Prof. Ruhi Ayangil was born in Istanbul in 1953. He started playing Kanun at the age of 10. After attending workshops directed by Dr. Önaldi, at the Advanced Turkish Music Conservatory, he continued his studies at the Istanbul Conservatory in the field of vocal harmony. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Istanbul University in 1979. At the same time, he was a student of Ihsan Balkır at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory and studied harmony and orchestration with Cemal Resit Rey. Between 1973 and 1981 he trained and conducted the chorus of Robert College, Istanbul. He directed many concerts with this chorus in international festivals located in Turkey, Poland, Russia and Holland. In 1979-1980 he joined the Robert College the Humanities faculty and taught music courses “Intro to Music” and “Comparative Turkish Music”. In 1980 he performed Alnar’s Kanun Concerto for the first time. He built his kanun playing technique upon the style of his mento H.F. Alnar. He wrote a book called "Learning To Play the Kanun" based on Alnar′s technique and used this book in his lectures between 1976 - 1986, while a member of the faculty at the Istanbul University State Conservatory. In 1983, he founded Ayangil Turkish Music Orchestra and Chorus, the only private chorus and orchestra in Turkey, comprised of 60 musicians, playing both Turkish instruments (Ud, Kemençe, Tanbur, Ney, and Kanun) and Western instruments.
He has conducted many concerts together with his orchestra and duets with Mutlu Torun (kanun-ud) or Fikret Bertug (kanun-ney) not only in Turkey but also abroad in Finland, Greece, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Russia. He played his Kanun as a soloist in many countries and more than once in England, Greece, Italy, Lebenon, Egypt, Germany, USA, Belgium, Holland, Poland and Russia. In 1980, he played the Concerto for Kanun, composed by H.Ferid Alnar, with the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra (DSO) for the first time. He performed this concerto 31 times with different symphonic orchestras and recorded with the Oradea Philharmonic Orchestra in Hungary. In 1988 Ayangil Turkish Music Orchestra and Chorus made the first recording of "Uyan Ey Gozlerim" (Ottoman Sufi Music), compiled by Ali Ufki (1610-1675). For this recording, Ruhi Ayangil was awarded the title of “artist of the year” by the Turkish Writers Association. His writing on music has been published in many magazines and newspapers and he has been awarded several times for his research into the roots of Turkish music and its evolution. He won the award “the Cultural Achievement Prize of Turkey” by Hürriyet -JAYCEES-TYOP in 1992. During 1993 and 1994, he gave seminars in Manchester and London on Kanun and the Development Stages of Turkish Music. For Yalçın Tuna’s sixty fifth anniversary, he recorded CD′s "Cantata for Sheikh Galib" and "Tura Songs" with Ayangil Turkish Music Orchestra and Chorus in 1999 and played them in 2000 (with the sponsorship of Türkiye Iş Bankası). He is currently the Dean of Arts and Design Faculty, Istanbul Yıldız Technical University.