of the baroque repertoire.

Learn more


Istanbul (TR)

Önder plays and directs a colourful program by Haydn, Sperger and young Turkish composers.

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Pristina (RKS)

Önder teaches at the European Summer Music Academy (ESMA) in

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Lleida (E)

Önder performs a solo program with Unvoiced Diaries and J. S. Bach's C Major Sonata BWV 1005.

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Önder's Photo © Ulrike von Loeper