Füreya Ünal was born in Istanbul where she started playing the piano at the age of three. Her formal music education began at Istanbul University State Conservatory when she was five years old. In 1995-1996 she studied in Monaco with State Artist Hüseyin Sermet at the Monaco Music Academy. After graduating with honors from the Istanbul University State Conservatory in 1996, she gave her recital at the 2nd International Piano Festival at Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall. She also performed at the closing concert with State Artist Huseyin Sermet and French pianist Eric LaSage. Ünal received two Master’s degrees: her first Master’s degree was granted from Istanbul Conservatory; her second from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main. During her education, Ünal studied with many renowned teachers such as Irina Zaritskaya, Mikhail Voskresenski, Anatol Ugorski, and Leontina Margulis. In 1998 she was admitted to the class of Arkady Aronov at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1999 she was granted a full scholarship by the Turkish Educational Foundation to study in Frankfurt, Germany with Catherine Vickers, a student of Paul Badura-Skoda and Alfred Brendel. After completing her studies in Germany, Ünal became a member of Faculty at Yildiz Technical University. In 2003 she gave a recital at the Spectral Music Festival in Istanbul, performing works by Jonathan Harvey, Messiaen and Walicki. A recording of this concert can be found in various libraries throughout Europe.
Being an avid chamber musician, Ünal has collaborated with many musicians from around the globe. As a part of the Unal Korkmaz flute-piano duo, she has given concerts and master classes in Istanbul as well as the United States, premiering works by contemporary composers. She has performed at the New Music Festival at California State University Fullerton numerous times, sharing the stage with famous composer Fred Rzewski, and pianists Gloria Cheng, Ursula Oppens, and Kathie Supove.
Ünal is a Faculty member at California State University Fullerton. She has been teaching for over 20 years at schools in Istanbul, Germany and the United States. Her students have won numerous competitions and festivals. Ünal has given a number of concerts and recitals in Turkey, Germany, Monaco, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and the United States, both as a solo artist, accompanist, and ensemble player. She was a recipient of Cultural Exchange Fellowship in 2012 given by the Turkish Cultural Foundation to give concerts and master classes in The People’s Republic of China. She has been awarded “the Woman of Distinction 2013 from 65th District of California” by the Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. Ünal is the founder, co-artistic director and pianist of the new music ensemble Divan Consort. Her ensemble has given numerous concerts and master classes since their beginning in 2009 in the US and Europe. The group has released their first album “Refuge” (Albany Records), which has been awarded the Gold Medal in Album category and the Silver Medal in composition category by Global Music Awards.