Ömer Zülfü Livaneli was born in Ilgin in 1946. He is a popular Turkish folk musician (singer and composer), a novelist, newspaper columnist, film director, and human rights activist. He is also a prominent left wing and social democrat politician.
Livaneli is a bestselling Turkish author and poet who is considered one of the most significant and influential authors and intellectuals of Turkey today. His first novel "The Eunuch of Constantinople", second novel "One Cat One Man One Death," and a collection of his stories "A Child in Purgatory" (1978), which was turned into a movie by Swedish and German TV, have been published in Turkey and abroad. His third novel "Bliss" (2002), made 44 editions, became an international best seller work and was adapted to cinema in Turkey. It has been awarded Barnes & Nobel’s “Discovery of Great New Writers” award in 2003. His critically acclaimed "Serenade for Nadia," "Leyla’s House," and "My Brother’s Story," which were all translated into 37 languages, won numerous Turkish and International literary awards and were highly praised by prominent literary critics around the world. Livaneli′s novels have been turned into theatrical movies, stage plays, and operas. In 2008 he won an honorary prize in the 11th Istanbul International Meeting of Cinema & History, which was organized by TÜRSAK (Turkish Foundation of Cinema & Audiovisual Culture).
Livaneli is also known for his contemporary music. He started playing saz in 1971. He has composed more than three hundred songs, a rhapsody recorded by London Symphony Orchestra, and a ballet. His compositions have been performed by internationally renowned artists such as Joan Baez, Maria Farantouri, María del Mar Bonet, Udo Lindenberg, Haris Alexiou, Jocelyn B. Smith, and Kate Westbrook. Livaneli has also written five plays and thirty film soundtracks including the soundtrack for "Yol" (The Path), directed by Yilmaz Güney, "The Herd," directed by Yılmaz Güney and Zeki Ökten, and "Shirin′s Wedding" by German director Helma Sanders-Brahms. His recordings have been releasepublished in the USA, Sweden, Germany, Holland and France, and he has given numerous concerts throughout the world. His 1997 Ankara concert was attended by no less than 500 thousand people. His collaborations with Mikis Theodorakis and Maria Farantouri of Greece have been noted as a gesture of bringing together the two countries. Livaneli has also collaborated with many artists such as Manos Hatzidakis, Giora Feidman, Inti-Illimani, and Ángel Parra. In 2010 Livaneli sang ′Mothers of The Disappeared′ with Bono at U2′s concert in Istanbul. Livaneli has been distinguished with many awards including "Best Album of the Year" (Greece), the "Edison Award" (Holland), and "Best Album of the Year" (Music Critics Guild of Germany), and the "Premio Luigi Tenco" Best Songwriter Award, San Remo in 1999.
In addition to his remarkable career as an artist, Livaneli was highly influential in Turkish politics over the last thirty years. He was a member of the Turkish parliament for one term in 2002. Being one of the foremost defenders of Turkish-Greek friendship, in 1986, he founded the Greek-Turkish Friendship Committee together with the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. Livaneli has been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1996. In 2014 he has been awarded France’s highest distinction, the Legion d’Honneur. Livaneli currently lives and works in Istanbul.
Arafat′ta Bir Çocuk (A Child In Purgatory) (1978)
Orta Zekalılar Cenneti (The Heaven Of The Mediocre) (1991)
Diktatör ve Palyaço (The Dictator And The Clown) (1992)
Sosyalizm Öldü mü? (Is Socialism Dead?) (1994)
Engereğin Gözündeki Kamaşma (The Eunuch Of Constantinople) (1996)
Bir Kedi, Bir Adam, Bir Ölüm (Memory Of Snow) (2001)
Mutluluk (Bliss) (2002)
Gorbaçov′la Devrim Üstüne Konuşmalar (Conversations With Gorbachov On Revolution) (2003)
Leyla′nın Evi (Leyla′s House) (2006)
Son Ada (The Last Island) (2008)
Sevdalim Hayat (Sevdalim Hayat) (2009)
Sanat Uzun, Hayat Kısa (Art is Long, Life is Short) (2010)
Serenad (Serenade) (2011)
Edebiyat Mutluluktur (Literature is Bliss) (2012)
Kardeşimin Hikayesi (My Brother′s Story) (2013)
Record of the Year in Greece, 1982, "Farandouri sings Livaneli songs"
Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award, 1982, "The Road", soundtrack
West German Critics Record of the Year Prize, 1983, "Farandouri sings Livaneli songs"
Edison Awards, Netherlands, 1983, for the album "Farandouri sings Livaneli songs"
Golden Record of the Year Award, 1986, Livaneli-Theodorakis, for the album "Gunes Topla Benim Icin"
San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain, 1987, OCIC Best Foreign Film Award, "Iron Earth Copper Sky"
Montpellier Film Festival Golden Antigone Award, 1989, "Mist"
Valencia Film Festival Golden Palm Award for Best Director, 1989, "Mist" Balkan Literary Award, 1997, for the novel "The Eunuch of Constantinople"
"Premio Luigi Tenco" Best Songwriter Award, San Remo, Italy, 1999
37th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival Lifelong Achievement Award, Turkey, 1999
Yunus Nadi Novel Award, Turkey, 2001, for the novel "One Cat One Man One Death"
Soranos Award for Friendship, September 2005
Barnes & Noble, 2006 Discover Great New Authors Award, USA
"Zecchino D′Argento" Best Foreign Song Award in the Zecchino D′Oro contest in Italy, 2006
Theodorakis Music Award, Greece, June 2006
The Legion d’Honneur, France, July 2014
Reference: livaneli.gen.tr, melbournerecital.com.au, en.wikipedia.org