Merve Kazokoğlu was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1982, and began receiving lessons in ballet and piano at the age of six. At the age of eleven, she commenced studies as a member of the clarinet studio at the State Conservatory of the University of Istanbul. Alain Boeglin accepted Merve as a private student at the age of fifteen in both Ankara (Bilkent University’s Department of Music and Applied Arts) and France.
Merve received awards several times in the finals of the German Jugend Musiziert Competition, including first prize as well as the “Herbert Wurlitzer” distinction in Berlin in 2000. These competition experiences encouraged her to broaden her horizons and continue to develop her playing in Germany. She graduated from the German High School in Istanbul in 2002 and began her studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany as a student of Hans Dietrich Klaus, supported by a full scholarship from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Association). She successfully received her Diploma in 2007 and completed her post graduate studies in chamber music in 2009. In 2012, Merve graduated from the Artist Diploma programme with distinction under the tutelage of Thomas Lindhorst.
Supported by the Art Trust NRW, Germany, Merve was a member of the Academy of International Ensemble Modern in 2007-08 and was also selected as a Young Artist by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra in 2008. In 2009, she received a scholarship to perform and collaborate through the Yehudi Menuhin Organization Live Music Now, and in 2011 was awarded an interpretation prize for her performance at the Stockhausen Courses in Kürten, Germany. Merve was also granted a residence scholarship enabling further studies at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2011.
Throughout her artistic journey, Merve has received additional mentorship and guidance from Charles Neidich, Ernesto Molinari, Suzanne Stephens, Jörg Widmann, Martin Spangenberg, Nina Janßen, the Auryn Quartet, and Sir András Schiff. Festival appearances and performances include Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Quantensprünge ZKM Karlsruhe, ManiFeste Paris, Hamburger Klangwerktage, Kasseler Musiktage, Impuls Festival in Graz, International Courses in Darmstadt, and Young Euro Classic in Berlin. Merve’s playing has been broadcasted and recorded by numerous major German media corporations including WDR (West German Broadcasting), NDR (North German Broadcasting), and Deutschlandfunk.
Merve has a particularly strong connection to the music and aesthetics of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is deeply interested in the relationship between music and theatre. During the 2013-14 season, she performed the main role in the children’s opera “The Little Harlequin”, a work based on the music of Stockhausen. Carlus Padrissa (La Fura dels Baus) provided stage direction and the opera was performed at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Natalya Sats Musical Theater in Moscow, Graz Opera, and the Dschungel Theater in Vienna.
She played the role of Eve in MICHAELs REISE by Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Musikfest Berlin in September 2015 together with the trumpet player Marco Blaauw and the Ensemble Musikfabrik. She played the same role in the opera DONNERSTAG aus LICHT, which was premiered in June 2016 at the Theater Basel.
In 2014, Merve was invited as a guest soloist to perform in the Federal Government of North Rhine-Westphalia’s summer concert series at the Gelsenkirchen Amphitheater. The concert was broadcasted on WDR television.
In October 2016, Merve Kazokoğlu was appointed to the faculty at the University of Music Detmold (Hochschule für Musik Detmold). She teaches and lectures as a specialist in woodwind chamber music.
Merve lives in Frankfurt with her husband, an active member of the independent theatre scene.