Hande Özyürek was born in Istanbul in 1976. Her talent developed rapidly after she began playing the violin at the age of eleven. She studied violin with Çiğdem İyicil and composition with Cengiz Tanç at the State Conservatory of Istanbul in Mimar Sinan University and graduated at the age of nineteen with the highest distinction. She continued her studies in Germany with Lukas David and Tim Vogler as a Turkish Education Foundation (TEV) Scholar and graduated at the top of her class from the Music Academy of Detmold. She completed the soloist class with distinction under the guidance of the distinguished violinists Antje Weithaas and Joshua Epstein at the Music Academy in Saarbrücken. Since September 2003, she is a member of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester.
Since her orchestra debut at the age of 16, Özyürek has performed as a soloist in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Italy and Turkey; playing with major orchestras like the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozart Symphony Orchestra (Germany), Plovdiv Philharmonic Bulgaria, Sud-West Deutsche Philharmonic, the State Symphony Orchestras of Istanbul, Izmir, Çukurova and Bursa, as well as the Başkent Academic Orchestra of Ankara and several chamber orchestras (Milli Reasürans, Borusan and Camerata Saygun).
Özyürek has also participated in many international festivals: the Bach Festival (Marathon), Villingen-Schwellingen Music Festival, Ankara Music Festival, Istanbul Music Festival and Eskişehir Music Festival. She recorded some of the most interesting works from her large and varied repertoire for radio and television.
Özyürek′s new solo album, "FACE to FACE with SAYGUN", which was released by Kalan Music as a tribute to "Saygun Year - 2007", is the first solo album in which our famous composer Saygun′s complete violin - piano works have been recorded. This CD also features solo violin pieces by prominent composers Özkan Manav and Babür Tongur, who were also students of Saygun.
1995, Sedat - Güzin Gürel Art and Science Foundation (the award of merit)
1996, Career Grant for Young Performers, Lüdenscheid, Germany (the förderpreis)
1998, Friedrich-Jürgen-Sellheim Violin Competition, Hannover (the forth prize)
1999, British Council Award, the Young Musician of the Year (the second prize)
2001, International competition in San Bartolomeo, Italy (the second prize)
2003, Junior Chamber International (the Cultural Achievement Award)
2003, International Rovere d’Oro Chamber Music Competition, Italy (the second prize)
2003, the music competition "Palma d′Oro", Italy (prize in the violin section)
2007, the 15th. Vienna Music Competition (the first prize)
Reference: handeozyurek.com; wikipedia.org